Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 02-07-23

Intro: Would you describe yourself as resilient? Resilience is a powerful and important quality for believers to understand and develop if we are going to follow Jesus the Christ [Anointed One]. When we are resilient, we have the capacity to see and deal with stressful pressures or life changes and use them as a way to grow deeper spiritually. We are changed by tragedy, loss, and hardship, but the Spirit makes us capable of staying focused on Christ rather than fixated on the adversity we are facing at the time.
Scripture teaches Satan is the Adversary of God. In difficult times, we need to stay focused on the love of the Savior, so our faith remains strong and resilient. We are taught by the Word, the Kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of this world are always in the midst of a battle between good and evil. So, we should not be taken unaware when we find ourselves experiencing the tangible effects of that spiritual war, because Jesus (indwelling you) gives the world a taste of the Kingdom of God.

Christ makes us strong when we are weak, brokenhearted, or struggling with the pressures of life; he wants to reveal himself through us to those around us. Christ is our sustaining power; our River of Life. This is the Gospel message, my friends—the Gospel is all about the “living treasure” inside. For this reason, we leave sinful living behind and choose to witness to the holiness and glory of the One within.

In our passage today, the Apostle Paul reinforces this understanding by casting our focus on Christ as our priceless treasure and not on our fragile human bodies—clay jars. Think about the mystery of God’s plan for a minute; believers hold the righteous character and power of God so how we choose to live matters greatly! The Almighty God has mercifully chosen to live and dwell among our human weakness in order to show what the divine nature can do in a surrendered life. This understanding should motivate us and keep us strong, today, because God’s righteous power is at work within us making us more than conquerors (Ro 8:37).

2 Corinthians 4:1-12 NLT
1 Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. 2 We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

3 If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. 4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
5 You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

7 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.

8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.

Prayer: Father, thank you for making believers your dwelling place. May we be mindful, today, of your presence within us and our need to remain resilient. Holy Spirit, be our righteous power and keep us focused on Christ! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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