Everyone has a story to tell. When we make the connection between our story and God's great story, we come away with HIStory, which involves each and every one of us.
"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 3:3
"Mommy, how do people know that if I do something good it's because Jesus is in my heart? A lot of people do good things." These are the words spoken by my six-year-old daughter on Sunday as we walked to our car in the church parking lot. I don't exactly know what triggered this question. I know they had studied the story of King Nebuchadnezzar and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego's bravery in standing up for the One and Only God and refusing to bow to the image of gold the king had made. But I was taken aback to say the least. What a great question! I stumbled through my answer but in the end didn't feel all that content with it. So i've been thinking about it since. Well as I was reading this passage this past week, it hit me: "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."
It never occurred to me that we are walking examples and proof of the New Covenant we have in Jesus. In the Old Testament Moses used the Book of the Covenant to convey to the Israelites the message of The Lord and how they were to live and obey God, including the Ten Commandments, written on stone tablets. The Old Covenant, however, has been fulfilled by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with His death and resurrection on the cross; the blood He shed fulfilled the payment necessary for our sins. In this New Covenant He has written His new Law in our hearts, not on stone tablets like He did with Moses. The New Covenant we carry in us when we choose Him!
So it looks like I now need to go back to my daughter with a new answer: the Spirit of Jesus abides in us. He has written His New Covenant with us in our hearts. We have the Spirit of the living God in us. That is how people know. A lot of people do good things - that is true. But doing good things in His name does not go unnoticed. We are a "letter" from Christ written with the Spirit of the living God. What is in us is living and active. It shows and it shines. That's how people know!
Thinking back on the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, they were the only 3 gentlemen willing to stand up and not bow down to a false god. They were willing to accept the payment for this: death. What bravery! I imagine this is what prompted my daughter's question. How did people know they did good for the Lord? Well, the Spirit of the Lord was in them and It showed, It shined. Further proof came when God sent an angel to rescue them from the fiery furnace the king had put them in ("furnace heated seven times hotter than usual." Daniel 3:9). Upon seeing this the King ordered that everyone worship the One true God. Our lives should reflect Jesus in us, to the point that others ask and want to know Who is in us, to the point that others are declaring God the One true God. Imagine the lives that we can impact with our daily lives. Let's do good in His name!
Read the full story in Daniel.
Pray this today:
Heavenly Father, thank you for planning my rescue. Thank you for being a force of love to be reckoned with. You wrote your New Covenant on our hearts that we may remember your promises to us every second of every day. Help us shine for you. Help our "good" to be in your name. May all those around us see You in us and may Your name be glorified forever and ever. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Worshipping our Rescuer,
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Song of encouragement:
Christ is Enough - Hillsong Live
Damaris U. Avila lives with her loving husband and their two inquisitive and sweet girls. Through personal storytelling, she invites women to share and see themselves in God's story. She leads young girls through BeYOUtiful Girl Time, a sisterhood where girls are encouraged to become the women God designed them to be.
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."