Read: II Corinthians 3:1-18
Think: Paul writes in II Corinthians 3:1, “Clearly, you are a letter from Christ…” This is a call by a pastor to a church to “represent the Lord Jesus Christ” because others are assessing God by their lives. I recently began rereading William Wilberforce’s classic book, Real Christianity (1797). Wilberforce was a British politician, a Christian leader of his generation, and an outspoken advocate for the prohibition of slavery. His book challenged the status quo of the Christian men and women of his era. Wilberforce ended his book with the following challenge, “Let true Christians…boldly assert the cause of Christ in an age when so many who bear the name of Christian are ashamed of Him. Let them accept the duty to serve, if not save, their country. Let them serve not by political interference, but by that sure and radical benefit of restoring the influence of true religion and of raising the standard of morality. Let them continually pray for their country at this time of national difficulty.”
Act: William Wilberforce and Paul, Christian leaders who lived centuries apart, had the same message for the church: the way you live within your society impacts how others view Christ! One British commentary suggests these verses serve as both inspiration and warning, adding, “…every individual is an open letter for Jesus Christ. All Christians, whether they like it or not, are advertisements for Christianity. The honor of Christ is in the hands of His followers.” Print or write out Wilberforce’s quote. Then circle each word or phrase that reminds you of yourself. Underline each word or phrase that reminds you of our 21st-century culture. Put a box around each word or phrase that inspires you to become more like “a letter from Christ” for your generation.
Pray: Dear Jesus, help me be Your living letter. Let me represent you by the way I live— with integrity, consistency, purity, wisdom, and patience. Remind me how often people evaluate You by the way I live. Give me the strength to sacrifice my comfort for a greater purpose. I love You. Amen.
Be full of faith today!