Monday, June 04, 2007

2 Corinthians 5:11 - 6:2

What do we live for? What gets us up in the morning – guiding and powering our thoughts, desires, decisions, and actions? What is worth living for?

Much in our culture shapes us – directly or indirectly, openly or subtly – to live for ourselves. Advertising, popular psychology and philosophy, self-help programs, financial gurus, and the like encourage us to think of and care for ourselves first. Through these and other influences, we may come to view the world around us – including people and things – as existing largely for our very own benefit first and last.

What do we live for? What gets us up in the morning – guiding and powering our thoughts, desires, decisions, and actions? What is worth living for?

Compare what Paul declared in today’s passage from 2 Corinthians: “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” Loving us, Jesus died for us. Then God raised him to new life, so Jesus continues to love and give himself to us. In gratitude and joy, we should live not for ourselves but for him. His love for us and others should get us up in the morning – guiding and powering our thoughts, desires, decisions, and actions. Jesus is worth living for!

How is it possible to live for Jesus? How can Jesus’ love shape, animate, and sustain who we are and how we live?

Again, compare what Paul proclaimed in today’s passage: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” In Jesus’ death and resurrection, we die and rise to new life. He transforms us. In the core of our being and all the ways we live out of our core being, we become new people in Jesus. Re-created in Jesus and compelled by his love, we can forsake the old and live in the new. We can resist being molded by the culture around us. We can begin to see the world differently, to think differently, to desire differently, and to act differently.

Thus, as Paul passionately urged, in newness of life we can and must carry on Jesus’ ministry of reconciling people to God. This is definitely worth living for! This day and every day!

Gregory Strong

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