Joyful Woman Praising God

A daily devotion for December 20th

An Open Statement of the Truth

… but by the open statement of the truth we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God.

2 Corinthians 4:2b

In stark contrast to the multiplicity of evil is the simplicity of truth. In a great positive declaration, the apostle describes his own practice and the practice of all who labor in the liberty and sweetness of the new covenant. There is a precise and clear definition of a new covenant ministry as it would appear in any public manifestation. The method is single and invariable: by the open statement of the truth. Nothing more is ever needed. The truth as it is in Jesus is so radical, so startling in its breadth of dimension, so universal, so relevant to human life everywhere, that no psychological tricks are needed to prop it up and make it effective or interesting. It is the most captivating subject known, for it concerns man himself, and at his deepest levels.

The goal of Paul's proclamation is equally clear: we commend ourselves to every man's conscience. The conscience, as used here, is the will of the human spirit as contrasted to that more fluctuating and flexible entity, the will of the soul. It is what a man knows he ought to do, whether he always does it or not. It is the deep awareness within every person of what it takes to be the kind of person he or she wants to be.

To appeal to the conscience, therefore, is to seek to capture the whole man: body, soul, and spirit — mentally, emotionally, and volitionally. It does not aim at mere intellectual agreement and certainly not at a shallow emotional commitment. Rather, it seeks to impress the conscience that commitment to Jesus is right; that is, in line with reality, and the only way to true fulfillment. It does not, therefore, demand immediate and visible results, though it will welcome any that may come; it is content to allow time for the growth of the seed that is planted and recognizes that individuals can only properly respond to what they clearly perceive and understand.

Finally, this is to be done in the sight of God. This means an awareness that God is watching all that is done, appraising it and seeking to correct it where needed. But the phrase suggests even more. Since the new covenant is everything coming from God, it means also that the inner eye of the soul is looking to God for the supply of power and resource to make the ministry effective. The responsibility for results is placed squarely on God alone. This is what gives the spirit of the worker a sense of serenity and peace. He or she is free to be an instrument in God's hands. That is the new covenant ministry in its outreach to the world.

Father, thank you that I can rest in you, and with an open statement of the truth commend myself to every person's conscience.

Life Application

Do you have that serenity and peace that comes from knowing the results of your ministry are placed squarely in the hands of God alone?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

Ch 7: The Enemy Without

Listen to Ray