Sermons

Summary: To know that my active faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ is making or at least can make a difference in this world motivates me to keep on serving Christ and seeking to influence others to do likewise.

REMADE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR CHRIST

The Father’s Legacy Is Reflected By His Children’s Loveliness Not Ugliness

Corinthians 3:1-12

The flip of a coin will decide who gets the ball first in the Super Bowl game. Will it be heads or tails? As for me, it matters not, simply because there is nothing at stake for me personally nor will the outcome affect me in any way.

In the game of life, however, the outcome of my never-ending journey does depend, not on a coin flip, but on whether or not I “take the ball and run with it” as I am instructed to do by my Coach.

What I have learned in life is that, just as there are two sides to every coin, there are two sides to every life story . . . two ways to go in life (the high and the low, or “the broad and the narrow”) . . . two masters we may serve for the rest of our lives (Lord God or false gods) . . . and, the fact of the matter is that each of us must choose whose story we believe, which way we will go, and whom we shall serve.

Choosing to serve the Lord God, as did Joshua, there enters into the equation yet another choice: Whose endorsement is more important to you? Would it be the endorsement of the Father, or, the endorsement of highly visible personalities whose faces and voices are paraded before us in various ways?

Obviously, a child of God cares a lot more about the Father’s endorsement than anyone else’s. Yes, we certainly hope that others respect our convictions and testimonies, and benefit from them, but our chief aim is to glorify God - by making a difference for Christ.

God our Father made us, then remade us, to be adopted into the Family of God, to have fellowship with Him and with one another, to be ministers of God’s grace . . . the Gospel . . . the New Covenant - 2 Corinthians 3:1-3 . . . 3:4-12 . . .

The situation in Corinth was like that which existed in Galatia . Paul found himself constantly having to defend himself and his ministry against false charges hurled at him – that: he was not a legitimate apostle . . . he was nothing more than a boaster (2 Corinthians 3:1), even though they who accused him were the ones at fault - “making personal gain by corrupting the word of God” (2 Corinthians 2:17).

Paul’s enemies hated him because he was not one of them! Paul would not do as they had done – pervert the gospel to fit their own ideological agendas. His enemies treated him disrespectfully, and dismissively: “Who do you think you are?”

The old apostle turned their taunt on its head: “The results of my ministry suffice as my letters of recommendation”! Ouch!

Would you agree that the authentication of any ministry lies in its obvious positive impact on the lives of people?

There were Corinthians whose lives had been transformed by the gospel of Christ because their hearts had been “inscribed” not with ink but with the Spirit of God (You can’t get a more indelible inscription than that of the Spirit of God) - all because of Paul’s testimony and preaching, in spite of the odds!

Recipients of, and responders to, the Gospel preached by Paul were indeed “living letters” of recommendation (They were living proof that God was working through Paul’s ministry to bring about good)!

Professing Christians are the only Bibles some folks will ever read. Someone once asked: “What if the type is crooked? What if the print blurred?” A poem by Paul Gilbert encourages believers to “write” a persuasive Christian testimony with their lives:

“You’re writing a ‘gospel’, a chapter each day, by the deeds that you do, by the words that you say. Folks read what you write, whether faithless or true; say, what is the ‘gospel’ according to you?” But, someone might ask:

“How can I be expected to write a gospel according to me”? Here’s how: We are not called to write for God, but to let God write through us - thereby making an indelible impression on minds and hearts of folks searching for answers to dilemmas they find themselves in! We may not know “what” the answer is, but we know Who!

Truth be told: No one is personally adequate to carry on the ministry of the Spirit. Adequacy comes from God. Perhaps you feel less competent than others . . . lack confidence . . . feel ill equipped to serve the Lord? Remember this: God not only sent himself to us, He sent himself into us!

As believers, we have the Spirit of the living God residing in our hearts! He empowers you and me with competence and confidence.

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