What does it mean to be a good Christian? To a lot of folks it means going to church, believing the Bible, being baptized, and believing in Jesus. These qualities are very important for every Christian’s life, but the Jesus way of life is much more than this. We may need to seriously consider moving to a new level of excellence in Christian living. Please consider 2 Corinthians 4:7-18. We may discover there is much more to living the Jesus way of life than we thought.
First, the Jesus way of life means our inner condition is more important than our outward appearance. The scripture says in verse 16 that our outward appearance is wasting away. As the Apostle Paul refers to our physical existence in verse 7, he says our bodies are jars of clay. In Paul’s day items of value were stored in clay jars. A jar of clay was ugly and fragile. Our bodies can be ugly and fragile, but, there is a treasure contained inside. It is the treasure of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the all-surpassing power of God that is in us because we know Jesus Christ. We are not crushed, not in despair, not abandoned, and not totally defeated, because of the all surpassing power of God. Paul is recalling his experience at Lystra, when he was struck down by mean people with large stones, and left for dead, but he revived and continued his ministry.
A fan of a former heavy weight boxing champion said of this champion, “He was a great fighter to watch. His ring style should be a life lesson to us all. He never gave up. Even if he was losing, he would fight to the bitter end. If he was knocked down, he would get up, if he could.” This lesson is a good one for us. When we are temporarily knocked down, we can get up with the power of Christ’s gospel in us.
Second, the future with Christ is more important than the present. See verse 17, the present troubles are light and momentary. They are insignificant by comparison to our eternal reward of glory and honor that will be ours in heaven. Our future with Christ makes all the difference! We remain faithful in the midst of trials and troubles by remembering our reward with Jesus is a certainty.
I have asked a lot of mothers why they chose to go through the ordeal of pregnancy and the delivery. They all said, “I kept saying to myself it will be worth it in the end.”
Third, the unseen is more important than what is seen. See verse 18, “what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” So, we fix our hopes on what is unseen and is eternal.
When I was a teenager down on the farm, my dad kept telling me, he would buy me a horse. So, for my birthday one year, my dad brought home a saddle. He said, “Happy Birthday!” I was excited, not because of the saddle, but because of what was unseen. I knew the horse, which was much more important, would be coming! If we are going to make it through our trials and troubles, we as Christians need to focus our attention on the unseen reality of our future with Christ. We will go to heaven! That is the most important fact of our future. This unseen reality will keep the optimism in our heart, and the joy in our life!
Use this time to reevaluate what living the Jesus way of life is all about. It means focusing on our inner condition more than our outward appearance, looking to our future with Christ more than dwelling on the present, and paying more attention to things that are eternal than that which is temporary. Let’s all recommit our lives to the Jesus way of life.
Posted on Fri, March 27, 2020
by Kim Hayes