MARCH 5
   
Today's Bible Readings
     Exodus 16
     Job 34
     Luke 19
     II Corinthians 4
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
''Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.  But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the Word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God."(II Corinthians 4:1-2)
 
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PRIVILEGE
            No greater privilege has come to mortal man than to be called of God and trusted with the ministry of handling the Word of God.  Along with an incomparable privilege is the awesome responsibility of renouncing the hidden things of shame.
            Have you ''renounced the hidden things of shame'' in your life - the things that your sense of honor or pride will not allow to come into the light? Oh, you can easily hide them. Do you have a thought in your heart about anyone that you would not like to be brought into the light? Then renounce it immediately so there will be no hidden dishonesty or craftiness at all. Envy, jealousy and strife come from the flesh, which you brought over from the old life. You must maintain continual watchfulness so that nothing arises in your life that would cause you shame.
            The passage in II Corinthians 4 makes it clear that we serve our Lord in a dark world, among people whose minds have been blinded by the god of this age. It is our privilege to make light shine out of darkness to ''give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."  (II Corinthians 4:6)
            This treasure is in an earthen vessel (verse 7); therefore, we must be continually vigilant about what is within us.    We must never ''walk in craftiness nor handle the Word of God deceitfully." This means not resorting to something to simply make your own point. This is a terrible trap. You know that will allow you to work in only one way - the way of truth. Therefore, you are not to try to reach other people through the way of deceit. If you act deceitfully, God's blight and ruin will be upon you. God has called you to a higher standard than is found in this dark world. Never dull your sense of being your utmost for His highest - your best for His glory. Others may, but you may not. You are to move beyond the flesh and the darkness. As God brings to light the hidden things of shame within you, renounce them immediately. ''But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” (II Corinthians 4:7)
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
            God has given many answers to prayer for the Chinese church. Their survival is very significant, and to see revival come to them is far beyond what we could ask or even think. The phenomenal growth of the church, letting us know they have more than 100 million members is absolutely incredible. The failure of Communism, that is becoming obvious more and more to the Chinese people, is an answer to prayer. Pray that the faith and commitment of Christians will continue to grow.  There is a wonderful fruitfulness of Christian radio, and even the Internet, which is creating extraordinary new openings for good and for evil. Let us pray that God's people will be ingenious to use the Internet to spread the Gospel in China.
            It could be only a 10-year opportunity for receptivity. This is what the missioligists say - when the church reaches a certain strength, Communism will likely come down on it harshly. Pray where you are, or you can join with us, or others, participating in prayer walks in China. The numbers are overwhelming.  They are beyond our comprehension and our ability to deal with, but our God is able. Through the believers in China, even that great nation can be brought to Christ. Spend some fervent time today praying for Chinese believers.
 
A WORD FOR YOUR WORLD TODAY
''A baptism of holiness, a demonstration of godly living is the crying need of our day."
Duncan Campbell