Today’s text: 2 Chronicles 10-12 2 Corinthians 3
I recall reading a news report of a man who had found a scrap of paper that he thought was of great value. It was just an old stained envelope that that someone had written a recipe on. He discovered the envelope while he was doing some demolition work on a house he was renovating outside of Corbin, Kentucky. It first caught his attention simply because it appeared to be quite old and discolored. As he examined the document he saw that the recipe had been changed several times. Most of the proportions and several ingredients had been marked out or otherwise altered. It wasn’t until he looked at the front of the envelope that he realized the significance of his find. The letter had been addressed to Harland Sanders and apparently was an early draft of what later became the famous “eleven herbs and spices” recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken. In the press release the executives for KFC downplayed the significance of the find saying it was not complete but wasted no time buying the old envelope at a hefty price and whisking it a away to their headquarters in Louisville.
What made the old envelope noteworthy wasn’t the value of the paper but rather the few lines that had been indelibly written there. A few words written by a man quite familiar with poverty but who continued to hold to the belief that hard work and commitment could provide a means to a better living.
In today’s reading Paul rhetorically ask the Corinthians if he needs to provide letters of recommendation to attest to the work he had done. Then he goes on to remind them that they themselves are the evidence.
2Corinthians 3:2-3 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. (3) 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.
Nothing speaks more triumphantly of the fruits of a servant’s labor than the evidence of what has been indelibly written on the hearts of those to whom they have ministered. We like the Corinthians are an epistle or letter. Words have been written on our heart that impact how we live every minute of every day. In fact it has often been said that we are the only bible that many will ever read. C.H. Spurgeon wrote, “A man’s life is always more forcible than his speech. When men take stock of him they reckon his deeds as dollars and his words as pennies. If his life and doctrine disagree the mass of onlookers accept his practice and reject his preaching.”
Our challenge is to live consistent to and worthy of the words love has penned upon our heats. We read in 1John. 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
As I write this I can’t help but be mindful of my youngest son. Alex will be leaving next week to start his career in the Marine Corps. When Sharon and I think about the distance and time that will separate us from our son the tears freely flow. We understand the meaning of Hebrews 11:23 where we read that the parents of Moses knew from his infancy that “He was no ordinary child.” While tears of pain may fill our eyes they are comingled with tears of pride. We are proud of the man our son has become and rejoice in the character that speaks of the words that grace has written upon his heart. One thing I would ask of you, when you pray be mindful of my son Richard Alexander McGill.