“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” — 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
General managers typically hire staff with specific duties to coach and carefully guide weight training, fitness and nutrition. These specialists help athletes who have raw talent transform and optimize their skills and abilities.
You could say it’s a transformation similar to a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. That incredible process is also a helpful example as we think about unbelievers becoming believers in Jesus Christ. Some Christians grow at different rates than others, but change is a vital part of the Christian life. We daily aim to move away from self-centeredness to being more like the Savior.
Similar to how a caterpillar crawls along in the dirt before it climbs onto plants and trees, we are dirty because of our sin. Every person is infected and affected by sin. The Bible talks about sin and how God views it, and wise Christians regularly ask Him to purge bad behavior, unpleasant thoughts and unkind words. “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community” (Proverbs 6:16-19).
As we study this list, we’ll probably see ourselves if we’re honest. We’ve all been haughty (proud) at times and know we should be humble. We’ve hurt someone with unkind and dishonest words. We can be greedy sometimes and forget the Golden Rule to treat others the way we want to be treated. We’ve stirred up trouble and disturbed the peace. We know the difference between right and wrong but we don’t always think, speak and act as we should.
We need reconciliation with God. The Lord always does good and is good, but we fall far short of His standards (Romans 3:23). And though we are undeserving, God provides a way for us to have peace and acceptance with Him. In 2 Corinthians, Paul recognizes the importance of being reconciled to God and speaks about participating in “the ministry of reconciliation” with people we encounter. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Our merciful God wants us to be reconciled to Him, not holding our sin against us, so that in Him we may become His righteousness. What a beautiful transformation we get to journey through!
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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