Daily posts to help you connect with God
and keep yourself travelling in the right orbit
ORBIT | WEEK FIFTEEN
ORBIT – DAY SEVENTY-THREE
Hello, we’ve reached the end of another week of Orbit, the daily devotional from the youth team at St Mary’s Reigate. The point of these little thoughts which we’re recording each day is to help you connect with God, and to take just a few moments to pray, engage with Scripture, and think about how your faith impacts your everyday life. Please let us know if it’s hitting the spot.
BIBLE READING – 2 Corinthians 5: 16-20
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 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 people’s sins against them. 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.
Wow, what an amazing little reading. This is Paul at his very most poetic and eloquent, dazzling the Corinthian church with the good news of who they have become as followers of Jesus. There are two separate thoughts here, and they are both massive… we’ll attempt to cover them both in just a few minutes, but I encourage you to go back and re-read this amazing passage again.
First of all, Paul draws the whole Bible together in a single statement. “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come.” In Genesis, we read about the original creation story: God forming the world out of nothing, and then watching as the people that he fills it with mess up and turn their back on him. Then, at the very other end of the Bible, we read in the final chapters of Revelation about the new creation; God telling the people that he is “making all things new.”
The world as we know it begins with creation, and sort of ends with the new creation; but what Paul is saying is that once we have decided to follow Jesus, we no longer live in the first half of that reality, but the second. We are part of the new creation; the one that does not wear out or grow old. This is why we can be so secure in our eternal hope: we are part of the new creation already.
As I said, that is a pretty Incredible thought, but we are still only halfway through. As Paul continues his line of thinking, he begins to explain part of our role as ‘new creations.’ Once he has drawn us to himself (the Bible uses a big word here to describe that: ‘reconciliation’), God has a job for us to do. He wants us to be involved in drawing the rest of the world towards him; to help reconcile everyone else to God.
To describe and explain this further, Paul uses this strange phrase – “we are therefore Christ’s ambassadors”. In the world of international relations, an ambassador is someone who represents his kingdom to the rest of the world. Well, that is exactly what we are asked to do too. We are Christ’s Ambassadors, representing God’s kingdom to the world around us. And as more people choose to follow Jesus as a result of our example and introduction, the new creation comes again and again. We get just a little bit closer to that world without fear, pain or tears as God’s kingdom grows and grows, one new creation at a time.
God could choose simply to zap people with the knowledge of himself. Instead, he entrusts us with the task of telling the world about him. He doesn’t just want passive followers; he invites us to be part of an ever-growing family, and he asks us to pass on that invitation to others too.
You might want to join me in praying this prayer.
Lord God, I thank you that in Jesus I am part of the new creation; I thank you that I have hope for eternity. I pray that you would help me to know the reality of that deep in my heart, and to share the incredible news of it with everyone I can. Amen
There’s now a chance for you to pray, or listen to God, or simply be still for a few moments.
Each day we will provide you with a simple challenge; something to do which helps you put this little thought into action. Here’s today’s challenge:
Today, take some time to think about the people in your life who don’t know Jesus. Who are those close to you, perhaps in your family or close circle of friends? Who are the people in your street or wider community? Try to make as long a list as you can of people with whom you have some sort of meaningful relationship, but who don’t follow Jesus. Perhaps you’ve never really stopped to do this – even though it’s quite a simple task. Spend some time reflecting on the list, and asking God to create opportunities to share his love with those people. That’s it – now just wait to see if and how God might use you as his ambassador today, and in the days ahead.
If you want to get in touch, you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Instagram – we’re @stmarys_satellites. Let us know what you think of this daily reflection – please – we’d love your feedback.
We’ll be back with another edition of Orbit on Monday. Thanks for taking part today!