I don’t remember exactly who said it, but growing up I was told, “You might be the only Bible someone ever reads.” The idea was that your actions, your testimony when you claim to be a follower of Christ might be the only representation of Christ someone ever hears. They may never actually pick up the Bible and read it, but they see how you live your life.
That made sense to me. It’s the culture we live in: relationship and authenticity are paramount.
As I was doing my summer Bible study through She Reads Truth: Corinthians, I stumbled apon a verse I had either never read or never read well enough to remember it.
“Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
2 Corinthians 3:1-3 ESV
I don’t know if it’s because I teach English and enjoy writing, but this verse felt tangible.
You are Christ’s letter, delivered.
Not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God –
Not on tablets of stone but on tablets of the human heart.
The contrast between the cold hard stone and the life giving, warmth of the human heart reminded me of similar contrast between the cold, ridged, old law of Moses and the warmth of forgiveness and redemption that Jesus brought.
Then, I went back to the first part:
You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.
She Reads Truth referenced this as being similar to our use of a letter of recommendation. Something that was used during this time period when going to a new town, or new church. While Paul is talking about the Church at Corinth, my thoughts were drawn to my own reflection.
Am I accurately reflecting Christ in my daily life? Do I daily radiate the warmth of redemption? Does my digital life flow from the Spirit of the living God or the spirit of materialism, consumerism and division? If someone who never read the Bible saw me, would they even think Christ was worth following? What recommendation do I give to Christ and His Church? Am I living by the letter of the law which brings death or through the Spirit that gives life?
“Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
2 Corinthians 3:4-6 ESV
But our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant,
Not of the letter but of the Spirit…
The Spirit gives life.
“I have come so they can have life. I want them to have it in the fullest possible way.”
John 10:10 NIRV
Were you inspired by this verse? Have you ever thought of Bible journaling? Join my friend, Michelle, from Straw-Bearie Designs as she adds a beautiful design to her Bible. Watch her YouTube video as she gives you step by step instructions of her journaling technique.