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2 Corinthians 4 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we're not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. 1 Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.
2 We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don't maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don't twist God's Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
3 If our Message is obscure to anyone, it's not because we're holding back in any way. No, it's because these other people are looking or going the wrong way and refuse to give it serious attention. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
4 All they have eyes for is the fashionable god of darkness. They think he can give them what they want, and that they won't have to bother believing a Truth they can't see. They're stone-blind to the dayspring brightness of the Message that shines with Christ, who gives us the best picture of God we'll ever get. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
5 Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we're proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.
6 It started when God said, "Light up the darkness!" and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful. 6 For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
7 If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
8 As it is, there's not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we're not much to look at. We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;
9 but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken. 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
10 What they did to Jesus, they do to us - trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us - he lives! 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
11 Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus' sake, which makes Jesus' life all the more evident in us. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.
12 While we're going through the worst, you're getting in on the best! 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13 We're not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, "I believed it, so I said it," we say what we believe. 13 It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak,
14 And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.
15 Every detail works to your advantage and to God's glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise! 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
17 These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
18 There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.