WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, March 28, 2022 - RECONCILED RECONCILERS!
WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2022
Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is 2 Corinthians 5:17-19, where the Scripture says,
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
Do you remember watching football back in the day when people would try to share the Gospel by holding up a “John 3:16” poster in the stands at the end of an extra point or field goal? I guess if there’s one verse that you would want a person to read to get to the heart of the Bible’s message, that’s a pretty good one. It’s a powerful verse that plainly says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Some say that’s the Gospel “in a nutshell.” It certainly gets to the heart of the matter, doesn’t it?
But my favorite “summary of the Gospel” verse is from this little section in 2 Corinthians. In today’s verses Paul describes why God sent His only begotten Son. It was all about reconciling a world that was in rebellion back to the One who created it in and for perfection. It is about bringing together that which was separated because of human sin. It was about not counting our sins against us, when they should not only be counted, but should determine our destiny. It is about replacing the despair and the brokenness of our sin with the hope and righteousness of Jesus himself. Yes, “God was reconciling the world to Himself IN CHRIST” (v. 19). And for those who put their trust and faith in that reconciliation, we now are ambassadors of His hope. With Christ as our Savior, our Redeemer, and our Reconciler, we can reach out a reconciling hand that is full of His grace so that others might know Him and trust in Him too. That’s also the Gospel message and the Gospel empowered life in a nutshell.
Having been reconciled, we can be reconcilers. With lives in the grip of His grace, we can reach out with a reconciling hand to a world caught in its own self-centered desperation.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “CHANCING ONE’S ARM?” It’s a phrase about putting the power of Christ’s reconciliation to work in our lives. The phrase is associated with the oldest Christian site in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. One of its doors is called the “Door of Reconciliation.” There’s a rectangular hole hacked out of its center. In 1492, two prominent Irish families, the Ormonds and Kildares, were in the midst of a bitter feud. As the feud grew and turned into an all-out fight, the Earl of Ormand, his family, and his followers took refuge in the chapter house of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and bolted themselves in. However, as the siege wore on, the Earl of Kildare concluded the feuding was foolish. Here were two families worshiping the same God in the same church, living in the same country, and yet trying to kill each other.
Finally, Kildare called out to the Earl of Ormand and pledged that he would not seek revenge or indulge in villainy. Instead, he wanted the Ormands to come out and the feud to be over. But the Earl of Ormand was convinced that it was a scheme full of treachery and refused to come out of the Cathedral. So Kildare grabbed his spear, chopped a hole in the door with it, and thrust his hand through.
There was a tense moment until his hand was grasped by another hand inside the church. The door was opened and the two men embraced, thus ending the family feud. Reconciled to God, they could “chance their arm” to each other.
But here’s the point. Jesus didn’t just “chance his arm.” He gave His very body and His own life for our eternal salvation. Because of that fact of that reconciliation, we who trust in Christ can take a chance on others each and every day. As “reconciled-reconcilers,” we can point people to that powerful message by pointing them to these powerful verses in 2 Corinthians. If I was to hold up a poster on TV with a Bible reference on it to summarize the Gospel, I think it would be 2 Corinthians 5:17-19. But, better yet, let’s challenge ourselves to embody this verse as we strive to extend the reconciling message of 2 Corinthians to those whom God has placed in our lives. It’s a life worth living, now and forever.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, challenge us today to put the power of our reconciliation to God IN YOU to work in the relationships we have in our lives. AMEN.
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