2 Corinthians 5 Devotional – Day 4

ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness

WRATH God loves all that is right and good, for rightness and goodness conforms to his moral character. So it shouldn’t be surprising that God intensely hates sin. Scripture’s narrative frequently describes God’s wrath, especially when God’s people sin against him.

    • “I have seen this people . . . now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them.” (Exodus 32:9–10)
    • “Remember and do not forget how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness. . . . Even at Horeb you provoked the Lord to wrath, and the Lord was so angry with you that he was ready to destroy you.” (Deuteronomy 9:7–8)
    • “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.” (John 3:36)
    • “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men.” (Romans 1:18)

Praise God that He intensely hates sin.

Praise God that he instructs us in what is right and wrong. Praise the Holy Spirit for convicting of sin. Praise God for dealing this sin on the cross. Praise God that he loves all that is right and good.

CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100

SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.

  • Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
  • Ask God to give you strength to be faithful as his ambassador today.
  • Pray for our church and various other churches we associate with (Rock Hill, Westridge, Orchard, Heart of Kansas Churches, etc.). Ask God to use these churches to raise up and send people out to be faithful ambassadors.
  • Ask God to speak as you read and meditate.

SCRIPTURE READING:

2 Corinthians 5 The Message

1-5 For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.

6-8 That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.

9-10 But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad.

11-14 That keeps us vigilant, you can be sure. It’s no light thing to know that we’ll all one day stand in that place of Judgment. That’s why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God. God alone knows how well we do this, but I hope you realize how much and deeply we care. We’re not saying this to make ourselves look good to you. We just thought it would make you feel good, proud even, that we’re on your side and not just nice to your face as so many people are. If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.

A New Life
14-15 Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.

16-20 Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life emerges! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

21 How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

SCRIPTURE REFLECTION:
How do you see people? Attractive or unattractive? Successful or unsuccessful? Annoying or winsome? A threat or a friend? There are many ways we categorize people. The most accurate and helpful way is to categorize them as “in Christ” or “lost.” In addition it is helpful to see all people, whether they have believed the gospel or not as simply human. This means that they are sinful, they are made in God’s image, they are limited, and they will all die someday. Instead of being overly impressed or seeking to be impressive we must seek to bless others for God’s glory and their good. Instead of being intimidated or measuring others by the way their physical bodies are put together or what “stuff” they have accumulated we must see them as God does. We are all sinners in need of a savior. We are all simply humans in need of one another. We are all limited beings who will someday die. Ask God to open your eyes to see people as he does. Ask him to help you relate to them in accordance with who and what they really are, not with some false perception that doesn’t align with reality. From now on, regard no one from a worldly point of view.

Leave a Reply