“You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the Living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.”
(2 Corinthians 3:2,3)

Have you ever heard the saying, “You may be the only Bible someone else will ever read”? It is my guess that these words of wisdom came from this passage of Scripture. Who knew?

What a beautiful thought, but one that also requires reflection.

The Apostle Paul is speaking to the new converts in Corinth. As usual, his integrity and sincerity has been challenged by the Pharisees – those who enforce the written code of God’s laws, but who have no understanding of the heart of God. Basically Paul is saying that the evidence of changed lives supports the truth of the Gospel.

Changed lives. Think about it.

When someone watches you or listens to you – and you know they do – are they witnessing Christ “with skin on”?

Ouch! I know. That one hurts, but we must consider this.

Paul says, “CLEARLY, you are an epistle of Christ, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the Living God…”

Epistle. Message. Letter.

We are the embodiment of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our lives magnify Him to a broken and hurting world.

Or do they?

Paul also says, you are “known and read by all men.” “Read” in Greek is anaginosko (an-ag-in-oce-koe) meaning “to know exactly”. It also means “to know over and over again, to recognize.”

Over and over again. That spoke to me. People are not “reading” us with a quick glimpse. They are “reading” us over and over again. They are looking for consistency, authenticity. Are we genuine? Are we the same Christian everyday of the week as we are on Sundays? What happens when WE are the ones who have been insulted or offended? What do we do when we realize we are at fault or have made mistakes?

Changed lives. Think about it.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Praise You, Father! That was a hard lesson to take hold of, but I know You want Your children to understand our mission – our purpose. It is so easy to forget that we are representing YOU, not ourselves. Forgive us for when we let you down. Create a clean heart in us, Oh God, and renew a right spirit within us. What a blessed thought to know that we are all equal at the foot of the cross. We ARE Your beacon of Light in the darkness. What an honor and privilege You have given us. Thank You, Lord.