Read: II Corinthians 5:16-18
This one is especially for people who have been Jesus followers for some time (but if you’re new to the faith, hang on; there’s something for you, too).
We’re used to “new” things wearing out. Clothing, cars, computers. . .nothing seems to last. The Christian life is supposed to be different. But, to be honest, some of us may feel like that, too, is feeling “old.” How can that be? Stress, complacency, or more outright rebellious actions can be the problem. Or it may be simply forgetting the basic blessings of being “a new creation.”
“Renew” the new…
No “secrets to a vibrant Christian life” here; but we might well use the upcoming new year as an opportunity to “renew” our knowledge of – and commitment to – new life in Christ.
How are we doing in spending daily time alone with God? How are we doing in personal study of God’s Word (which can provide a lot of the answers we may be asking)? How are we doing in spending regular time in worship and fellowship with other believers (Sunday worship, Life Group)? How are we doing in living out the love of Jesus in a way that other people see it?
“The rest of the story”
As is too often the case, we quote individual verses without looking at the context; such may be the case with the “new creation” passage in II Corinthians 5. The reason that “the old has passed away” and “the new has come” (verse 17) is Christ’s work of reconciliation in our lives (verse 18). Rejoice in this!
Further, part of the “new life” is the “ministry of reconciliation” (also verse 18). In short, what Christ did in us should motivate us to share it with others.
Whether you accepted Christ as Savior 50 years ago or 50 minutes ago, you are included in this ministry. Perhaps all of us can have some new experiences as we do this in the days ahead!
1. What does it mean to be “reconciled to Christ”?
2. What is your part in the “ministry of reconciliation” to and with others?
3. How will you increase your understanding of and participation in this ministry? (NOTE: Some of these supernatural principles are not easy to grasp – there’s nothing wrong with asking for help in understanding and applying these principles!)