Scripture reading for September 21st: 2nd Corinthians 4
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 4:1-4 “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s Word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God.”
Paul explained to the Corinthians that the ‘god’ of this world, Satan, was a master of cunning and deceit and used his lies to blind the minds of unbelievers to keep them from the Truth in Jesus. Paul had received the mercy of God when Jesus appeared to him on the Damascus road and asked him why he was persecuting Him. At that moment, the glory of God in Jesus Christ appeared to Paul (then Saul) and blinded him. But the veil over Paul’s heart had kept him from seeing the glory of Christ before that. When Christ’s glory broke through the veil, a blindness came to light revealing the true darkness of Paul’s soul and driving it away. God then sent Paul to Damascus to wait for Ananias to come and pray over him and give his natural sight back. Now Paul did not lose heart when spiritually blind people rejected the Gospel. He knew that the Gospel truth had the power to reveal Christ and heal their sight.
2nd Corinthians 4:5-6 “For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, Who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for shining the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life and illuminating the darkness, driving it out through faith in Jesus Christ. As a servant of Christ and those You send me to, help me to fully proclaim “Jesus is Lord” and by the Holy Spirit break through the veils that keep men in darkness. With Your help and presence, I will never lose heart but faithfully proclaim the Gospel even as I age.
2nd Corinthians 4:16-17 “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, . . ”
Scripture reading for June 13th: Acts 9:1-25
What was you conversion like? I remember going to an altar at the little Methodist church on a Thursday night youth meeting in response to the Gospel. I heard the message and knew I needed to make a commitment. I remember the feeling of change and the excitement of knowing sins forgiven. We should all think back and remember our time of change! God saw fit to record the change in one of His servants, Saul, that we read about today.
Saul was a Pharisee, zealous for the Jewish tradition. He saw in the Christians a threat to His traditions and became very zealous to rid the world of them. To his way of thinking, these people needed to be eliminated. He went to the high priest and got letters authorizing him to arrest any of this sect he called ‘the Way’. (Acts 9:1-2)
“As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul why do you persecute Me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” He replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:3-6) Saul was confronted by Jesus, Himself as he went to round up more Christians. Jesus told him who He was and that his actions were against Him! The revelation of Jesus was in a bright light that flashed like lightning around Saul. When he got up to go, he was blind and those with him had to lead him into the city by the hand, where Saul prayed and fasted for three days.
In Damascus, another disciple named Ananias was given a vision of the Lord. As he responded, the Lord told him to go to the house where Saul was praying and lay hands on him to restore his sight. Ananias told the Lord his concerns, but he was reassured and sent to Saul. “Go! This man is My chosen instrument to carry My name before Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for My name.” (Acts 9:15-16) Saul’s sight was restored and he was filled with the Holy Spirit and baptized in water. The miraculous conversion would change the world!