Monday, April 30, 2012


The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away.  Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life?  If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! … which remains forever!  Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away.  2 Corinthians 3:7-13 (NLT)

As a believer in Christ, you have a new life, generated and empowered by the Holy Spirit in you.  The old way of living, the old life, lived according to the Law of Moses, which included the Ten Commandments, only led to death for us.  We found ourselves condemned for breaking the Law.  It’s glory has faded. 
Now that we have Christ living in us in the Person of His Spirit, we have a new way to live, a new life.  Look at the advantages of this new life: 
-        It doesn’t fade away. 
-        It’s forever. 
-        The Holy Spirit keeps on giving us “liveliness”.  He keeps giving us a continual flow of energy, encouragement, and refreshment. 
-        The new life has made us right with God. 
-        We are growing more and more righteous in our everyday living, so that our way of life becomes more right with God.
With these advantages Paul says we have great confidence and courage.  We’re not like Moses who veiled his face and God’s glory because he didn’t want the people to see that it was fading from his face.  Instead we have the glory of God in us – the Spirit and the life - and we should therefore live confidently and courageously the new Christ-like life we have. 
Take courage and live confidently in front of others with an unveiled faith, reflecting the glory of Christ.

Monday, April 23, 2012


When Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gadarenes, two men who were possessed by demons met him. They lived in a cemetery and were so violent that no one could go through that area.  They began screaming at him, “Why are you interfering with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before God’s appointed time?”  There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding in the distance.  So the demons begged, “If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs.”  “All right, go!” Jesus commanded them. So the demons came out of the men and entered the pigs, and the whole herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water.  The herdsmen fled to the nearby town, telling everyone what happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the entire town came out to meet Jesus, but they begged him to go away and leave them alone.  Matthew 8:28-34 (NLT)

The town’s people and the herdsmen were more concerned about their own things, such as their pigs, than about the lives of others being changed for the better.  And though the herd of pigs may have been the livelihood of the herdsmen, if they had let Jesus replace the pigs with something better for their provision, they would have had a better life.  Instead they begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone.
Some people are so self-absorbed and concerned about their own interests that they will actually resist the good Jesus would do in their lives.  When you try to help others move toward Jesus, to welcome Him into their lives and discover the change He can make in their lives and the good He would do, they sometimes resist.  And that can be discouraging to you.  But don’t let their resistance stop you from going to others to give them the good news of what Christ can do.  Instead direct your attention toward someone else who may be receptive to the good God wants to do in his or her life.
Sometimes God directs us to those who are willing to hear by directing us away from those who aren’t willing.  The point is that we keep going to people so that God can steer us to the ones who are ready to hear the good news of Christ.

Monday, April 16, 2012


I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 1:12-14 (NLT)
Paul gives a very brief testimony of His conversion experience.  He was considered faithful to be put into service for the Lord.  God was wiling to entrust a ministry to him.  Paul had formerly acted wrongly toward God and people because he didn’t believe God.  He didn’t have spiritual sight before his salvation.
God strengthened him to believe, called him to serve Him, and showed him mercy.  Through Christ he experienced the generosity and grace of God.  And God gave him faith to trust God and love with which to love Him. 
According to the Parable of the Talents (Matt. 25:14-30) God expects us to manage well what He has entrusted to us.  Jesus concludes the lesson of the parable by saying in verse 29: “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”  
God has entrusted a “ministry” to you.  He’s given you natural and spiritual abilities to be used in service for Him.  He gives you the strength to do what He’s given you to do.  You’ve been appointed to serve.  He’s given you grace and He continually give you the grace for each day to serve Him.  He even gives us the faith we need to trust Him and the love we need to love Him.  He is generous beyond all comparison. 
The response on our part to God’s generosity is faith.  Now we must be faithful to Him because He was willing to entrust something of His to our management. 
Use the abilities and opportunities He’s given you for the cause of Christ.  And He will strengthen you and be merciful to you all along the way.