Start with Posture of Silence and Solitude (2 minutes)
Read Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:1-21
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 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, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 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 people’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.
In his second letter to the believers in Corinth, Paul commiserates with them — their new lives in the Spirit are uncomfortable in their old, earthly bodies. They long to be in the promised heavenly bodies, which are immortal, eternal, and with God. But while believers wait, they live to please God; they live for God (not themselves). Motivated by Jesus’ love, his saving death, and eternal hope, believers embody a radical, new perspective: We are Jesus’ ambassadors — his authorized representatives — to the world. We are in a love relationship with God, and our job is to persuade everyone to share in that beautiful knowledge, love, and relationship.
Question to Ponder:
How does your role as Jesus’ ambassador change how you go about your day?
Dear God, I thank you, thank you, thank you for my new life in the Spirit. Thank you for the hope I have in you — for today, for the future, for forever. Please help me to live and act in that hope each day. And please guide me to share your love, truth, and hope with everyone around me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
End with Posture of Silence and Solitude (2 minutes)