Posted: 20 Jun 2011 01:00 AM PDT
by Jon Walker
Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Corinthians 4:1 (NIV)
My youngest son sometimes gets creative with his use of words. My favorite example is when he said, “Dad, you nervoused me!”—meaning, “You made me nervous!”
I use this illustration to help you remember Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 4:1, where he says, in effect, “We have been ‘mercied’ by God.”
You have been mercied by God!
The flood of God’s mercy sweeps us toward an intimate relationship with him, the strong current pushing us into oneness with our gracious and merciful Creator.
And so Paul says, because of God’s great mercy, we now have this ministry of reconciliation, a ministry to tell people the good news of God’s grace, news that will lead to God-transformed lives.
It’s a ministry of monumental task—a God-task—but Paul says we need not lose heart, for we are energized by the very Spirit of the Living God.
* This means God works through you. You aren’t called to a God-works-beside-me ministry; the Holy Spirit, the Jesus-deposit, works from within you.
* This means God works for your success. Paul says not to lose heart because, in faith, you can agree you are God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works . . .” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).
Jon Walker is the author of Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s ‘The Cost of Discipleship’ and Growing with Purpose. He has served on staff at Saddleback Church and Purpose Driven Ministries and is currently the managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotionals and the Ministry Toolbox. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article is copyrighted 2011 by Jon Walker. Used by permission.