One Word

One Word

The Apostle Paul communicates to us an awesome ministry that God has given us.  Listen to these amazing words,  “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.”  II Cor 5:19b-20
Listen to how one theologian spoke of this passage, “What the Greek says literally is that God is ‘placing in us the word of reconciliation’.  I suspect this may mean more than entrusting a message to us.  I think Paul means that the word is implanted in us in such a way to embody the word of reconciliation.  We don’t just announce it; we embody it.  Do you see the difference?”  What an amazing truth.  God is making his appeal through us by changing us and shaping us into the image of Jesus.  We are the walking, talking evidence of the reconciling work of God.  We must then, be ready ambassadors when he chooses to place us before someone whom he has readied to hear the truth of reconciliation.  The Spirit is the one who prepares our hearts and the hearts of those who will be ready to hear the truth of the Gospel.
Do you realize how much pressure that takes off of witnessing?  I do not need to try and cram the gospel into a conversation.  I am the living gospel and God is making his appeal through me.  I just need to look for the times when God opens up the opportunity by making me ready and the person I am speaking, ready to hear.
So here is my thought.  I admit that this thought does not do justice to the amazing truths laid out in this passage but it might help us live out who we are.  It might help us recognize these divine appointments that God brings into our lives.  What if Paul is truly being literal here?  What if God has truly given us the word “reconciliation”.  I know that is silly but think about this.  If you could work that word, reconciliation, into any conversation you were having, think of how that might open the door to speak to those whom God has made ready.  It is not as difficult as you might think.  “God has truly changed the way I think about that when he reconciled me to himself”.  “As a man who has been reconciled to God, I try to…’.  If that person has been made ready by the Holy Spirit, something which the Bible says he is doing, then it might start a conversation about Jesus.  If not, you simply keep talking.  Beware though, often the first response, even by one made ready to hear, may be a little harsh,  Don’t let that discourage you.  Often, a hungry heart is covered up by harshness.
Now, to be fair, you do not have to use the word reconciliation.  Just let your speech be seasoned with the salt of the truth of God.  Words such as mercy, grace, praying, church, and of course Jesus, are also great words that might lead to a conversation about the Gospel.  Go ahead, give it a try, see how many people respond.  The Bible says that the harvest is ready for picking.  Just keep your eyes open and your hearts ready to be what God has made you to be.

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