Monday, December 28, 2009

Your Epistle

As you’ll see, we were studying in II Corinthians last week. Sunday our Pastor spoke on our ministry. Every Christian has one. I like the way Paul said it:

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; (2 Corinthians 4:1 KJV)

Even if we ignore working within the church, simply stating that one is a Christian raises expectations in other people. Fellow Christians expect certain activities to be displayed. James addresses this subject very well:

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (James 2:18 KJV)

The unsaved look upon those who call themselves Christian and makes comparisons, finding in some instances that their lives, their works, are better. There are so many ways Christians are the Bible people read, as God’s written word is ignored. Paul tells the Corinthians:

Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: (2 Corinthians 3:2 KJV)

I doubt that Paul knew that his letter would be read millennia later. Yet it is true today -- our hearts' story is open to those around us.

David realized that God was all knowing, that our secrets were open to him, that our lives were an open book:

Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. (Psalms 90:8-9 KJV)

What is our epistle showing – to the unsaved? To God?

Does it reflect God’s word? Or is the writing tainted by what we want? Do we follow Paul’s exhortation to faint not:

But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. (2 Corinthians 4:2 KJV)

Do we really refrain from handling the word of God deceitfully?

Take this verse as an example:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 KJV)

Do we really believe that all things work together for good? Do we lop off the remainder of the phrase, forgetting the promise is for them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose?

To what purpose are you called? What has been the response? What comes from the heart?

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Thank you for taking time to read and comment on the blog. Comments should take into consideration this verse: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)