“As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, NOW is the time of God’s favor, NOW is the day of salvation. We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we COMMEND OURSELVES in every way:
in great endurance;
in troubles, hardships and distresses;
in beatings, imprisonments and riots;
in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger;
in purity, understanding, patience and kindness;
in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love;
in truthful speech and in the power of God;
with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left;
through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report;
genuine, yet regarded as impostors;
known, yet regarded as unknown;
dying, and yet we live on;
beaten, and yet not killed;
sorrowful, yet always rejoicing;
poor, yet making many rich;
having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange–I speak as to my children-open wide your hearts also.” 2 Cor. 6: 3-13
I had a conversation with my son last night as I was helping him get ready for bed. He has a birthmark in the center of his chest and he asked me what it was and if Jesus had given it to him? We had a discussion about birthmarks and I then showed him one of mine. This got me thinking about birthmarks, and I remembered a similar conversation I had as a child with my mom….she had a small mole on her face and when I was young she used to darken it with black eye liner. I was so curious why she would want to enhance it rather than cover it up…. she said that it was called a beauty mark and that it was a sign of beauty. Why not show it?
Just as Paul encouraged the Corinthians in the above passage, if you have walked with God for any length of time you can appreciate and understand that there is plenty of opportunity to cause offense and be offended in this world. There is ample opportunity to encounter any if not all of the things on this list as you engage in what God has called you to. So, commend yourselves in every way! Rather than being ashamed and covering up the struggle, or taking offense silently and then subsequently closing your heart, think…. “beauty mark“! Be commended today with the mark of His beauty and hold your head high!
You are engaging in these awesome signs of His beauty….redemption, reconciliation, and restoration. Why not show them?
My prayer today is that you will see your life in His light. That you will understand that because you have availed yourself to God’s will that struggle is inevitable but that He has heard you and helped you! I pray you will feel His “proudness” for you. See His love for you. Know His approval today! If you are weary, offended, or even internally bankrupt, commend yourself in everything as He is commending you. Embrace Him, and open wide your hearts, and see yourself the way that He sees you today…..Beautiful!
You are so very loved!