Job 42:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:15-21; Psalms 46:1-7; Proverbs 14:20-21
NT: “From now on, then, we do not know anyone from a worldly perspective. Even if we have known Christ from a worldly perspective, yet now we no longer know him in this way. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:16-21 CSB)
As we place our faith fully in the gospel message and allow the Lord to transform us by His grace through the Holy Spirit, our perspective on everything (especially other people) should change. As we allow the love of Christ to truly compel us, we should begin to view people from Christ’s perspective and no longer from the world’s perspective. As we are made new in Christ, people are no longer rich or poor, privileged or unprivileged, male or female, educated or non-educated, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Arabic, etc. People are either redeemed and reconciled through faith in Christ Jesus, or they are lost people who desperately need to be redeemed and reconciled to God. The redeemed and reconciled people are the ones with the responsibility of sharing the message of reconciliation with the rest of the world. As we are in Christ, God has committed the message of reconciliation to us. What an honor and privilege!
Reconciliation is such a hot topic in the world today. Many people talk about it and have their various opinions on how to accomplish it. Governments wrestle with what their role is in the reconciliation process, and politicians try to develop laws and policies to move people toward reconciliation. True reconciliation, however, cannot happen by mandate. True reconciliation among people will only truly happen once people are first made new in Christ and reconciled to God. Then, by the transforming power of God by the Holy Spirit, they can be reconciled to one another. The world needs… actually the world is desperate for the message that we carry: to be reconciled to God. The question is: are we viewing people the way the world views them or the way that Christ views them – and if we are viewing them with Christ’s perspective, are we allowing God to make His appeal to them through us to be reconciled to God?
Psalms: “God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble. Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas, though its water roars and foams and the mountains quake with its turmoil. Selah There is a river — its streams delight the city of God, the holy dwelling place of the Most High. God is within her; she will not be toppled. God will help her when the morning dawns. Nations rage, kingdoms topple; the earth melts when he lifts his voice. The Lord of Armies is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah” (Psalms 46:1-7 CSB)
Some Biblical scholars believe that this psalm may have been written during the rule of King Hezekiah, when Jerusalem was under siege by Assyria. It was an incredibly troubling time for the people of Judah – and especially for King Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The world around them was shaking and falling apart as city by city, nation by nation fell to Assyria’s power. And Assyria was at their front door, threatening to destroy them as well. In the midst of all that turmoil, the psalmist had a different perspective that brought peace. God is our refuge, our shelter from danger. God is our strength and might. He is our always-present helper in times of distress. Therefore, there is no reason – even though the world around us is falling apart – to be afraid. Selah… pause, take a deep breath, meditate on that truth and allow it to affect your heart and mind.
Jerusalem was not built on the banks of a river – it had no ready access to water. Thankfully, Hezekiah had completed a project that constructed an underground aqueduct from an outside water source into the inner confines of the city. Though Jerusalem was under siege, they had access to water that bubbled up within the city. In the same way, when we place our faith in Christ, rivers of living water will bubble up within us as well (John 7:38). Though we may live in dry times, we never have to worry about dying of thirst or drying out; for as we are in Christ by faith, He dwells within us and His Spirit flows within us, giving us life and peace. Though people around us burn with anger and hatred, though nations rage against each other, though political parties rise and fall, we can be at peace for the Lord God is with us and His life flows within us. Selah… pause, take a deep breath, meditate on that truth and allow that new perspective to bring peace to your heart and mind.
Prayer: Lord, what an incredible privilege You have entrusted me with: being Your ambassador on the earth and communicating Your message of reconciliation to all who will hear. In all of that, help me by Your Spirit to always see people and situations with Your perspective, and respond to people and situations the way that You respond. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.