In 2Corinthians 3 Paul addresses an issue that false apostles in Corinth had come with letters of recommendation from the Jewish leaders to denounce anything that Paul had taught and were questioning Paul’s authority asking where his letters of recommendations were. I love what Paul writes to the true believers in Corinth in verses 2 & 3,
“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, recognized and read by everyone. It is clear that you are Christ’s letter, produced by us, not written with ink but with the spirit of the living God – not on stone tablets but on tablets that are hearts of flesh”.
How many professed Christians do you know that when you watch and listen to their lives, they don’t align with the life of Christ? Have you ever heard someone say:
“be careful how you live; you will be the only Bible some people ever read”
“If you were ever accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
We often think thoughts like, “I don’t care what other people think”, and this should be true if your attitude revolves completely around being Christlike because we should care what Christ thinks about us. In today’s society, people just want to assume they can do, say or live however they want and they are excepted by the love of Jesus Christ. That is not what God‘s word says, therefore, we must allow ourselves to be transformed by the truth of Gods word, not allowing ourselves to conform to this world as God teaches us in Romans 12:2. In 2Cor 3:18 Paul says,
“We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the spirit.”
When Paul is saying with unveiled faces he means for us to be fully open to Christ’s work within us, Jesus’ fullness, character and revelation of the Father image. When he says looking as in a mirror, that is aligning what we see about ourselves with God‘s word. When I am looking into God’s word, what reflection of myself do I truly see. I love the encouragement that we find in 2Cor 4:8,9,
“We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed.”
Darrell Evans wrote a song, trading my sorrows, in reference to these verses. No matter what, we don’t give up. I don’t consider myself a quitter, but sometimes I think I give up. Is that due to a lack of faith, trust or belief? I pray often Mark 9:24, “I do believe! Help my unbelief!” Thing is, I have overcome so much since coming to know Jesus Christ. I have persevered and endured through craziness, persecution, serious betrayal and more. I know that, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” Philippians 4:13 and yet sometimes, it’s not so much that I give up, but I become very passive, I stop being intentional. That attitude is not a Christlikeness, when I look in the mirror, into God’s word, I can see my life is not truly aligning with the likeness of Christ. Before coming to know Christ, I used drugs and alcohol to overcome disappointments in life. But now I had something better and It is great to have Christ alive and be able to turn to him in the midst of disappointments.
In 2008 I experienced the most devastating betrayal I would ever expect to have to experience. This betrayal led to one serious negative event after the other including the loss of my job. I found myself in early 2009 wondering, “what is going on?” Like in 1995 when I came to know Christ as a result of seeking what was life truly about, this time I felt almost as lost but, this time I had Jesus Christ in my life. I knew what my foundation was, His truth. Out of these devastating events I became more intentional about searching out who Christ was in my Life and I’m very thankful for that. I once again experienced what Paul describes in 2Cor 5:17,
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.”
This time I didn’t have to overcome the use of drugs, alcohol, profanity and such. The change was more of an internal change, my attitude, hope. Instead of feeling completely lost and abandoned, I knew my direction, walking with Christ wherever that may lead. This life is a temporary dwelling, our life really begins after our physical death. Paul reminds us in 2Cor 5:21,
“He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that way we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Not only can I persevere but, I must persevere after all God has done for me. Passivity is not an option, action is God’s desire for me in my life.