2 Corinthians 9:12-14
“12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 13 By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission flowing from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.” (Used by permission, ESV)
What a humbling thought. We are God’s billboard in this cold and dark world. We are the primary means of advertising that God uses in this world. In all honesty, a huge part of God’s plan for saving the world is you and me. Each one of us has a part to play in God’s plan because we are all walking billboards for God’s love, mercy, and grace.
First, notice that what we do will cause others to give thanks to God. Paul tells us in verse twelve that our service to others and to God will accomplish two important things. First, it will supply the needs of the saints and secondly, it will also overflow with thanksgiving to God. This tells me that how I live and act in this world is of great importance. Too many times we think that it doesn’t matter what I do because no one is watching. However, Paul reminds us that what we do will cause others to give thanks to God. Even scarier is the idea that the reverse is also true. How I live, and act can cause others to reject God. How many times have you heard of someone saying that Christians are all hypocrites? Too many times, right? This illustrates what Paul is saying here in verse 12. What we do influences other people. It can cause them to give thanks to God or it can cause them to reject Him.
Second, notice that what we do will glorify God. Not only will they praise and give thanks to God for my actions. My actions will either bring glory to God or it will cause them to revile the name of Christ. My actions have a direct result on how others feel about God, about Jesus, and about the church. That should strengthen our resolve to do the right things and it should help us to always be mindful of our responsibility. It is our responsibility to bring glory to God. Some people always interject that it is not their job to glorify God. How could any rational Christian think that? It should be our goal, the goal of all Christians to bring glory and honor to God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 reminds us of that. Notice also that Paul says that how I submit to the gospel of Christ is seen by other people. I know it’s a scary thing but my level of commitment to Christ is freely seen by the world. I am a walking, talking billboard for Christ. So, what happens when I am faced with a difficult decision or situation and I fail to glorify God with my actions? I have proclaimed to the world that in the end, I am no different than everyone else, I am still lead by my desires and emotions instead of Christ, and that God is not worthy of their adoration or love.
Next, I want you to notice that what we do is a confession of our faith. The choices I make and the things I do in this life is a confession of my faith. How I attend church, how I give, how much time I am willing to give to church functions, even how much I pray and study God’s word. These things are testimonies to the level of my faith. Each of us needs to carefully consider our level of commitment to Christ based on the amount of time we spend seeking Christ each day. I think a lot of people who like to consider themselves “Good Christians” would be humbled by the answer, provided they are honest with themselves. That is why James spent so much time talking about faith and works. What else shows the world and God how committed we are?
Do you want to bring glory and honor to God? Do you want others to find the freedom of salvation in Christ? Then never forget that you are God’s billboard.