Wednesday, March 29, 2017
“…since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me…He is powerful among you. For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him to serve…” 2 Co 13:3-4.
The Corinthians were both a blessing and a burden to Paul as he continued to demand that they turn away from false teachers. His deep love for them was his blessing, but the burden came with the sting of their accusations that he was not who he said he was. They questioned the message of Christ which they had previously embraced. They accused him of being ineffective because his life didn’t show material success, grandiose displays and other worldly importance. They made the erroneous assumption that if Christ was really in Paul, they why didn’t his life look more successful with less suffering. They demanded proof before they would return to embrace Christ. The only problem with this is the fact that proof is only as good as our perception.
I began thinking how does a person’s life show proof that Christ is in them? Is it because they have a lot of money? Is it because they have fame and power in our culture? Could it be Christ is resting on someone because of their beautiful appearance, amazing intelligence or some other attribute? It is a certainty that all of those good things come from God but not out of favor for one child over another. It comes out of grace, love, and mercy which God gives to all of us in different ways. The real proof that Christ resides in our hearts is when the adversity comes. We get the painful call from the doctor and yet we find peace in our hearts…proof of Christ. Our bank account is bare but the bills keep coming in, yet we still donate to a cause…proof of Christ. Our loved one has transitioned into Heaven and we feel all alone, but then we experience His presence…proof of Christ. We are convicted to forgive when we don’t want to, and give grace where it’s not deserved…proof of Christ.
We might not be asked to ‘prove Christ is in us’ but when we do this well, both believers and non-believers will not even have to ask. Our activity and attitudes will display the fruit of the beautiful Spirit and we will showcase Christ’s power. When people wonder if we possess Christ they only have to look as far as the manner in which we respond to all of life’s offerings.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” Gal 5:22-23.