Read This Week: 2 Corinthians 3

Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers.
– 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 NIV

Confidence is a tricky word and way of being. To be confident is a positive thing regularly interpreted and perceived as something negative like arrogance or pride. And while it does exist on a thin line of interpretation, confidence, by definition, is based on a feeling of trust and firm belief in yourself or others. So, it is fair to say that the right meaning and application of confidence has everything to do with trust and belief. Or better yet, who is trusted or believed.

We see in 2 Corinthians 3 that Paul is very confident. But his confidence did not come from belief or trust in himself but in that of a holy God who gave him life, strength, and knowledge to live out his calling. He writes, “Such confidence we have through Christ before God.” Paul was a well-educated, brilliant, and capable man; yet, he did not rely on his skill and acumen. He depended on the Lord and was quick to give Him glory for who he was and what he was doing. His belief in himself came from his belief in God. His confidence and trust were in the right place and would lead to the right result in his life.

Even more, Paul emphasizes that the accomplishments and abilities of him and his fellow ministers come from the power of God’s Spirit and did not originate in their human gifts, talent, or potential. He says, “We are not competent in ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers.” They were competent because of their confidence in the relationship they had with God through Jesus Christ. Their belief in God’s new covenant empowered their effectiveness in the work of ministry. They were competent because they had the right kind of confidence.

This passage asks two questions of us. One is where does our confidence lie? And two, who do we want to get the glory from our ministry or service to others? The answer to the first question will most likely determine the answer to the second one. Meaning, if our trust is in God and not ourselves, then our confidence will not be arrogant and vainglory will not be sought.

We will not serve out of a belief that we’re the best and only ones that can achieve things. We will not live for self but for Jesus while serving others out of humility and an understanding that God alone placed us there and gave us the ability to do it. If this is our heart and posture, then we will not be worried about who gets the credit for our work or acts of service. We will live freely and confidently with the full desire to see God get all the glory and His name be praised for all we accomplish.

10 Comments

  1. Heidi on March 5, 2020 at 10:09 am

    2 Corinthians 3:2 says, “[No] you yourselves are our letter of recommendation (our credentials), written in [a]your hearts, to be known (perceived, recognized) and read by everybody.”

    I love this verse. It makes me think about my Pastor who is now with Jesus. When we were at his celebration of life service, I was talking with someone about how we are his fruit. We are the fruit of Jesus and those who disciple us on earth like our Pastor. Everyone sees how we have been changed by seeking, following, and being transformed every day. People see all that they have poured into our lives like what Paul is saying here. We are the first letter written by Jesus. When I give my life to Him, my journey from that day continues to be written until I go home to be with God. Every day I am becoming more like Jesus. It is a wonderful life that God gets the glory for!

    Second, I’m thankful to God that He gave me a great example of His Love that flowed through Pastor Randy. All the time he took to love us, help us grow, show us what God wants for us, equip us and then encouraged us to reach out. I’m thankful for all the people in the Bible also help us to grow in the ways of the Lord. One day I will meet them and hang out with everyone. I hope my letter will be worth reading!

    God is saying to me, “continue to seek me with your whole heart. Everyone is watching you! Continue to desire to get skilled in the gifts I’ve given you so you can learn how to help others as you are transformed into our likeness. Have hope for the future because when you do it with me good happens.”

    • Jason on March 9, 2020 at 4:44 pm

      I am so thankful for people who emulate Jesus and pour into our lives too, Heidi. They are wonderful and affirming examples of what God desires for us and never fail to make that lasting impact for the kingdom. It is a wonderful life with Christ indeed!

  2. Heidi on March 5, 2020 at 10:20 am

    I looked up the word ministry in the Bible Dictionary and it says that it is “active use of one’s gifts and resources to meet the material and spiritual needs of others” The ministry then is two-fold: to the Lord and to our fellow believers.

    Ministry is a calling of every Christian, not just the ordained. Each of us is to respond to the challenge of ministry as we follow the son of God who did not come to be served but to serve (Matthew 20:28).

    • Jason on March 9, 2020 at 4:47 pm

      My favorite word out of that definition is active. The active use of our gifts is so key to the victorious Christian life. It is not occasional, sometimes, sort of, when it is convenient use of our gifts that God desires, but the vibrant and active use of what He has given us to bring glory to Him. May the Holy Spirit help us all to get and stay active.

  3. almaschmidt on March 5, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    This week, God gave me a song through Pastor Heidi’s message called “Spirit of the Lord”

    We have the Spirit of the Lord, Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of the Lord
    He gives new mercy every day

    He gives his glorious hope, faith, and true love
    We have the Spirit of the Lord, Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of the Lord

    We are looking in the mirror as our image transforms into our Father’s image
    We have the Spirit of the Lord, Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of the Lord

    It’s a wonderful journey with our Lord who is the truth. He gives us hope, joy, love and most of all, He puts us first. Thank you, Lord!

    • Jason on March 9, 2020 at 4:51 pm

      I love this, Alma. I am thankful for God’s Spirit that brings us His truth, fills us with hope and allows us to experience and express His true love. Your song reminded me of one that I listen to often and claim as a prayer. It is called, “Fall Afresh” and says this:

      Awaken my soul, come awake
      To hunger, to seek, to thirst
      Awaken first love, come awake
      And do as You did at first

      Spirit of the Living God come fall afresh on me
      Come wake me from my sleep
      Blow through the caverns of my soul
      Pour in me to overflow,
      to overflow

      Spirit come and fill this place
      Let Your glory now invade
      Spirit come and fill this place
      Let Your glory now invade

  4. Jeri Centers on March 6, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    The Lord spoke to me through 2 Corinthians chapter 3 verse 5. God was saying to me, “If you depend on your knowledge, you will know it is not from me. If you spend time with me in the word and prayer, I will teach you the things of the Holy Spirit of God. Worldly training is not sufficient to serve God in a way that pleases Him. You must allow Christ to minister through you as a willing vessel. You know of your lack of sufficiency within yourself and that your sufficiency is from God.”

    What that means to me is to know the truth and be dependent on divine revelation and the Holy Spirit’s power.

    • Jason on March 9, 2020 at 4:56 pm

      This is a needed word for so many, Jeri and definitely one for me. The dependency on self, knowledge, intellect and human acumen instead of relying on and allowing God to control every part of my life is a constant struggle. This line from your comment really spoke to me: You know of your lack of sufficiency within yourself and that your sufficiency is from God.

      I certainly do know that but often run to the source of insufficiency instead of the only Source of all-sufficiency. I want to rely on the Spirit’s power in everything because that alone will lead me to where God wants me to be. Thank you for this convicting reminder.

  5. Kathy on March 9, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    This is what I got from God in reading this chapter. The Holy Spirit can help you write into the lives of the people you serve. Do not refuse to be used by Me because you think of yourself as “not ready” because in a sense you are never ready or worthy. If you were, the sufficiency would be in yourself and not from Me. The only way for you to stay full is to drink up under the perpetual flow of My grace.The new covenant has the terms by which you can have a relationship with me, centered on My son Jesus and His work for you.

    The new covenant brings the ministry of the Spirit and life. It brings you to Me and enables you to come boldly to Me. A veil lies on your heart that can be taken away in Jesus. You have liberty because of the presence of the Holy Spirit. When you behold My glory, you will be transformed. I will change you from the inside and out. You are transformed by spending time with Me. You need to carefully study My word. What you will become is based on your picture of who I am. The work of transformation is a process and a continual progression from glory to glory. You can put yourself in a place where My Spirit can transform you.

    What this says to me is God is calling me to be transformed. I have to be willing to be in a place that He can transform me. I need to study his word more and draw near to Him.

    • Jason on March 13, 2020 at 11:41 am

      I so appreciate this insight and word, Kathy. To know that God has transformed us from the inside out and has given us a calling to fulfill in His power is both overwhelming and exciting. And He gives us the strength to fulfill what He has purposed us for. That is comforting and hopeful.

      This line really resonated with me: Do not refuse to be used by Me because you think of yourself as “not ready” because in a sense you are never ready or worthy. This is so true. We are never ready but He always is, so with Him, we’re always ready.

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