Exactly! That was a lot, but there was so much good stuff in our reading today! [Alert: longer devotion than normal!] I’ll reflect a bit on three different things, questions actually, that spoke to me: where we are now, what we can look forward to, and what we can do in the meantime? That pretty much covers the gamut of our journey of “Seeking the Kingdom of God.”
Do you ever feel fragile? It’s an interesting discussion Paul has here as he reminds us of the great message we all hold. Sometimes we feel inadequate to even speak about it. God’s word contains so many life-changing opportunities for people to experience. I heard tell today of some women who are reading through the Bible for the first time ever. “Everybody needs to know about this!” One of them exclaimed.
Yet, we can feel weak or inadequate when it comes to sharing the truth. We may even be fearful that others won’t hear us or believe us. Whether we feel weak or not, we have a job to do. “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.”
I don’t know about you, but I love showing God off to others. When we accomplish some feat, we clearly could not have done by our own power, we’re able to give God the credit. Feeling those supernatural abilities can be exhilarating, especially when we are feeling weak. Knowing that God is working inside us can give us all the strength and assurance we need.
God has it all worked out. His plans are quite something. We just need to be paying attention so we can act on what God has for us to do before it’s too late. “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.”
Isn’t it great that we’ll be given new bodies someday? I never have truly understood how this all works. If we have new bodies, how will we recognize our loved ones in heaven? I suppose in the same way that Jesus’ own disciples finally recognized him in his “new body.”
With each passing year, I have been watching my own earthly body showing signs of aging. I’m sagging a little here and there and find myself aching from exertion that didn’t used to bother me. Like many other people, I’m doing everything I can to stay healthy.
In fact, one of the 5 Hacks to a Supercharged Life I share with audiences is “Self-Care.” Let me ask you. What are you eating – is it healthy? Are you getting plenty of rest each night or do you drag around looking forward to being under the covers again? How active are you — do you exercise to get your blood pumping, or are you more sedentary?
I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to my new body. What will it look like? It’s quite exciting. I feel sorry for the people who are afraid of death, unsure of their destiny. I love this verse. “Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.” But since we don’t know when that day will come, we need to live boldly for Christ.
What comes to mind for you when you think about being an ambassador for Christ? We need to be careful not to focus on ourselves. As ambassadors, we represent Jesus. We need to make him the focus.
“He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” What does it mean to you to “live for Christ?” Take some time to reflect on that today. This is what we can be doing every day as we seek the Kingdom of God.
Who do you know that needs Jesus in their life? How will you respond to them after reading this verse? “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
Let’s pray. Lord, empower me to be your ambassador as I live each day for you. Help me to see the people who need to hear a word from you. Use me to encourage them to come back to you. While I look forward to the new body you are preparing for me, help me to care for the one I have here and never miss an opportunity to share my faith with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.