Going Deeper 06.03.2021

The second reading for Pentecost 2... 2 Corinthians 4:13—5:1

But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture—“I believed, and so I spoke” —we also believe, and so we speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

It might not jump out as significant at first blush, but there is a very important concept proclaimed in this text: "Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God."  An outcome of grace is thanksgiving.  Of course.

Is there anything to be more grateful for than the salvation gifted to us through Jesus?  And the more we are led to understand our need for grace, the greater will be our responding gratitude.

This grace-fueled thanksgiving will carry us through difficult times.  Paul writes this letter following yet another near-death experience, and he continues to be faced with trials and persecution.  But in the midst of it all, even when "our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day."  Grace, and the peace and hope it brings with it, carries God's children through scary and dark times.  Because of our status as beloved children of God, we can look forward to "glory beyond all measure."

I would not want to live without this assurance!  God is with us now, and we can at the same time look forward to the day when God "will raise us also with Jesus."

In His Peace,

 

Mark Gabbert, Pastor

Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington

"Gratefully Growing Servants"