“But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
“Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart… And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 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. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 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.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” 2 Corinthians 3:16-4:1,3-11
The clouds were rough putty, smeared unevenly on the pale backdrop of nascent sky, veiling what weather the day would hold. They hid, yet added to, the glory of dawn’s early light. And so the veil that prevents us from grasping the gospel- a thick swath of unbelief that hides, yet makes all the more glorious, the breakthrough power of Christ. Would we really clear every obstacle if we understood each one magnified the beauty of God’s mercy, grace, and deliverance?
God’s Spirit works in and behind the veil. He works in and through our afflictions. He works through miseries to cause recognition of our sin and need for salvation. He works the magnificent, indescribable identity with the life of Christ, the suffering Servant, in our necessary death to self. It is a glory, and testimony to His work, that we would be conduits of His penetrating light. (Isaiah 53:2-12)
In our ministry of mercy, by God’s mercy, to present the gospel to others, we must not lose heart. We keep pursuing, we keep shining, we keep loving so warmly that thick veils may wear thin, hardened exteriors may soften, and blind eyes may see. We present Jesus, whose very ability to fold back the veil of unbelief and quicken the spirit to believe is a glorious shout of victory.
Have we turned to the Lord, with honest unveiled face, and beheld His glory? How are we measuring in ongoing transformation of habits, affections, language, attitudes? What evidence do others observe of God’s surpassing power in us? And how deliberate are we to manifest the life of Jesus in the ways we behave, love, and serve?
Lord, transform me day by day to reflect Your true image. Shine Your light through my life for the sake of Your gospel and glory.