Friday Devo

Scripture Reading:

2 Corinthians 5:16-20
16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

Commentary from the ESV Study Bible:

5:16 Regard no one according to the flesh, that is, according to worldly standards and values that derive from living as if one’s present physical life is all that matters. Before Paul’s conversion, he once regarded Christ according to the flesh, i.e., Paul considered Christ to be a false messiah (according to Jewish standards), viewing his suffering and death as the curse of God (see Deut. 21:23; Gal. 3:13).
5:17 new creation. The redemption of a people who now live for Christ by living for others, effected by the power of the Spirit (3:3, 6, 18) and the death of Christ (5:14–15), is the beginning of the new creation that was destined to come amid this evil age (see Isa. 43:18–19; 65:17–23; 66:22–23). This new creation is also the beginning of Israel’s final restoration from God’s judgment in the exile (see the context of Isa. 43:1–21; 65:17–25).
5:18–20 reconciliation. An expression of the significance of God’s saving activity in Christ that is unique to Paul (see Rom. 5:10–11; 11:15; Eph. 2:16; Col. 1:20, 22). These verses outline (1) the basis of Paul’s apostolic ministry of the new covenant (Paul’s own reconciliation to God through Christ); (2) its consequence (his ministry and message of reconciliation to the world for Christ); (3) its essential content (the forgiveness of sins by virtue of Christ’s death); and (4) its call (on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God). ambassadors for Christ. Paul is sent as God’s prophetic minister of the new covenant (2 Cor. 3:4–6) to announce God’s “peace treaty” (cf. Isa. 53:5) with those who will trust in Christ to free them from the penalty and power of sin (2 Cor. 5:14–15; see Isa. 52:6–10; Rom. 10:15). “Be reconciled to God” is a summary of the gospel message Paul proclaims to unbelievers; it is a call to receive the reconciliation that God has wrought (Rom. 5:11).

Study Questions:

  • Perspective is extremely important in the Christian life. It can determine so much of how we see ourselves, see God, and our overall outlook on life. And it is a crucial factor in how we interact with others. In verse 16, Paul talks about evaluating others from God's point of view instead of a human one. Think about the more difficult relationships in your life. A helpful exercise is to quiet your mind before God and do your best to try to see those people the way you know God does. See them through his eyes of compassion, grace and love. See them as a child of God whom he loves without end. Can you see how this might change your heart towards them? Spend some time today praying for them. Write their names down and ask God to soften your heart.

  • We are Christ's ambassadors! Jesus left it up to us to share the Good News of God's grace with the world. Have you ever thought about the fact that you are where you are for a reason? That maybe God has you positioned exactly where he needs you in order to reach someone that no one else can reach? God is making his appeal through YOU! YOU carry the wonderful message of reconciliation. Who around you needs this wonderful message? How can you start taking steps in their direction? Pray and ask God to give you opportunities.

Pray:

  • That you would see your life and others through God's point of view.
  • That you would be Christ's ambassador today.

This Week's City 7:

Try to commit to memory! 

1. Who is Jesus? I believe Jesus is God because Jesus said He is God and proved it by rising from the dead and appearing to His disciples, His brother James, 500 others at one time and Paul.
(Mark 3:21; John 8:58, 10:30-33, 14:9-11; Acts 9:1-6; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:2-3; James 1:1)

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