Wednesday Word 3.08.2017
2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10 New International Version
20 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. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 6 As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. 3 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. 4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed;10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
Lent. A time for reflection, coming to terms with our own behavior and attitudes, a time for squaring the books. As Pastor Joe pointed out: reconciliation. Above all, this time is for repentance. We have to figure out just who we think we are. We have to acknowledge who God is. Paul is begging us, in the name of the Savior who gave everything for us, to represent Christ in everything we do. If we fail to “become the righteousness of God,” then what God has done for us would be in vain. The grace Jesus suffered for would be wasted. We must keep on trying to do our very best in his name.
For me, Lent is time to take inventory. Fasting is not the favorite Christian discipline for a foodie, but during Lent, fasting takes on great meaning. For me, the practice has to do with how my mind works. I choose certain habits to set aside. These are actions that I might mindlessly do everyday. For example, during Lent when I reach for the potato chips in the evening or to accompany practically every sandwich I ever eat, my mind shouts, “Stop! I need Jesus more than I need these chips!” If I select several things I eat or do on a regular basis and repeat that thought in my head each time the subject comes to mind instead, I am reminded how badly I need Jesus all the time! I also try to do something positive every day in Jesus’ name. No one may know it but me, but that is the whole point. Lent is between God and me. It is also between God and you. What are you going to do about it? Something to pray about…
Your sister in Christ,