Tag: god of this world
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 September 21st: Nahum, Psalm 149, 2nd Corinthians 4
Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 4:3-6 “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 for the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God. 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.”
Paul carefully explained to the Corinthians how the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings light to darkened hearts. Satan, the ‘god of this world’, acts to blind the minds and hearts of the unbeliever to block out the light. But those who have believed receive the light and proclaim the Gospel by confessing “Jesus is Lord!” We joyfully become servants of all men, proclaiming the Gospel and sharing the light of Jesus’ glory by living a holy and consecrated life. We long to see Jesus face to face in full glory!
Psalm 149:2 “Let Israel be glad in his Maker, let the children of Zion rejoice in their King! Let them praise His Name with dancing, making melody to Him with tambourine and lyre!”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, fill me with Your light and truth today that I may reflect “Jesus is Lord” to the world You want to reach with the Gospel. May Christ’s light overcome Satan’s dark veil of death today and forever as I call others to take refuge in You.
Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a Stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in Him.”
Scripture reading for August 30th: 2nd Corinthians 4:1-12
Paul’s encouraging words about transformation by the Holy Spirit could have brought some spiritual pride. Paul wanted none of that in his life or the Corinthians! This ‘glory transformation’ was a gift to each believer because of God’s mercy. Paul preached the straight Gospel of Jesus Christ as Lord with no underlying motives of gain or manipulation. He appealed to men’s consciences in the power of the Holy Spirit seeking their salvation and transformation.
There were some who would not believe. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2nd Corinthians 4:4) The Light of the World is Jesus Christ. The god of this world is the prince of darkness who blinds men to Christ’s glory. Men loved darkness, but God sent His greatest Light in His Son!
“We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be revealed in our body.” (2nd Corinthians 4:7-10) God has placed His Holy Spirit in us as this fragrance of life. Our human bodies are like jars of clay, fragile and breakable. Our life as ministers here on earth can bring lots of physical buffeting. It certainly did to Paul, but he understood the nature of his physical body. It was just a container of the glory of Christ! Christ’s glory was revealed to a greater degree as the troubles and pressures came.
Paul learned to walk by faith and not by sight. He knew that if he focused on the troubles and trials, he would be easily discouraged. He focused on the unseen world of the Spirit that was eternal, and not on his ‘clay pot’. This is a secret for our success as well. We have a wonderful treasure in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is able to renew us day by day, using the troubles we face to bring ever-increasing glory! Soon our jar of clay will be transformed into a glorious body! Hallelujah!