“Are we beginning to commend ourselves again?
Or do we need, like some people,
letters of recommendation to you or from you? ”
2 Corinthians 3:1 (NIV)
“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts,
known and read by everyone.
You show that you are a letter from Christ,
the result of our ministry,
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 3:2-3 (NIV)
In New Testament times there were letters of commendation given to certain travelers to introduce them to Christian congregations they visited. Also there were “living letters” as our verses today mention.
The Corinthian Christians were living as followers of Christ because of Paul’s ministry and Paul wrote that these believers were a “letter from Christ” because of their life style. Corinthian Christians were thus “read” by “everyone”. The character of these people was Christ-like and a powerful commendation of Paul’s ministry for everyone to observe.
Many years ago a godly preacher was in a cafeteria with another Christian eating lunch. Someone who was observing this minister said to his own luncheon companion, “See that elderly man over there? He looks like an angel.” Indeed there was a radiant look of kindness on the face of the old preacher and all who saw him felt they were in the presence of a saint.
That preacher was a living letter of his Saviour with Christ’s character etched on his face and in his behaviour. Today we can see the Lord Jesus Christ in the faces, words, and actions of His followers. Look around at church next Lord’s Day and you should read things about Jesus in the lives of those present.
What do people read of Jesus’ character as they look at you? Are your words seasoned with grace and truth? Are you seen as a peacemaker? Do your actions demonstrate the grace and mercy of your Saviour? Are people better for being with you? Do you influence others to draw near to the One Who is the Good Shepherd? Examine yourself and consider carefully how much of the Lord Jesus Christ is read in your life.
All of us need to be carefully imitating the Lord Jesus so that others will see Jesus in us and desire to follow Him as well. We are under obligation to behave in such a manner that others will desire what we have and they will seek the Lord for themselves. The closest thing to Jesus some people will see is you. Go out today and live up to your family name.