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. - 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
I find myself filled with joy today as I reflect on the simplicity, beauty, and power of these words from Paul.
First, we are assured that as Christ followers we belong to Him. We no longer belong to this world or to ourselves alone, we belong to Christ. We are his brothers and sisters. We are children of God. Our search for meaning, identity, and security is over because we have found it in our Savior.
Second, we are each a new person in Christ. The old self is crucified and gone. Our selfish desires, our past sins, our destructive way of living are nailed to the cross and we are free to live life in the Spirit. And, the beauty is that we find ourselves at a new beginning, a time where we can start to make decisions that break previous cycles, set new boundaries, reconcile past relations, and truly live with a new heart.
Third, all of this is a gift from God. We do not have earn it by doing, saying, or feeling anything - we simply need to believe and have faith. There is no five step program, no seminar to attend, no special church to go to, there is simply belief. Belief in the gift of salvation through Christ. God wanted us, while we were still sinners, drunkards, perverts, idolators, cheats, and followers of false religions. He wants us, pursues us, and brings us back to himself through his Son. From this belief and faith we find a miraculous transformation that occurs within us to where we are now drawn to act and work for the Lord. Not to prove anything but simply because we love Him.
Finally, we are tasked with telling others about the transformation that occurs when we believe in Jesus. We are tasked with telling our story and the stories of others so all might come to know Christ as their Savior. As someone that wants to meet them where they are at - address their issues - meet their needs - and bring them out of the darkness and into the light. We get to work with the Holy Spirit as He prepares hearts, confronts evil, and guides people to their personal road to Damascus. This is good work.
We are called to reconcile others to Christ, and after all He has done for us we must be willing to respond to this calling. No matter the cost financially, relationally, and physically. Let us find our joy in the cost of discipleship and not in the empty promises of this world.
Father, thank you for reconciling me back to you through your Son. LORD help me to grow in my understanding of what it means to be a new creation each day. Holy Spirit, give me the courage to answer the call to reconciling others. Jesus, teach me how to properly balance grace and truth while not sacrificing the principals of my faith in you. Lord, help me to find joy in my discipleship of others, Amen.
Questions To Consider:
- Are there areas of your life where the "old person" still reigns and controls behaviors, habits, and thoughts?
- Does your leadership style allow for grace, reconciliation, and redemption of others when they make mistakes?
Have a wonderful weekend!