Generally, I like to stay in some sort of bible study. Sometimes I’ll do a group study, but I especially enjoy working through studies on my own. It keeps me focused. It gives my private Bible-reading times some structure. It helps me understand difficult scriptures or look at familiar scriptures in a new way.
Not so, this summer. Currently, I’m sort of floundering through the New Testament. In an effort to saturate myself in the Word, I started reading through I Corinthians at the beginning of the summer (I chose I Corinthians simply because I think it’s the book I’ve read the least.) I made my way through that book and on to II Corinthians. I don’t really have an agenda, except to immerse myself daily in God’s word so He can speak to me. I’m trying to read through the passages slowly, jotting down scriptures in my journal that stand out to me. Sometimes I read the commentary or look up the cross-references.
Today this jumped out:
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And 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.” (II Corinthians 5:14-15)
That those who live (that’s me) should no longer live for themselves (that’s me again) but for him who died for them and was raised again (that’s Jesus).
And the thought occurs to me, “I am not my own. I am bought with a price.” My friend, Pam, says this a lot, and I quickly thank God for her friendship.
Boy, sometimes I forget that my life is not my own. For days on end, I will go about my business like I’m living for me and not at all for Jesus.
I continue reading and this jumps out:
“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. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (II Corinthians 5: 18-20)
Ambassadors. Ambassadors. I’m stuck on the word “ambassadors.” What is an ambassador, exactly?
This from the American Heritage Dictionary
1. A diplomatic official of the highest rank appointed and accredited as representative in residence by one government or sovereign to another, usually for a specific length of time.
2. A diplomatic official heading his or her country’s permanent mission to certain international organizations, such as the United Nations.
3. An authorized messenger or representative.
I am an ambassador for Christ—specifically an ambassador of reconciliation. Whoa. I feel a little convicted, because I have some relationships in my life that are not quite reconciled. I have been deeply wounded by reckless words—well, actually well thought-out words that pierced through me like a sword—and I am content to lick my wounds for awhile. I feel like I deserve to wallow a bit longer, since I’m the victim here. I wonder if God is talking to me about this or if He’s specifically highlighting my role as ambassador to reconcile others to God. Either way, I’m not doing a very good job.
I decide I will not read any further today. I need to chew on this ambassador thing. I have a sneaking suspicion this is going to be a theme God speaks to me throughout the week.
As I lay aside my bible and begin to pray for my family and my health,I remember in church on Sunday, my pastor sharing some scriptures on fear. God reminds me that I never have to be afraid, because fear does not come from Him.
Fear NEVER comes from Him.
I’m in the midst of making some decisions about my health and medications. If I talk to too many people or do too many Google searches, it generates a lot of fear. This is just what I needed to hear from God at the moment. God has not given me the spirit of fear, but of power, of love and a sound mind (or self discipline, depending on the translation.) Today, I need to know God has given me a sound mind. Thank you, Lord for speaking so clearly today.
Now, about this reconciliation thing…
What is God saying to you today? Comment or link up!
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