Monday’s Column: Neal At The Cross
Jesus chose imperfect, flawed people like you and me to help Him spread the gospel. It is easy for us to think that only the super-spiritual, seemingly-perfect can be effective, but the opposite is true. None of us is too spiritual or perfect, though we should always be striving to be better and do more for the One who gave everything to save us.
Paul is continuing his discussion about the ministry he and his co-workers have when he pens 2 Corinthians 4. As he does, he speaks candidly about himself and them–the messengers. As Christians charged with carrying out the Great Commission, we should all put ourselves in his shoes and understand better who God uses in His service.
GOD USES PEOPLE OF INTEGRITY (1-4)
Character does not demand perfection, but it does require a conscience shaped by Scripture and a heart softened by it. This leads one to stay encouraged no matter what is encountered (1). It also leads to honesty and trustworthiness (2). We will conduct our lives righteously, and we will handle God’s Word faithfully. People can trust who we are and, thus, what we say. We may be rejected by the spiritually blind, but we won’t be a roadblock to their faith.
GOD USES PEOPLE OF HUMILITY (5-7)
Paul gives a helpful reminder. It’s not about us, it’s about Christ. He’s the source of light, glory, and power. We’re the plain, fragile pottery God uses to demonstrate His surpassing greatness.
GOD USES PEOPLE OF DURABILITY (8-12)
To be His servants, we have to weather storms. Those storms may be those we would avoid if we didn’t serve Him, but we understand the importance of our mission. We won’t let affliction, perplexities, persecution, and threats keep us from doing His work! God does not need spiritual sissies in His service. We draw our courage and strength from Him, and it causes Him to shine out through us!
GOD USES PEOPLE OF STABILITY (13-15)
What causes us to be stable? Faith! Because we are truly convicted of the truth, we cannot help but speak. We have faith in the reality of the resurrection, so we teach and share the message that brings grace to more and more people. This leads more people to give thanks to God and causes God to be glorified.
If I want to be a faithful servant of Jesus, I need to watch my personal conduct, lower myself, endure, and be trustworthy. That does not require perfection, but it does require dedication! But God depends on imperfect people like you and me! We cannot let Him down.