Daily Reading: 5-26-16
2 Corinthians 5:11-17 The Voice (VOICE)
The biblical word “Gospel” or “Good News” refers to when God’s love descended from heaven, was wrapped with humanity, and given as a one time sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the world. According to John 3:16-17, “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent the Son into the world not to judge the world but to save the world through him.” Sin separates humans from experiencing the divine glory and fellowship with God. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is that divine human creation sent by the Father to reconnect humanity with God. This is referred to as GRACE (God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense). The gospel calls for a three-fold response: 1) Believing and trusting Grace; 2) Growing as we journey more deeply into the Gospel of the cross or dying to selfishness; and 3) Hoping in the return of Christ for his followers and the inheritance of heaven.
2 Corinthians 5:11-17
11 So because we stand in awe of the one true Lord, we make it our aim to convince all people of the truth of the gospel; God sees who we really are, and I hope in some way that you’ll look deeply into your consciences to see us as well. 12 But we hope you understand that we are not trying to prove ourselves to you or pull together a résumé that will impress you. We are simply hoping that you will find a sense of joy in connecting with us. And when you are approached by others (who may value appearances more than the heart) asking questions about us, you will be able to offer an answer for them. 13 If we seem out of control or act like fanatics, it is for God. But if we act in a coherent and reasonable way, it is for you. 14 You see, the controlling force in our lives is the love of the Anointed One. And our confession is this: One died for all; therefore, all have died. 15 He died for us so that we will all live, not for ourselves, but for Him who died and rose from the dead. 16 Because of all that God has done, we now have a new perspective. We used to show regard for people based on worldly standards and interests. No longer. We used to think of the Anointed the same way. No longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is united with the Anointed One, that person is a new creation. The old life is gone—and see—a new life has begun!
When we connect to Christ and as others connect to us, we should all experience joy in fellowship with God. Living for God and serving Him brings joy that others can see. It is the saltiness of the new life of which we spoke, yesterday. We cannot simply believe and hope. That is only part of the Gospel journey. We must live the way of the cross by learning to Love at the cost of dying to selfishness. When we allow the process, we are filled to overflowing with more of God.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the work of Grace given for the whole world. Thank You for the truth of the Gospel that I can share with great joy. Fill me, Holy Spirit, with the joy of my salvation as I believe, grow, and place my hope in You alone. In Jesus’ name. Amen.