Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
2 Corinthians 5:14-21 (NIV)
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 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. 20 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. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Since our sins have been exchanged for Christ’s righteousness and we have new life, God gives us a share in the ministry of reconciling. How do we do this? Telling people about Jesus is the clearest way and most important way. But we also have opportunities in the practice of our lives. How do you look at other people? Are they annoyances? Are they barriers to what you want to do? Do you use generalities and stereotypes to profile and judge others? Do you see younger people as lazy and self-centered? Or older people as stubborn and arrogant? Our ministry is reconciliation by seeing others with love, giving others dignity and respect, caring for their needs, forgiving their faults, and sharing with them why we do it. As we finish this week, continue to focus on the shocking, radical cross of Christ and ask the Holy Spirit to use us in the ministry of reconciliation.
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