Today we continue to teach on our overall theme for the year: “GREAT FREEDOM.” We studied 2 Corinthians 3 for a few weeks. Yesterday we crossed over into chapter 4. Let’s continue today.
(2 Corinthians 4:2-6 ERV)
2 But we have turned away from secret and shameful ways. We don’t use trickery, and we don’t change the teaching of God. We teach the truth plainly. This is how we show people who we are. And this is how they can know in their hearts what kind of people we are before God.
3 The Good News that we tell people may be hidden, but it is hidden only to those who are lost.
4 The ruler of this world has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They cannot see the light of the Good News—the message about the divine greatness of Christ. Christ is the one who is exactly like God.
5 We don’t tell people about ourselves. But we tell people that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we tell them that we are your servants for Jesus.
6 God once said, “Let light shine out of the darkness!” And this is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts to let us know that his own divine greatness is seen in the face of Christ.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. We don’t use trickery in our approach. We don’t have any “sales tactics”.
Paul said that we have turned away from the ways of the world. In the world, they use what he called, “secret and shameful ways” to try to convince someone about something. Paul went on to say, “We don’t use trickery, and we don’t change the teaching of God. We teach the truth plainly. This is how we show people who we are. And this is how they can know in their hearts what kind of people we are before God.”
When you know who you are in Christ Jesus, you know the change Jesus had created in you, and you are convinced (without a shadow of a doubt) that Jesus is the only way to heaven, you simply tell people your story. You don’t have to know a bunch of scripture. You don’t need a seminary degree. You don’t have to put on a clergy collar. You just know what you know and you unashamedly tell people your story. You are like the guy in John 9 who was blind. He came in contact with Jesus and Jesus healed him. He was questioned by the Pharisees. They wanted to know what Jesus did. They wanted to know if Jesus was a sinner for healing this man on a Sabbath day. The man said, “Dude, look. I don’t know if the man who healed me was a sinner or not. All I know is this: I was blind and now I see!” (RPV, Rick Pina Version).
This should be your approach. You are not a snake-oil salesman. You don’t have a “pitch”. You are not hiding anything or attempting to change anything. You are free. You simply tell whoever wants to know what happened to you. The “WHAT” is a “WHO”, and the “WHO” is JESUS!
2. If the Gospel is hidden, it won’t be because of us.
Paul said, “The Good News that we tell people may be hidden, but it is hidden only to those who are lost. The ruler of this world has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They cannot see the light of the Good News—the message about the divine greatness of Christ.”
Billions of people in this world have been blinded to the truth about Jesus. Our mandate is to take the Gospel to them. You don’t have to be called to the ministry to do it. You don’t need a title to do it. You just need to be willing to be yourself. Be who God called you to be.
If you are Born-Again, you have God’s Spirit. You are covered with the Blood of His Son. You are forgiven of sin. You are called according to His name. Now you just have to be free to tell your story and share your faith. Never be ashamed of your experience with Jesus!
3. We are not self-promoters. We are free to tell people about the true source of our success.
Paul said, “We don’t tell people about ourselves. But we tell people that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we tell them that we are servants of Jesus.” People ask me all the time how I can be so open (on social media and in-person), about my faith. The answer for me is simple: this is who I am. My faith is not something I do on Sundays. Jesus is not a box I open only on those occasions where I need help from God. No, Jesus is my life. I am not ashamed of Jesus. I am not a self-made man. I am a God-made man.
When you are truly genuine about your faith, people are drawn to it. The world can spot a fake a mile off. But when you genuine, when you operate in integrity, and when you embrace the freedom to live as the man/woman God has called you to be, people will be drawn to you. While you have their attention you can tell them about Jesus.
One thing I have learned is that God’s anointing only flows through the authentic. When you are not living as the true version of yourself (the version God called you to be), people will only be drawn by your charisma or personality. But when you are truly FREE and you live as the man/woman you are called to be, people will be drawn by the Christ in you. God’s anointing will be felt through your authenticity.
4. We don’t have to manufacture light. God is light. He lives IN us. We just have to get out of the way so His light can shine!
Paul said this about God, “God once said, “Let light shine out of the darkness!” And this is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts to let us know that his own divine greatness is seen in the face of Christ.”
God is light. He lives in us. You don’t have to conjure up any light. You don’t have to make anything happen. Your part is to simply be FREE enough to live as the person God called you to be. If you do, God’s light will shine through you and those who are in darkness will be drawn to it.
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I embrace the grace to be FREE! I am FREE to be the man You called me to be. I am who I am and what I am, by Your grace and for Your glory. I am not ashamed of acknowledging the fact that I am nothing without You and everything with You! Without You, I can do nothing. With You, I can do all things. So I live as the man You called me to be and your anointing flows through me because I am living as my authentic self. The world will see Jesus today because they will see Him IN ME! I am FREE and unashamed! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!