Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light
shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:1-18
In my profession (printing), we don’t like Exposure. We work with light sensitive plates, that if exposed to light before processing, will ruin them. However, it got my mind to thinking… What if our lives are like the plates? What if we surrendered everything to the light (God), what would remain on our plate? You see in printing, the plate, before
it is processed, has a laser burn an image onto it. Once that image is burned on to it, it then goes into a processor, where chemicals (developer, finisher, and water) wash away the outer coating, leaving you with a clean plate with whatever image you have burn onto it. However, if just a little light gets to it before it is processed, the area where the light hit causes exposure and the image is lost. You may wonder where I am going with all this this, so allow me to explain.
We are much like the plate… we are covered with a coating (God’s Grace), and the laser of the world is often times successful, and burns dark images on to us. This comes from different sources, tv, radio, movies, people, etc… Depending upon how much light (God) we allow ourselves to be exposed to, determines what remains. You see, if we as Christians, remain covered and unexposed to the light of God, the image, while washed clean (by the blood of Jesus), still remains. However, if we expose ourselves to the light, then all of the laser images of the world get erased. When I say Exposed, I mean engulfing our lives with the light of God’s Word, discipleship, and fellowship. We must, as Christians, be willing to be taught the way of the Lord. Exposing every area of our lives to His glorious light, that every laser burnt image of this world is erased. For most of us, including me, we only allow a portion of our plate to be exposed. This leaves you with a partial area that is clean and a partial area that still has the worlds image upon it. We must allow ourselves to completely exposed by God’s light so that we are a true reflection of what God is… Pure! I leave you with this scripture from Ephesians 5:1-21.
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.