Wednesday, November 14, 2018
It’s a little longer Scripture passage today, but it’s important. Please read the whole passage. I’ve used the New Living Translation for easy reading without compromising truth.
2 Corinthians 6:3 – 10 3We try to live in such a way that no one will be hindered from finding the Lord by the way we act, and so no one can find fault with our ministry. 4In everything we do we try to show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 5We have been beaten, been put in jail, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. 6We have proved ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, our sincere love, and the power of the Holy Spirit. 7We have faithfully preached the truth. God’s power has been working in us. We have righteousness as our weapon, both to attack and to defend ourselves. 8We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. 9We are well known, but we are treated as unknown. We live close to death, but here we are, still alive. We have been beaten within an inch of our lives. 10Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.
A question was asked on one of our Christian radio stations recently. If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Consider that question in the context of today’s Scripture passage.
Paul lists the significant evidence in his own life that convinced the world that he was a true minister of God. His list gives us a comparative standard of our own spiritual integrity as we live for Jesus in a lost world. Let each point encourage you where it can and convict you where it must.
- Patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind, including beatings, jail, angry mobs, being over worked to exhaustion, enduring sleepless nights, and going without food.
- Prove yourselves by:
- your purity,
- your understanding,
- your patience,
- your kindness,
- your sincere love,
- and the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Faithfully preach the truth. Be a consistent witness for Jesus Christ.
- God’s power has been working in us. Can the people of the world see the power of God in how we live, or do they just see a powerful person?
- We have righteousness as our weapon. Knowing what is right and then doing what is right gives us the strength to both defend ourselves and to mount an attack against the evil of our day.
- We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are not people pleasers but instead we honor God by serving Him and serving people no matter what they think or say about us.
- We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are well known, but we are treated as unknown. We do not compromise for the sake of recognition.
- We live close to death, but here we are, still alive. We have been beaten within an inch of our lives. The body may be bruised, but our spirit cannot be broken. We are alive from the inside out.
- Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We may be emotionally drained, but the joy of the Lord is our strength.
- We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. The treasures of heaven outweigh the treasures of earth, and we are content.
Simply stated, the hardships of life are to become the evidence of our faith and trust in God.
So how do you measure up?