Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

You Are Forgiven – The Result of Forgiveness

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Week Four – Day One – Monday, September 19, 2016.

Read  2 CORINTHIANS 5 (ESV)    SOAP v. 17wk4d1

5 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. 11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

O – What a long passage today….

First of all, Paul speaks of the “tent” – his human body, that he dwells in. (v. 1,2)  BUT – he longs for, he groans, for the heavenly body that God will give him. (v. 2 – 4)   The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of this promise for him.  (v 5) In the meantime, he lives to please God. (v. 9)   There is this struggle:  to be “in the body” (here on earth) or “away from the body” (at home with the Lord.”(v. 6 – 8)  But whatever the case, Paul says that it is “our aim to please Him”, because we will all appear before the Lord to answer for our deeds.  (v 9,10)

KNOWING THIS, we live to “persuade others.”  (v. 11)  The love of Christ “controls us.” (compels us)  (v. 14)  WHY?  Because we have “concluded this”:  “One has died for ALL – therefore all have died.” And He died for all SO THAT we will no longer “live for themselves BUT FOR HIM (v. 14,15)   As a result, we don’t think of anyone “according to the flesh.” (v. 16).  THEREFORE – if ANYONE is in Christ, he is a NEW CREATION.  The old has passes away; behold, the new has come.”  (v. 17)

ALL THIS is from God – who reconciled us to Himself through Christ – and gave to US the MINISTRY of reconciliation.  (v. 18)  In Christ, God reconciles the world to Himself – and doesn’t count our sins against us.  And he is “entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (v. 19)  THEREFORE – we are AMBASSADORS for Christ – God is appealing the world “ through us.  We implore you on behalf of Christ – be reconciled to God.” (v. 20)  For OUR sake, God made Christ, who had no sin – to be sin for us, SO THAT in HIM we might become the righteousness of God.”  (v. 21)

A – Whew…. That was a lot of cause/effect statements, SO THAT, THEREFORE, BUT statements!   What do they mean for me?

  • Knowing that we will all appear before the judgment seat of God, we live to persuade others to believe in Him. To Live for Him.  Why?  The love of Christ COMPELS us!   We just can’t help but do it.   Do I live that way?  Am I COMPELLED to tell others? Does Christ CONTROL me to the point that I just can’t help but tell others about Him?
  • Christ died for all SO THAT we won’t live for ourselves , but for Him. Do I live in that knowledge?  WHO do I live for?  In the daily stuff?  In my conversations?
  • In Christ, I am a NEW CREATION. Do I live in that new state?  Or, do I revert back to my old self?
  • God gave to us the ministry of reconciliation – ambassadors for Him. He appeals the world through us.  How am I doing as His ambassador?  Do I represent Him well?  Everywhere?  Or in places where I am comfortable?  If God is appealing the world through us, He is appealing through me.  Is the message getting through, or is it muddled?

Yesterday, Pastor Tony gave a powerful sermon on Romans 9.  He concentrated on the first three verses.  Paul agonized, he had “great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart” (v 2) for his brothers.  This was to the point that he wished that HE was accursed and cut off from Christ – so that they would come to him.  Not just to die – but willing to suffer eternal damnation in order to bring others to Christ.  Is that our willingness??  Is that MY ache?  Or is it “I hope they believe… but if they don’t I still have eternal life…?”  What IS my heart-ache?  Does my heart break for what breaks His?

Do I live as a new creation – spreading His love to those I meet?  Am I an ambassador…. Or a silent witness?

P – Father God, I DO thank You for making me a new creation in You.  I relish in my forgiven state, knowing that I face eternal life with You forever.  But, I confess that I have failed in my ministry of reconciliation.  I am a poor ambassador.  Yes – I live a life that is forgiven.  I minister at church.  I spend time with You.  I read Your Word.  BUT – I don’t shout out Your love to those who don’t know You.  Again, I am surrounded by Your people.  But, not reaching out to those around me, and actively speaking of YOU.  Father, forgive me.  Break my heart for what breaks Yours.  Give me a love for those who don’t know You.  Help me to go beyond ME to them.  Give me eyes, and ears, for those who need You today.

“Jesus, friend of sinners, break my heart for what breaks Yours…” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UL9U5mQKQLU

“Jesus, Friend Of Sinners” by Casting Crowns

Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far away
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth’s become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You but they’re tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up I’m so double minded
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided

Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours

Yeah…

Jesus, friend of sinners, the one who’s writing in the sand
Made the righteous turn away and the stones fall from their hands
Help us to remember we are all the least of these
Let the memory of Your mercy bring Your people to their knees
Nobody knows what we’re for only what we’re against when we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and loved like You did

Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours

You love every lost cause; you reach for the outcast
For the leper and the lame; they’re the reason that You came
Lord I was that lost cause and I was the outcast
But you died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at Your feet

‘Cause You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever
You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever
You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever
You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever

Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks Yours

And I was the lost cause and I was the outcast
Yeah…
You died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at Your feet

“Flawless” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjLlLPZderk

There’s got to be more
Than going back and forth
From doing right to doing wrong
‘Cause we were taught that’s who we are
Come on get in line right behind me
You along with everybody
Thinking there’s worth in what you do

Then Like a hero who takes the stage when
We’re on the edge of our seats saying it’s too late
Well let me introduce you to amazing grace

No matter the bumps
No matter the bruises
No matter the scars
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless
No matter the hurt
Or how deep the wound is
No matter the pain
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless

Could it possibly be
That we simply can’t believe
That this unconditional
Kind of love would be enough
To take a filthy wretch like this
And wrap him up in righteousness
But that’s exactly what He did

No matter the bumps
No matter the bruises
No matter the scars
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless
No matter the hurt
Or how deep the wound is
No matter the pain
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless

Take a breath smile and say
Right here right now I’m ok
Because the cross was enough

Then Like a hero who takes the stage when
We’re on the edge of our seats saying it’s too late
Well let me introduce you to grace grace
God’s grace

No matter the bumps
No matter the bruises
No matter the scars
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless
No matter the hurt
Or how deep the wound is
No matter the pain
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless

No matter what they say
Or what you think you are
The day you called His name
He made you flawless
He made you flawless

No matter the bumps
No matter the bruises
No matter the scars
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless

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