“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart” (KJV, 2 Cor. 5:11-13).
Father, I thank You that Your mercies are new every morning. I thank You that I can come before You even though I do not measure up to Your high standard. I thank You for sending Your Son to die for my sin. I pray that You would forgive me for my sin this day and cleanse me from my unrighteousness.
I see in Your Word that it is important that I know the truth. I thank You for Your Word. I pray that You would teach me to know it rightly. Sometimes, I can get confused as to what I should believe when there are people who think differently about Your Word. However, I pray that You would guide me into the truth and that I would grow to know You better than I have known You before.
I thank You for the work of Your Spirit in my life. I pray that You would increase the Spirit’s activity in my heart and that I would decrease. Show me how I ought to live in this life. Help me to know what You have called me to.
“therefore the terror of the Lord”
I see that in my speaking out to others that I am to keep the fear of the Lord before my eyes. I pray that You would help me to understand the fear of the Lord righty. Sometimes when I think of the fear of Lord, I may begin to think that I should be scared of You. However, this is not biblical, as I am a child of God, and You are my loving Father.
Instead, I see a different fear that is present in the Scriptures. It is not one that is rooted in anxiety and worry. I am not called to be scared of You. What I am called to do is worship, respect, and stand in awe of You. I am called to revere You and esteem You.
I am amazed to see that Your Word says, “But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared” (Ps. 130:4) . I am told here that Your forgiveness is actually something that should lead me to fearing You. Here, I see that I am not to be scared of You – because You forgive. But I am to stand in awe of Who You are.
“we persuade men”
I thank You for Your Gospel message. I thank You for revealing the Gospel to me. I thank You that in Your Gospel, I can see the work of redemption and Jesus my Savior. I thank You for the crucified and risen Christ. I pray that You would help me to embrace my calling as Paul did. I pray that I would recognize that I am an ambassador for You and that You make Your appeal through me.
Give me strength to share Your Word and thus persuade men like Paul did. Give me courage that I would not be ashamed of Your Gospel. I recognize that there are times when I shrink back. I can see that there is a fear of man in my heart. I pray for boldness, courage, and a strong desire for Christ to be exalted.
“but we are made manifest unto God”
In the midst of my sharing Your Gospel, I pray that You would help me to remember my identity in Christ. Sometimes, I can begin to think that I need to prove myself to others. But in this verse, I can see that Paul found his strength in knowing that he was known by You. Please, Lord, help me to never forget that I am known by You. Help me to never forget that I am loved by You. I also see in the book of 2 Corinthians that the love of Christ compelled Paul.
Fix my eyes on Jesus and all that He has done. Teach me to gaze upon my risen Lord and be captivated by His love for me. Cause me to glory in my union with my Savior and to say along with Paul, “I am known by God.”
“and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences”
I see that when Paul shared with others, there was a way in which he believed that his ministry to them was established in their hearts. I pray that You would help me to minister as Paul did and that You would work through my ministry in like fashion. Please, Lord, would You bless my ministry to others? Please, Lord, would You save the lost through me?
I remember that in Your Word, Jesus told His disciples that the fields were ripe for harvest. The problem was not that there was nothing to reap. Jesus went on to say that there was much to harvest, but there were so few laborers. Father, I also see that Jesus’ life was given as an offering. Your Word tells me that Jesus did not come to be served by man, but that He came to serve man and give His life for man. Please help me to walk in the footsteps of my Savior.
“For we commend not ourselves again unto you”
I thank You for calling me to be a light in this dark world. I thank You for calling me to be a witness. I thank You for calling me to a kingdom that is not of this world and for entrusting me with the ministry of reconciliation.
I pray that my life would show forth the work that You have started in my heart. I pray that You would teach me how to honor You in all that I do. I pray that I would not feel as though I need to convince others of my relationship with You, but that my life would speak for itself.
“but give you occasion to glory on our behalf”
I see that the life of Paul caused others to glory. What an amazing testimony! Lord, would You cause me to be like Paul? I pray that my life would cause others to glorify You, as well. I pray that people would come to know You because of me.
I pray that I would not disgrace Your name, but that I would honor Your name and that it would be hallowed in my life. I see that my good deeds toward man can be a source of much praise unto You. Show me how I can live for You in this way. Show me the good work that You have prepared for me.
“that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart”
Father, I thank You for the work that You have done in my heart. I thank You for the ministry of the Spirit and the work of Christ. I see that I am greatly assisted in my needed transformation. I pray that I would not be focused merely on outward appearance, but that I would be primarily concerned with what is going on in my heart.
I am reminded of King David and King Saul. King Saul was a monster of a man who by outward appearances was fit to be king. He was a head taller than any other man in all of Israel. When the people saw him, they thought they found the perfect fit. But Your Word tells me that while man looks upon the outward appearance, You look into the heart of man.
I pray that You would work in my heart this day. Purify and cleanse my heart. Teach me to keep my heart with diligence and to be concerned with what is going on within me, not simply what is being portrayed to others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.