Living Epistle

You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God. (2 Corinthians 3:3)

God’s love letter to us, the holy Bible, tells us that we are letters of our Lord Jesus Christ, letters that are not written by human hands but by the Holy Spirit. So the question we all must answer is this: What does my letter say to those who are reading it? It has been rightly observed that the life of the Christian believer will be the only Bible many people ever read. People are reading you to learn about Jesus Christ.

How does it make you feel to know you are one of the Lord’s living epistles? Do you feel great about that? Or . . . maybe not so great? Maybe you feel a little guilty?

As disciples of Jesus, we must remember that as soon as the unbelieving world hears our profession of faith, they begin to watch closely to see if our walk matches our talk. The way we live out our faith paints the clearest picture of the kind of God we love and serve. The way we live out our faith will either draw people toward Jesus or repel them. There is no middle ground.

How attractive have you been making God in your words and your deeds lately?

The key to being the most effective letter of the Lord is to pray at the outset of every day that God will make the truths of the Gospel to be manifest in your life. Jesus is our model, because He was the perfection of the Lord’s Letter in the flesh. He lived out the truths of the Gospel perfectly, yet even in His perfection as the living Word of God, some were attracted and some were repelled. Some received and some rejected; some walked with Him and some walked away.

There’s a lesson for you and me in that truth: Our focus should not be on the reception we receive when others read us; rather, our focus is to be on prayerfully striving to make the message contained within our own living letter consistent with God’s Gospel of love and grace.

Here is one of the simplest ways to look at the content of the Lord’s Letter: It should be written in the shape of a cross. The first thing people need to read must be written vertically: How we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. The next thing people need to read must be written horizontally: How we love others . . . all others. We don’t just love the lovely and the lovable. We love all others as we recall the love that was poured out upon us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). When people read a message of love in us as we live out the Lord’s letter — love for God and love for people — they are receiving the most important message they will ever read.

Do you recognize what a great privilege it is to be the Lord’s living epistle? Jesus has chosen to write His message of perfect love on imperfect parchment paper, and He has set it before the watching world for everyone to read. Remember, Christian, His mercies are new every morning, so we are given a new opportunity every day to write a new letter of love for the glory of our Lord.

What will the Spirit of the living God write upon you today?

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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