Internal Impact

If we have been faithful in sharing the Word; if we are depending on the Holy Spirit to work, there will be results! Some of the results may be dramatic; other results will only be observed over a period of time. Paul became aware of some who questioned his ministry. In  confidence, because he knew he had been faithful and had relied upon the Holy Spirit, he responded to those in the Corinthian church who might be questioning: “Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men” (II Corinthians 3:1-2). What an interesting response! If those with whom this letter had been shared were truly converted, they would know, by the internal impact in their own lives, that Paul’s ministry was authentic. In verse 3, Paul explains what that impact is: “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.” In other words, look inside your own hearts! If God has changed you Spiritually, Paul’s ministry is validated and your own conversion is shown to be genuine. This is because only the Spirit of God, using the Word of God, can effect true inward Spiritual change. In Verses 4-6, Paul acknowledges his own inadequacy, giving God the credit for using him to accomplish His work. In the last half of Verse 6, Paul contrasts “the letter” and “the Spirit.” What’s that all about? Hopefully, we can think on that tomorrow; it is very significant! “Be Thou My Vision” is a hymn that expresses what hearts will experience, if the Holy Spirit has indeed impacted them internally: “Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart; naught be all else to me, save that Thou art – Thou my best thought, by day or by night; waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light. Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word; I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord. Thou my great Father; Thine own may I be, Thou in me dwelling and I one with Thee. Riches I heed not, nor vain, empty praise; Thou mine inheritance, now and always; Thou and Thou only first in my heart, high King of Heaven, my treasure Thou art!” Selah! A heart that has been Spiritually changed will gradually share the experience articulated in this wonderful old hymn! Someone’s ministry has been shown to be truly a work of God!   Ron

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