1. Message:  In 2 Corinthians chapter 3 Paul was challenging the idea of letters of recommendation. False apostles had been obtaining these letters in an attempt to authenticate themselves. Paul argued why anyone would need a letter like that when the fruit of ministry is obvious through the change in people. I think in our world we would be tempted to see this letter of authenticity as a pastor’s license. Though I agree that a pastor’s license is not what makes someone a pastor I think this can go much deeper than this. Many Christians look at ministry as something done by clergy, so it somehow excuses the rest of us from doing ministry. Paul uses the veil of Moses in comparison. Moses wore a veil to cover his face after spending time with God because he was the mediator to the children of Israel and they could not handle the glory of God shining on his face. We no longer have a mediator between us and God because Jesus provided us with a face to face encounter and this represents the responsibility that comes with meeting God face to face. We are no longer able to pin our responsibilities on a mediator or a pastor. Paul also made another comparison to the Jews as being veiled and unable to see the truth. God himself veiled their faces for a season. They can’t see the truth and therefore can’t share the truth. In contrast, we are called to spend time with God face to face so that our illuminated faces will be a light to the world.
  2. Command: Spend time with God face to face and share the gospel.
  3. Promise: When we spend time with God our lives are illuminates like Moses’s face was after he spent time with God.
  4. Warning: If we think that the responsibility of spreading the gospel belongs to pastors and clergy, we won’tmeet with God face to face ourselves.  We will we not be illuminated without the sunlight (sonlight) so we will not  grow. If we are not growing we will not help anyone else grow either.
  5. Application: This really made me think about how many of us won’t start leading unless we are given a position of leadership in the church. I remember a friend of mine who was very upset with the church because she saw a need for helping in a particular situation and it wasn’t being done. She clearly had vision and some great ideas to implement something, so I cheered her on and encouraged her to organize it and let us all help her make it happen. She didn’t like that answer. She wanted me to tell the church leadership so the church would do it. We don’t need a position or title in order to be the church. We are all called to work the ministry, and most importantly, we are all called to spend time with God every day so that it shows on us visibly. People should be able to tell by looking at our lives that we spend time with Jesus. Those of us who read every day need to make sure that we are also praying every day and not just going through the motions and being religious. My challenge to myself today is to evaluate how much of Jesus is showing in my life. Do I read my bible and then go to work acting as negatively as everyone else or does my time with Jesus show up in my attitude and my work ethic? How are my responses to adversity or irritation? Am I hesitant to share Jesus because my life is a contradiction? Am I sharing Jesus while living a contradictory life and causing a stumbling block to onlookers?

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