Good morning my friends. God is good; life is good; its all good. I hope that is what you are facing today. We are continuing to look at 2 Corinthians 5.
I want us to continue the thought from yesterday that we are not near as heavenly minded as we need to be. Among the things we considered yesterday we looked at these two verses:
For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 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. vs. 14-15
Paul writes, "that one died for all" and again "And he died for all". This is the reality we live, or it should be. I fear today that we have reduced it to "And he died for me". We are overly concerned about our needs, our wants, our pain and our sorrows. Yet following these verses Paul continues:
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. v. 16
Paul indicates that the realization that Jesus died for every person on the face of this planet caused him to see everyone differently, taking us back to the earlier statement:
Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. v. 11
In fact it is stronger than that:
For Christ's love compels us.
How can we see people as we saw them before? How can we get angry at them for their actions, attitudes, perspective? They do not know any better and they are acting like blindmen who do not even know the environment in which they live. Yet, these are the ones Jesus died for, just as he died for us. He even left us here because of them. They are the reason we are still here:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. vs. 17-19
If you need a name for what we are doing it is that, reconciliation. His plan, his desire, his heart is summed up in that one sentence: God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And so he has committed to us this message of reconciliation. That is how and why we can never see anyone as we once did; not our annoying neighbour, not that stranger, not our worse enemy. God wants to reconcile everyone to him. Do you realize he wants everyone to experience the wonder of his love as we have experienced it? Do you realize what that makes us?
We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. v. 20
We are ambassadors from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep; from the moment of our accepting Jesus to our dying breath. There is no down time, no vacations and certainly no retirement. We are always representing God by bearing his glory and we have been given this incredible message of reconciliation to pass on to everyone.
So, compelled by the love of Jesus, enter today with a new attitude, armed with this message we have been given for everyone we meet today. Jesus loves you, he died for you so that you can be reconciled with God.