2 Corinthians 3 Devotional – Day 4

ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness

GOD IS WISE Wisdom goes beyond knowledge and specifies that God always chooses the best goals and the best means to achieve those goals. Scripture affirms God’s wisdom in several places:

    • He is called “the only wise God” (Romans 16:27).
    • “With him are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding” (Job 12:13).
    • “O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures” (Psalm 104:24).

Praise God because He is Wise.
Praise God that he always chooses the best goals. Praise God that he always knows how to achieve those goals. Praise Jesus because he is the wisdom of God manifest.

CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100

SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.

  • Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
  • Pray for Sarah as she serves overseas. She will be hosting the River team this summer.
  • Ask God to speak as you read and meditate.

SCRIPTURE READING:

2 Corinthians 3 The Message

1-3 Does it sound like we’re patting ourselves on the back, insisting on our credentials, asserting our authority? Well, we’re not. Neither do we need letters of endorsement, either to you or from you. You yourselves are all the endorsement we need. Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it.

4-6 We couldn’t be more sure of ourselves in this—that you, written by Christ himself for God, are our letter of recommendation. We wouldn’t think of writing this kind of letter about ourselves. Only God can write such a letter. His letter authorizes us to help carry out this new plan of action. The plan wasn’t written out with ink on paper, with pages and pages of legal footnotes, killing your spirit. It’s written with Spirit on spirit, his life on our lives!

Lifting the Veil
7-8 The Government of Death, its constitution chiseled on stone tablets, had a dazzling inaugural. Moses’ face as he delivered the tablets was so bright that day (even though it would fade soon enough) that the people of Israel could no more look right at him than stare into the sun. How much more dazzling, then, the Government of Living Spirit?

9-11 If the Government of Condemnation was impressive, how about this Government of Affirmation? Bright as that old government was, it would look downright dull alongside this new one. If that makeshift arrangement impressed us, how much more this brightly shining government installed for eternity?

12-15 With that kind of hope to excite us, nothing holds us back. Unlike Moses, we have nothing to hide. Everything is out in the open with us. He wore a veil so the children of Israel wouldn’t notice that the glory was fading away—and they didn’t notice. They didn’t notice it then and they don’t notice it now, don’t notice that there’s nothing left behind that veil. Even today when the proclamations of that old, bankrupt government are read out, they can’t see through it. Only Christ can get rid of the veil so they can see for themselves that there’s nothing there.

16-18 Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

SCRIPTURE REFLECTION:
One opposite of boldness is fear. There is a kind of boldness that appears to be fearless but it in fact simply folly. Real boldness is not the absence of feeling afraid but it is about not allowing fear to be the engine that drives your life. Paul wrote that “since we have this hope we are very bold.” How does hope drive boldness? Ask that a different way, how does hope drive away fear? What are the things you are afraid of? Illness, death, loneliness, poverty, loss of friends, the future in general…? How does a biblical hope speak directly to these fears? What does it say about each one of them? What is your most compelling fear? Now, what is your hope? Which one will you allow to win in your mind and heart? Boldness as a feeling is fickle. Boldness in how you live your life can be constant as it is built on biblical hope.

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