The Reconciling Gospel
“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.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
By its very nature, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news that we have been given the opportunity to be made right with God–to be reconciled to Him. In other words, the very ministry that God did for us is the same ministry God gives to us once we are saved, namely, reconciliation. This was not only significant when the New Testament was written, but it is also very important today. Our world longs for peace. Wars, racial tensions, cultural differences leading to discrimination, and the like fill our social media feeds on a daily basis. The only answer to the peace every human soul longs for is found in the reconciliation that the Gospel provides. Who are we telling that needs to know the glorious, reconciling Gospel?
Who in your life longs for peace and reconciliation? Share with that person the reconciliation that is found in the Gospel.
Our Missional God
“For from the rising of the sun to its setting, my name will be great among the nations.” Malachi 1:11
Our God is a missional God. He always seeks to expand His kingdom to peoples and places it has never been before. This is not only a New Testament principle, but it is the scarlet thread throughout the entire Bible. Amazingly, what Malachi described thousands of years ago about God’s passion to make His name great among the nations is still true today. The nations of the earth are being transformed by the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thousands of people every day are being saved by Jesus in China. The Gospel is running rapidly through the nation of Iran like never before. Why is that? It is God holding true to His Old Testament promise to make His name great among the peoples of the world.
What is your response to the global mission of God? How are you engaging different cultures with the gospel?
Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21
There is a word that has been historically used in the local church that is unhelpful. It is the word missions. Plural. The funny thing is that the New Testament never talks about missions, but it does talk about the mission. Singular. Here, Jesus commissions His disciples, not to missions, but to accomplish the mission. He sends them out to take the Gospel to different people from different places. So, what’s the mission you ask? Simply, it is to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). That’s it. Nothing more or nothing less. That means that the entire church, each and every person who has been saved by Jesus, has been given this missionary mandate, including you. This is accomplished as we use our job, skill, or passion and see the relationships within those spheres of influence impacted for the glory of God.
What is your next step to live out this missionary mandate in your life? Is it talking to that person who you know needs Jesus? Is it serving cross-culturally on a short-term mission team?
Proclaiming Good News
“How can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:15
If you were in captivity, what more joyous news could there be than the news that are you set free? Here, Paul quotes from the Old Testament book of Isaiah, in which Isaiah was describing the glorious message of Israel being delivered out of captivity in Babylon to return to Jerusalem, their home. This was just a foreshadow of the deliverance from the bondage of sin that the Messiah, Jesus, would ultimately accomplish on the Cross. It’s that message that disciples of Jesus are commissioned and sent out to proclaim. We tell people that there is a way out of the captivity of sin. We describe the good news of deliverance from the bondage of what keeps them from experiencing all that God desires for them. There is no greater joy than declaring the life-changing message of Jesus to those who need Him!
Do you see proclaiming the good news of the Gospel as a privilege or as a duty?
The Ultimate Pursuit of Life
“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus as my Lord, for whose sake, I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him.” Philippians 3:8
In life, we pursue a lot of different things. You name it, people have pursued it. Cars, money, fame, popularity, sex, drugs, and alcohol make up a common list of pursuits, albeit worthless endeavors. As a follower of Jesus however, you and I don’t have to go and find our ultimate pursuit because the Bible clearly defines what that quest should be. The ultimate pursuit of your life is to know Jesus Christ. Paul counted everything he had gained in this world as nothing when he thought about the quality or value of what it meant for him to know Christ in an intimate and personal way. This reminds us that the number one priority in our daily lives should be to spend time with Jesus. There is no substitute for time spent with Him.
How can you intentionally guard your daily time with Jesus in order to know Him more intimately?