For our tour devotions on Sunday afternoon in Fresno we discussed 2 Corinthians 5.14-20. Earlier in the day a bunch of us had attended Cornerstone Church which was very close to our venue, but nevertheless we gathered later for a devotional time with bands and crew.
For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
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. 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. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 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.
Here are some of the points we noted:
1. Our lives should be motivated by the love of Jesus, because in His death we have all died to sin.
2. We no longer live a self-centered or self-focused life but instead live lives that are for Christ.
3. Not only our lives, but our very thinking and outlook has been transformed by the death of Jesus-we are no longer worldly in our judgments and attitudes.
4. This 'new creation' has been achieved not by ourselves but by God through Jesus.
5. Along with the 'new creation' we are given the responsibility of having 'the ministry of reconciliation' and of sharing 'the message of reconciliation'.
6. God has chosen us to be in the privileged and responsible position of being His ambassadors- He has given us license to be His representatives with His authority.
7. There is an urgency in this ministry and this message- we noted the many areas of life in the world today that need reconciliation- it's needed between countries, races, religions, rich and poor, husbands and wives, political parties.
Someone once said that the heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart and the problem is that so many people live lives, make decisions, and bring pain to others, because their hearts are not reconciled to God. We ended our devotional time together praying not just for reconciliation across the world, but for reconciliation in our own lives and the lives of those around us if there were areas of breakdown in relationship with people or with the Lord. We committed again to be ambassadors for Christ and to live and speak a message of reconciliation.