for we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. [2 corinthians 2:17]
loving to speak the truth
speaking the truth in love
as we’ve been looking at our lives these past several days, evaluating what consumes us, defines us, and is emanated from us like an aroma, we hopefully will start to feel convicted about how we come across to others. how often do you keep the truth to yourself for fear of coming across as pushy, nerdy, a goody-two-shoes who is uncool, and unable to fit in? i’m embarrassed at the numbers in my own life. guilt sets in. so let’s start there…
as i evaluate what consumes my life, i remember that there is forgiveness that is stronger, broader, and more saturating than any idol in my life. if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 john 1:9) i’m forgiven for the worldly things taking up my heart. i know i am sealed in the Father by the Holy Spirit (eph 1:13), so when he shows me my sin, i know i can return to him in joy and confidence, and find grace. every time. (heb 4:16)
in that joy, in that confidence, and in that grace, God then calls us to go. go and be a fragrance to believers. go and be a fragrance to the lost. when he reorients our hearts to be consumed with his glory and his truth, how can we help but radiate his glory? it will be burning on our lips. it will be glowing in our eyes. it will be drifting off of us like a perfume, and to those standing anywhere near us, it will either be received and life giving, or rejected and death confirming. it won’t be out of duty, trying to earn God’s favor through hard work. it won’t be for our own glory or gain, to feel righteous, to be seen as wise, or for status among other believers. it will be out of an awe filled, thankful heart and a passion for God’s glory to be spread. it will be out of love for lost souls who were created in the image of God. it will be out of a sense of urgency, knowing they are headed for eternal separation from the One who is life. the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. (matt 9:37) the world is waiting for the hope that we have.
so as we sit in the presence of God today, let’s lay these things before him…
praise him for his faithfulness to show us our sin.
thank him for calling us to repentance and for his consistent grace.
confess to him any lack of awe for his character and glory.
confess any lack of desire for his word and lack of love for the gospel.
confess any lack of love for the lost or urgency for their salvation.
ask to be consumed with God’s glory, God’s truth, God’s love, God’s good news.
ask for boldness to take God’s glory to the world in love.
you are the light of the world. a city set on a hill cannot be hidden. nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. in the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. matt 5:14-16