LIFE IS FOR LIVING
Lord, help me to know and worship you with an undivided heart, and to lead others to worship you in spirit and in truth.
Read 2 CORINTHIANS 5:11 – 6:2
The Ministry of Reconciliation
11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
6 As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.”[c]
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectDo you feel you are living life to the full, or is it all a bit of an effort? Be honest! Ask God to inspire you afresh as you read his Word today.
I’ve just been listening to a podcast in which a doctor and a psychotherapist were discussing ‘How to create the life you were born to live’. It was a powerful and moving piece, but turning from it to today’s reading I saw that their proposal could only find fulfillment in the Christian gospel. We cannot create ‘the life we were born to live’, but can only receive it as a gift coming to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Through the cross we are reconciled to God and become ‘a new creation’ as our physical lives are invaded by God’s eternal life (vs 17,18).
Only then can we begin to understand who we are and who we are meant to be, and only then will we, like Paul, be compelled to proclaim far and wide the liberating truth that in Christ all people can live the life they were born to live (v 14).
Such good news is given to share. In a world where people long for meaning, what are we waiting for? After all, ‘Now is the day of salvation’ (6:2).
Read this amazing passage again slowly and thank God for the reconciliation which is both a gift and a mission. How might you respond?
Father God, I thank you for the gift of Jesus for my life and salvation. Use me as an instrument of love and grace to bring others to faith also.
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