2 Corinthians 5:11–21
11 We know what it means to have respect for the Lord. So we try to help other people to understand it. What we are is plain to God. I hope it is also plain to your way of thinking. 12 We are not trying to make an appeal to you again. But we are giving you a chance to take pride in us. Then you can answer those who take pride in how people look rather than in what is really in their hearts. 13 Are we out of our minds? That is because we want to serve God. Does what we say make sense? That is because we want to serve you. 14 Christ’s love controls us. We are sure that one person died for everyone. And so everyone died. 15 Christ died for everyone. He died so that those who live should not live for themselves anymore. They should live for Christ. He died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we don’t look at anyone the way the world does. At one time we looked at Christ in that way. But we don’t anymore. 17 Anyone who believes in Christ is a new creation. The old is gone! The new has come! 18 It is all from God. He brought us back to himself through Christ’s death on the cross. And he has given us the task of bringing others back to him through Christ. 19 God was bringing the world back to himself through Christ. He did not hold people’s sins against them. God has trusted us with the message that people may be brought back to him. 20 So we are Christ’s official messengers. It is as if God were making his appeal through us. Here is what Christ wants us to beg you to do. Come back to God! 21 Christ didn’t have any sin. But God made him become sin for us. So we can be made right with God because of what Christ has done for us.
“God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ”. Christ has made us new. Now he wants us to tell others about being reconciled to him and made new as well. But our chief motivation needs to be the love of Christ. It is easy, if things are going well in ministry, to become proud. We need to keep a check on our hearts – look for opportunities to tell others about Jesus, but be always motivated by Christ’s love for them. Then we will be able to say with Paul “Whatever we do, it is because Christ’s love urges us on”.
Dear Lord, help me to keep a check on my heart – to do things out of right motives, with a “solemn fear of the Lord”, so that I can be a true ambassador for you. Amen
Written by Megan Cornell