September 9, 2014
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 9 September 2014
Second Corinthians masterfully outlines God’s mission and how you and I can join Him. You have likely heard that the Bible – from Genesis to Revelation – is God’s story of redemption. The truth of that statement is evident in 2 Corinthians.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come (2 Cor 5:17).
If you have a relationship with Jesus (by grace through faith), you are a new creation. When you begin a relationship with Him, it is a complete transformation. You are recreated, and thus no longer regard life in the same manner as previously.
The old creation was thrust into condemnation and sin as a consequence of Adam’s disobedience, but the new creation means righteousness and salvation as a result of Jesus’ obedience. He restores the broken relationship with God.
Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18).
The reason for Jesus coming from heaven to earth was related to God’s mission of reconciliation. Jesus came to restore the division between God and humanity. The initiative for every aspect of reconciliation was with God. Scripture never refers to God being reconciled to the world; rather, the Bible always declares that the world is being reconciled to God. Why is the distinction important? God’s attitude toward humanity was, and is, love. God took the initiative to restore the relationship with fallen humanity. By grace through faith in God’s son – the Lord Jesus – we are no longer enemies of God.
Prior to trusting in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, the Apostle Paul was an enemy of God. He arrested and condemned to death those people who loved Jesus. For this reason, as Paul (then called Saul) was walking toward Damascus, the Lord seized his attention by asking, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” God took the initiative to reconcile Paul to Himself. He made Paul a new creation, and has done the same for everyone who trusts in Jesus Christ. Every believer in Jesus has a testimony of God’s amazing grace. What, then, is God’s expectation of his people?
. . . He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us . . . (2 Cor 5:19b-20a).
God’s plan to accomplish his mission is the church: you and me. He brought us into a relationship with Himself so we could represent Him wherever He has brought us. Christians are ambassadors of Jesus Christ who are sent into the world to declare reconciliation with God. Do you share that wondrous message? Are you living that message?
And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain—for He says, “AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.” Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION” (2 Cor 6:1-2).
If you and I – as those who have trusted Christ Jesus – are unwilling to serve as “ambassadors” in God’s mission, we are receiving his grace “in vain.” God’s grace and love compelled Him to take the initiative in salvation by providing a Savior. Now is “the day of salvation” for others. For this reason, Capitol Commission, in partnership with the church, is committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ through the proclamation of the gospel message, and establishing those who have placed their faith in the Lord God. We would love to encourage and enable you to participate in this glorious mission with us, whether you are part of a Capitol community or wherever God has placed you.
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our Capitol communities.
Your missionary to our Capitol community,