Week of August 18 - Day 3

Day 3 Read: 2 Corinthians 4:1-6

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. 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.

Reflect: What character traits did Paul emphasize for Christians in these verses? What is Integrity? Why is integrity so important to sharing the Christian message in a dark world? Why is a refusal to compromise the gospel an issue of integrity? Why might we be tempted to compromise the message of the gospel today?

Consider: Paul’s confidence that true preaching focused on the glory of Christ rather than on its ministers rested in the fact that just as God first created light, God … made his light shine in their hearts. When God sent Christ, he acted much as he did when he created physical light. Jesus spoke of himself as the “light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5) and taught that his followers were also the “light of the world” (Matt. 5:14). The New Testament also describes life in Christ as walking in the light (1 John 2:8–10).3

Respond: In verse 5, Paul said that we are slaves because of Jesus. What does that mean in your own words?

How does proclaiming Jesus lead us to a life of service of others? How do we make sure Christ is honored, instead of ourselves, when we serve?

3 Richard L. Pratt Jr, I & II Corinthians, vol. 7, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 336.