Thursday, July 3, 2014

OUR LIVES ARE LETTERS

Spending time in the presence of the Lord produces a manifestation of Christ to a lost world.

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we 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 4:1-2).

Paul is speaking here of a visible expression. A manifestation is a “shining forth” designed to make something clear and understandable. In short, Paul is saying that we are called to make Jesus known and understood to all people. In your life and mine, there should be a shining forth of the very nature and likeness of Christ.

Paul takes this concept of manifesting Christ even further. He says that we actually are God’s letters to the world: “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men. Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3). Our lives are letters written by the Holy Spirit and sent out to a lost world. And we are being read continually by all those around us who observe our lives.

How exactly do we become God’s letters to the world? It happens only by the work of the Holy Spirit. At the moment we are saved, the Holy Spirit imprints in us the very image of Jesus and He continues shaping this image in us at all times. The Spirit’s mission is to form in us an image of Christ that is so truthful and accurate, it will actually pierce people’s consciences.