4:1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
One time there were two guys from Evansville that went to a foreign country to live. It was a ‘creative-access’ country which means that it was difficult to openly share the Gospel. They did their best to shine the glory of Jesus in their daily lives to the local folks.
One day, one of the local men said, “If I ever get a chance to go to America, I want to go to Evansville. Men from there are different than any other I’ve ever met.” Excitement! This is it! A moment to share about the transforming power of Jesus!
“What if it’s because we’re Christians and we follow Jesus?” The foreigner from Evansville said.
“No, I’ve met Christians before. There is something about this ‘Evansville’ that I have to see.”
Well, it was a good try, anyway.
Since everything we do could somehow be interpreted as who we are because of what we believe (or where we grew up) we must pay attention to what we do. We don’t put off disgraceful and underhanded ways to make God love us and God doesn’t hate us when we stumble and fall into sin. We are saved by grace and not through our works!
But we live for Jesus and direct our lives toward Jesus and we keep in step with Jesus so that we can show Him off. We want to make God famous!
The best way to do that, by His own direction, is to let His light — His goodness, faithfulness, love, joy, peace, patience, self-control, tenderness — show off in this dark world.