“God … reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation”.
2 Cor 5:18 NIV
As a Christian believer, you receive a multitude of blessings from God. Some of them are material. Some are personal. And others are what we might call spiritual blessings. You may have become recently – or years ago – reconciled to God. That is perhaps the greatest spiritual gift you can receive. Only it isn’t something you can cherish, hug to yourself and brag about – “Look how lucky I am. God has reconciled me to himself. Aren’t you envious?” God will not let you wallow in self-glorification like that. The very sentence in which Paul states the gospel action of God he completes by adding – “and has given us the ministry of reconciliation”.
Why were Paul and his companions in Corinth – and returned there time and again? It was because, along with the blessing of reconciliation, God had laid on them a serious calling to offer that same reconciliation to the people of Corinth – to those in Ephesus, Athens, Rome, and elsewhere. Many people in those cities misunderstood what Paul and his companions were about. Anybody who had not yet come to accept the offer of reconciliation couldn’t possibly grasp what the apostolic ministry was all about. The ministry of reconciliation was about persuading people to “Get right with God”. To this end Paul and his assistants toiled and traveled, preached and prayed, cared and coaxed, taught and tutored people, bringing them to Christ, seeking the forgiveness of their sins, and encouraging them to become ministers of the gospel themselves.
Seek whatever role you will play in this ministry of reconciliation. Get whatever training may help you. And keep the church on the straight and narrow path of this ministry.
Lord, keep us focussed on the ministry of reconciliation.
PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
Lord, it is Sunday again and I rejoice at the prospect of joining with fellow believers in worshipping you. Let services of worship everywhere be filled with a sense of your glory. Let people expect to encounter Christ and to experience his grace at work in their lives. May they decide to serve their fellow human beings. I ask it in Jesus’ name. AMEN