Paul was writing this section of his letter to defend his authority with the Corinthians and his credentials as an apostle of Jesus Christ. He told them he didn’t need to carry letters of authority in his briefcase or a Ministry Credential Card in his wallet because their lives were evidence of the effectiveness of his ministry.
We live in a society where religion has less credibility than ever before, and a person’s position within the structure of organized church or title of “Reverend” or “Pastor” means very little—at least in a positive way. It used to be that pastors and priests were among the most respected professionals in our world. Now in the USA, they come in at about number eight! It used to be that churches were the center of community life, now that’s no longer true! It used to be that “Christian” meant “caring.” Now, for many in our world, “Christian” means “judgmental and hateful!”
In a rapidly changing world, we can no longer assume that our views are the majority views and that others will respect and appreciate us simply because we are called “Christians” and we are part of “The Church.” It’s time to face some new realities!
It’s time to stop trying to convince others things are true because “The Bible Says So!” or to expect others to care about the doctrines of our church! We must allow Jesus to carve his love, his values, and his passion into our hearts, and then present our lives as expressions of God’s sacrificial love to a broken world.
Our lives are love-letters from God to our world! How are we doing with this?
Father, I’m not sure that my life always reads exactly as you wrote it. I think that my attitudes and words and actions sometimes misinterpret your message. Help me to do better today to just be clearly readable as a letter from you. Please make it so.
Reading: 2 Corinthians 3
2 You yourselves are all the endorsement we need. Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. 3 Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it. (2 Corinthians 3:2-3 MSG)
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