Here's another in my most recent Sunday Scripture series. I've been
posting about my simple study of a little devotional journal titled Reflections: The Woman God Sees,
by Jane L. Fryar -- a journal gifted me by some dear young friends. It
has a daily
devotional one works through -- about a month's worth or so. The daily devotions were a
blessing to me when I worked through the book, so I've been sharing
here. Several readers have told me they're enjoying it, and so we
continue. I think there are perhaps seven devotions left. I may
possibly switch to something more seasonal for December and then back to
these again. We will see!
The Scripture for today is 2 Corinthians 3:3. Here's the assignment: "If you and your life are 'a letter from Christ', to whom are you being sent? What will your attitudes, words, and actions communicate to those who receive you?" I chose to SOAP 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 as I considered this assignment.
S= "Ye are our epistle, written in our hearts, know and read of all men;
"Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)
O= 2 Corinthians is a very personal, autobiographical letter written by Paul. Scofield explains, "A wave of distrust in relation to Paul had now swept through the church. Some said he was not sincere; others even questioned whether he had apostolic authority. Consequently, Paul here defends his authority by placing before the church overwhelming evidence of his sincerity in serving God." In the Scofield Reference Bible, chapter 3 is titled "The ministry: accredited."
A cross-reference for "Ye are our epistle" (verse 2) is 1 Corinthians 9:2 -- "If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you; for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord."
The phrase "tables of stone" obviously refers to the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written.
"And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to Me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written: that thou mayest teach them." (Exodus 24:12)
Cross-references for "tables of the heart" (verse 3) include:
"But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After these days, saith the LORD, I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be My people." (Jeremiah 31:33)
"And I will give them one heart, and will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and and will give them an heart of flesh,
"That they may walk in My statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God." (Ezekiel 11:19-20)
Although the above verses obviously are speaking of Israel, it is true that God wants believers to have soft hearts on which He can write a testimony for Himself.
O= In answer to the questions "If you and your life are 'a letter from Christ', to whom are you being sent? What will your attitudes, words, and actions communicate to those who receive you?" here's what I wrote:
I'm being sent to everyone I know and everyone I meet, people I see every day (like my husband), people I interact with at church, people I love but don't see every day (like family and friends), casual acquaintances, neighbors, women I am mentoring, ladies who read my blog -- even people I haven't met yet (like cashiers and customers at the grocery store).
All of these people need to see in me attitudes, words, and actions that line up with God's Word. If these are "written" by the Holy Spirit, they will obviously line up perfectly with God's Word. However, if I get in the way -- if I jostle His arm, so to speak -- it's going to be more difficult to read the writing and it won't line up with His Word as it should.
P= "Lord, this is such an encouraging, challenging passage. That I am a letter, sent from Christ, written not with ink but with the Spirit of God -- this is huge! I'm thankful for this illustration which is such an effective picture of how You want my life to reflect You. I pray You will help my life to present an accurate picture of You. I praise You for all You will do, in Jesus' name, Amen."
There's the Sunday Scripture for this week. I hope it was a blessing!