Taking the First Step
September 12, 2017
Read: 2 Corinthians 5:11–21
Bible in a Year: Proverbs 13–15; 2 Corinthians 5
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.—2 Corinthians 5:19
Tham Dashu sensed something was missing in his life. So he started going to church—the same church his daughter attended. But they never went together. In earlier days, he had offended her, which drove a wedge between them. So, Tham would slip in when the singing started and leave promptly after the service ended.
Church members shared the gospel story with him, but Tham always politely rejected their invitation to put his faith in Jesus. Still, he kept coming to church.
One day Tham fell gravely ill. His daughter plucked up the courage and wrote him a letter. She shared how Christ had changed her life, and she sought reconciliation with her dad. That night, Tham put his faith in Jesus and the family was reconciled. A few days later, Tham died and entered into the presence of Jesus—at peace with God and his loved ones.
The apostle Paul wrote that we are to “try to persuade others” about the truth of God’s love and forgiveness (2 Cor. 5:11). He said that it is “Christ’s love [that] compels us” to carry out His work of reconciliation (v. 14).
Our willingness to forgive may help others realize that God desires to reconcile us to Himself (v. 19). Would you lean on God’s strength to show them His love today? —Poh Fang Chia
Is there someone you need to try to reconcile with? What practical first step can you take today?
Our willingness to seek reconciliation with others shows God’s heart to them.
INSIGHT: The “ministry of reconciliation” Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 5:18 is the story of the gospel. We were alienated from God, but in His mercy and grace He reached out to us. In sending Jesus, the Father extended the greatest offer of peace in human history—the Prince of Peace Himself.
For more on reconciliation, consider What Do You Do with a Broken Relationship? at discoveryseries.org/q0703. Bill Crowder
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