2 Corinthians 4 Devotional – Day 4

ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness

GOD IS JEALOUS People sometimes have trouble thinking that jealousy is a desirable attribute in God. This is because for us, jealousy is almost always wrong. But jealousy can be a positive thing, too. Paul says to the Corinthians, “I feel a divine jealousy for you” (2 Corinthians 11:2). Here the sense is “earnestly protective or watchful.” This is the jealousy we attribute to God. He protects his honor. God deserves all honor and glory from his creation, and it is right for him to seek this honor.

Exodus 34:14
Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

Praise God that He is Jealous
He is Jealous because he is the supreme being in all the universe. Praise God because he is the most glorious one. Praise him that he has revealed himself. 

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 those leading our city, state and nation.
  • Ask God to speak as you read and meditate.

SCRIPTURE READING:

2 Corinthians 4 The Message

Trial and Torture
4 1-2 Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.

3-4 If our Message is obscure to anyone, it’s not because we’re holding back in any way. No, it’s because these other people are looking or going the wrong way and refuse to give it serious attention. All they have eyes for is the fashionable god of darkness. They think he can give them what they want, and that they won’t have to bother believing a Truth they can’t see. They’re stone-blind to the dayspring brightness of the Message that shines with Christ, who gives us the best picture of God we’ll ever get.

5-6 Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.

7-12 If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!

13-15 We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!

16-18 So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

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

SCRIPTURE REFLECTION:
How do we see what is unseen? What does it matter so much that we fix our “eyes” on this unseen? We see what is unseen by the “eyes of faith.” Not faith as in wishful thinking but faith in confidence in the promises of God. What God has said and he has promised we can be fully confident in. So if God has said it, it is as good as done. We can see with our faith what we cannot see with our physical eyes. Why does this matter so much? Because what is seen with our physical eyes is passing away. You can try to grab it but it is done. Time is flying. Life is speeding by. The photochemical “snapshots” your eyes and mind are continually taking as you “see” the world around you is always a view of the past. Once your mind conceives it, it’s not there anymore. That millisecond is gone forever. What you see with your faith eyes is coming and it will not pass away. What you see with your faith eyes is permanent, substantial, and guaranteed. Close your eyes. Now “look” at your life and the world around you. What do you see?

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