Tuesday, April 3

Living letters of Christ

Scripture: Judges 17-18, Psalm 89, 2 Corinthians 3

2 Corinthians 3:1-3 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, recognized and read by everyone.  3 It is clear that you are Christ’s letter,  produced by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God—not on stone tablets but on tablets that are hearts of flesh.

Observation

In the ancient world, people carried letters of recommendation or reference with them.  The letters served to introduce them and vouch for their character.  There are many examples of this in the NT, for example Romans 16, 1 Corinthians 16:3, Acts 18:27.  We do something similar today with reference letters for work.

Paul was accused of not being an apostle because he didn’t bring letters from Jerusalem.  He responds by saying that the Corinthians themselves are his letter.  They are in Christ because of him.  Their lives show the authenticity of Paul’s commission.  They are living letters of Christ, written not on paper with ink, but on human hearts by the Spirit.

Application

Each of us is a living letter of Christ.  What does your life say about Jesus?  What has He written in your heart and in your life?

Churches exist to produce disciples—followers of Jesus.  What kind of followers are we producing?  The real measure of a ministry is what kind of people we produce.  Are we producing apprentices of Jesus, people who think, talk, and act like Jesus?  If our church members are our letters, what do they say?

Takeaway #1: pay attention to the kind of disciples we are making!

There is an awesome personal responsibility here.  I am a living letter of Christ, and I may be the only Bible some people read.  Others will form their opinion of Jesus based on what they read in my life.  I am a walking advertisement for Jesus—so is every believer.  What kind of advertisement am I?  What do others read in my life?  One bumper sticker reads: “Jesus, save me from your followers.”  Ghandi reportedly said, “I like your Jesus; I don’t like your Christians who claim to follow Jesus.”  Let that not be said of me!

Takeaway #2: pay attention to the kind of disciple I am!

Prayer: Lord, we are living letters for Jesus.  Help us make more and better disciples—and help me be a letter you’d be proud to share with others.