Day 29

The Light of the Gospel

from the 1 & 2 Corinthians reading plan


2 Corinthians 4:1-18, Romans 6:5-7, 2 Timothy 4:3

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:1-18, Romans 6:5-7, 2 Timothy 4:3

My husband and I have a saying in our home, “Fidelity (or faithfulness) to the Word of God and not to an outcome.” We say it to one another and to others often, because the truth is we are often more interested in controlling the outcome of a situation than we are in abiding by the Word of God.

We want success.
We want freedom.
We want peace.
We want “the scoop.”
We want to be seen rightly.
We want to defend our actions.
We want time to ourselves.
We don’t want to confront sin.
We don’t want to do hard things.
We don’t want to be held responsible.

How then, we usually find ourselves asking, can we get the desired outcome out of any situation?

I don’t think we’re alone in this. It’s human nature to spin the story, cast blame, make excuses. From the beginning of time, cunning words have been practiced and God’s words have been tampered with (Genesis 3). All it takes is a cursory glance around at the state of the Church, the government, family, and my own heart to see the practice of cunning words abounding and God’s Word still being tampered with. We are all playing chess with people, circumstances, God’s Word, and His timing—trying to get the outcome we desire or avoid the outcome we don’t want.

Within today’s passage, this is what strikes me most about Paul’s words to the Corinthians: “For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for [Jesus’] sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5). The main thing we’re doing when we try to control the outcome, hide the truth, and circumvent the hard things, is proclaim our own glory and significance. We’re trying to make ourselves look good, look right (or at least less wrong). We’re trying to raise ourselves in the estimation of others.

But look again at what Paul tells the Corinthians: “God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of the darkness,’ has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus” (v. 6). This is a powerful picture, if we pay attention.

God’s glory (Christ Jesus) shines into our hearts (darkened by sin and brokenness), giving us the light of knowledge. As we’re tying ourselves into knots trying to control the narrative and the outcome, God is shining the light of Jesus into our dark hearts and giving us knowledge, the very thing we lack. (For if we had it, there would be no need to feel anxious about outcomes, because we’d always make the perfect decision.) And what knowledge is this? Look back to the beginning of the chapter:

Therefore, since we have this ministry because we were shown mercy, we do not give up. Instead, we have renounced secret and shameful things, not acting deceitfully or distorting the word of God, but commending ourselves before God to everyone’s conscience by an open display of the truth” (vv. 1–2).

Do you want to walk in all of life with a good outcome? Do you want to be above reproach? A worshiper of the one true God? A humble, faithful, kind, gentle person? Let the light of Christ Jesus shine on your darkened heart, the one more prone to seeking out its own way than making way for God. And, having walked faithfully and according to God’s Word, let others see the outcomes in your life as they truly are—as someone holding fast to God’s truth, not their own, whose heart is alight with Christ Jesus—even if the outcomes of your life look foolish to the world. Your fidelity is to His Word and His will first.

SRT-Corinthians-Shareimage-Day29

Lore Ferguson Wilbert is a writer, thinker, and learner. She blogs at Sayable, and tweets and instagrams at @lorewilbert. She has a husband named Nate, a puppy named Harper Nelle, and too many books to read in one lifetime.

Post Comments (57)

57 thoughts on "The Light of the Gospel"

  1. Monica Davis says:

    Thank god for the light of his word!

  2. Elaine says:

    “let light shine out of darkness” followed by Paul comparing our hearts to clay jars just makes me think. What good is putting a light inside a clay jar unless it has some cracks in it? Going through hard times makes so much sense when you think of it this way. If you have the light of Jesus in your heart, be prepared for God to make some holes in your pottery so others can see the light that shines within you. And if you think that sounds cruel, remind yourself “everything is for your benifit, as grace extends through more and more people, it may cause thanksgiving to increase to the glory of God”

    1. Elaine says:

      i just realized job is the perfect example. God put ALOT of cracks in jobs pottery but because he kept the faith and glorified God through all the hard times, he has one of the brightest lights for us to look to in our hard times.

  3. Chi Obasi says:

    I had a difficult encounter with God yesterday at my church and this passage really spoke to some of that for me and affirmed what I needed to learn and know moving forward: that it’s not my will but His that I need to focus on. So good!

  4. Katie Morrison says:

    Beautiful. Reminds me of my daughter’s Cinderella movie, “Have courage and be kind” I look at this woman and think about how gentle, kind and beautiful she is, despite what she wanted to say and do, she was gracious. That was what made her stand out. In the same way, putting our desires aside and letting Jesus shine through attracts others to us, to Him.

  5. Kelly Hock says:

    Well… Today I am holding on to this truth of Jesus taking the outcome. I feel God telling me to be happy and content with where our life is at this moment. Sometimes I hold too tightly to future changes and dreams instead of focusing on Christ and being content. So I will push my hopes of the outcome to Jesus and begin to focus on the contentment of where Jesus has me now. Lord have mercy and grace as I begin this new mindset.

    1. Britt says:

      Kelly I relate to you so much. Just last night I was deeply sadden by the urge to start a family, but I know that is not the place where God has called my husband and I to be yet. I felt shameful as I knew I wasn’t being content with all that God had already given me, I wanted MORE. I am working on this daily to just grow where I am planted now, instead of quickly trying to rush to the next phase of my life. I am praying that we will both be able to use this passage to help us with this struggle.

  6. Sarah D. says:

    I looked up treasure in jars of clay and found this awesome explanation on it that was so good, definitely recommend reading it: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/its-good-to-be-a-jar-of-clay
    I love how she mentioned that it only takes a slight push on jars of clay for them to slip, fall, and break. That is so true of me. I look for satisfaction in the wrong places, and as a result I fall. But thank you Lord that you are putting me back togegher, piece by piece, and shining your light through the broken bits, through my imperfections. You are sufficient in my weakness. Thank you for loving me in the middle of my sin.

    1. Candy says:

      Thank you SO much Sarah for sharing that link! My kids are 30 & 33 but this still is so true to my life as a mom! Especially now that at their ages I don’t have the control I used to!!

  7. Sarah D. says:

    Wow so so good. I need to open up the doors of my broken heart and embrace the love and light that I already have in Jesus. I looked up treasure in jars of clay and found this awesome little explanation on it that was so good, definitely recommend reading it: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/its-good-to-be-a-jar-of-clay
    I love how she mentioned that it only takes a slight push on jars of clay for them to slip, fall, and break. That is so true of me. I look for satisfaction in the wrong places, and as a result I fall. But thank you Lord that you are putting me back togegher, piece by piece, and shining your light through the broken bits, through my imperfections. You are sufficient in my weakness. Thank you for loving me in the middle of my sin

  8. Brenna Riethmiller says:

    This is my first day on this app doing the study. I am looking forward to encouragement every day. I struggle with staying focused to have a devotional time each day but it is so needed in my life.

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      We’re so glad that you’re joining us Brenna, welcome! -Margot, The SRT Team

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