Daily Devotion for December 19, 2016

'Missionary's Reminder'

2 Corinthians 5:9-6:1 NLT
So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please Him. For we much all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.

Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others...Christ's love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive His new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know Him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.

And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.

Yesterday was a bit of a struggle for me...my earthly frustrations were piling up! Towing these earthly frustrations behind me, we went to church last night to hear a missionary speak—and I'm so glad we did! By the time we left the church, my earthly frustrations sure seemed unimportant and tiny! The missionary preached from 2 Corinthians 5:1-6:1, and his words were exactly the “big picture” reminder I needed to hear. That is, my temporary worries and frustrations became way smaller when God's Word reminded me of His calling, of His big picture! Specifically...

1) “Our goal is to please Him...we have all DIED to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive His new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ...”

2) Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others...God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him...And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we (Believers) are (ALL) Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

3) “Christ’s love controls us.”

4) “We have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view.”

5) We are NOT to “accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.”

Heavenly Father, use Your Spirit today to keep our eyes on Your Son. We ask this so 1) You grow our desire and enabling to DIE “to our old life” and “instead...live for Christ,” 2) so we who have “new life” in Christ clearly “understand our fearful responsibility:” our job as “Christ's ambassadors,” 3) so we “work hard to persuade others” to “come back to God” with our words...but also through everything we say, think, and do, 4) so we increasingly let Your Son's “love control” and guide our thoughts, our mouth, and our actions, and 5) so we stop “evaluating others (and stop evaluating situations) from a human point of view.” We ask this in Your Son's name, Lord...because we do NOT want to “accept this marvelous gift of (Your) kindness and then ignore it!”

AMEN!!!

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