The new covenant ministers

The new covenant ministers
Are captives in a procession,
Defeated and subdued by Christ
For His victorious celebration.

Lord, make me Your captive.
Never let me win.
Defeat me all the time.
Lord, make home in me.
The new covenant ministers
Are incense-bearers of Christ
Scattering His sweet fragrance
In every place—bringing death and life.

Lord, have the liberty
To fill me wholly.
Dear Lord, fill me daily!
Lord, make home in me.
The new covenant ministers
Are Christ's own living letters
Inscribed with the Spirit of God,
To express the rich Christ to others.

Lord, write Yourself in me.
Inscribe in my heart
That I may write on others.
Lord, make home in me.
The new covenant ministers
Are mirrors of the Christ of glory
Beholding and reflecting Him
So as to be transformed inwardly.

Lord, I turn my whole heart
To focus on You.
Shine in me, transform me.
Lord, make home in me.
The new covenant ministers
Are earthen vessels that are worthless
Who live by the excellent p'wer
Of Christ as the treasure—priceless.

Lord, You are so precious!
I give You my whole being;
Break me, renew me, Lord!
Lord, make home in me.
Lord, grant me the experiences
To produce such a ministry.
Through revelation and sufferings,
Lord, constitute Yourself in me.

By Your all-fitting life,
Lord, I learn to live.
By Your sufficient grace,
Lord, make home in me.
Emarden P. Octo

Pagadian City, Zamboanga Del Sur, Philippines

Praise the Lord! He should be the center in all things

In chapters two through four of 2 Corinthians, Paul uses five very significant and expressive metaphors as illustrations of what the believers should be. The first metaphor is that we are captives in a triumphant procession for the celebration of Christ's victory (2:14a). We were captives under Satan's hand, but Christ has rescued us and made us His captives. We are captives in His triumphant procession to celebrate His all-inclusive victory. Then we are incense-bearers to scatter the fragrance of Christ (vv. 14b-16). Chapter three shows that we are letters written with the Spirit of God to convey Christ to others (vv. 1-3) and mirrors beholding and reflecting the glory of Christ in order to be transformed into His glorious image (v. 18). On the one hand, we are the letters conveying Christ. On the other hand, we are mirrors reflecting Christ in our transformation by the Lord Spirit. Finally, we are the earthen vessels that contain the Triune God in Christ as the excellent treasure (4:7). The above five metaphors are used to describe, to illustrate, or to portray the real experience and enjoyment we have in the processed Triune God embodied in Christ and consummated as the Spirit. Today this wonderful Spirit is indwelling our spirit. Whenever we are in our spirit, we are with this wonderful Triune God. We are with the consummated Spirit, with the embodied Christ, and with the processed Triune God. We are experiencing Him and enjoying Him as captives, as incense-bearers, as letters, as mirrors, and as vessels.