August 2, 2016: Day 65 – II Corinthians 5

Paul changes his imagery from that of clay jars to that of an earthly tent which back in the day was quite fragile in its own right.  But he switches now from focusing on how he is willing to live a life of sacrifice on behalf of the church in Corinth, to describing the resurrection as that which reconciles us to God.  The focus is no longer on the benefits that the church receives from the ministry of Paul, but rather the benefits that we receive from the presence of the Lord in our lives.   Vs.7 is a famous verse which reminds us that we walk by faith and not by sight.  We live our lives not fully aware of what the resurrection will entail or what will come after this life, but we have faith that it will be something which will be eternal and will draw us closer to the living God.   Starting at vs.11 he launches into a treatise on reconciliation which is crucial to our understanding of who we are in the sight of God and who God wants us to be in the sight of our neighbor.  The reconciliation that we receive from Christ arises from the fact that in Christ we are a new creation.  The past is finished and gone.  Do I need to repeat that?  We are a new creation in Christ Jesus.  Since we are a new creation then we are to be ambassadors for Christ.  I've had my share of experiences with Ambassadors from dozens of countries around the world.  While we were serving in Russia there could be up to 6 different Ambassadors representing their country in worship with us.  When the Ambassador to Cameroon passed away I spent every evening in their embassy mourning with them for two months.  I would preach and we would sing songs with the Cameroonians that I knew.  All of this took place in their embassy.  They had to translate my words into French so we were always there quite late.  When I performed his funeral the room was full of dignitaries and Ambassadors from near and far.   But each of these Ambassadors were always "on".  There was not a moment in their life when they were not representing their country in their actions and in their speech.  I knew the Nigerian Ambassador quite well and when I would go over to his house he would let his hair down a bit, but he was still "on" and guarded.  This is what Paul means when he states that we are ambassadors for Christ.  We are his spokespeople.  We always have to be "on" regardless of the situation and where we find ourselves.  We are to be the righteousness of God.  This is a hard concept to keep in the front of our minds every single day.  But how can we not when we recognize what it took to be reconciled to God.  The very sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ.  So let us be reconciled and then as a result good ambassadors for our Creator.
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