April 1, 2019
2 Corinthians 5:16-21 The Message (MSG)
Today is the twenty-third day of our 40-Day Lenten Series, “Praying for a Kingdom Heart.” Lent should be a time of prayerful reflection, repentance, and restoration as we draw closer to the heart of God. In order to connect in God’s best for us, we need to look at life in a whole new way. God is all about healing and restoring his children in right relationship with himself; this desire of our Father motivates everything he puts into place. Through the Prophet Isaiah, God promised to bring reconciliation, “The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem to buy back those in Israel who have turned from their sins,” says the LORD (59:20). God fulfilled his Word and demonstrated his love for us by sending Jesus as the Messiah to be our new life Giver. When we connect to Christ we are re-created in the image of our new Master; we are a new creation. Believers are members of a new creation order. Our sins are erased and we are brought into right relationship with God. Now, we are invited to join Christ in his ministry of reconciliation. You and I have a ministry to fulfill; we are the Messiah’s ambassadors to reveal to the world the restoration God has put into place. Our hearts should be overflowing with gratitude for what God has done in our behalf. What do you talk about each day with the people around you? It would be nice if we spent more time talking about Messiah and the new creation he made available than all the garbage going in the old creation. Are you telling people every day about Christ the Redeemer?
During Lent, we will be using the acronym P.R.A.Y. as we pray for a Kingdom Heart. P=praise, R=repent, A=ask, and Y=yield. May God bless you as you spend time in God’s Word and in prayer today.
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
16-20 Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.
21 How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.
Prayer: Lord, I praise you for my gift of new life; to be forgiven of my sins and recreated in your image. I repent for not always looking at the inside of people. I ask you to help me look inside for a Christ connection. I yield to your plan for reconciliation. Please make me an instrument of your Grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.