It never ceases to amaze me how we can make things more complicated than they need to be. Now I know that life overall is getting more complicated each year. Think about what you have to know to transition to adulthood compared with all that is required today. We also can make grasping God’s Will for our life more complicated than it needs to be.
I came across a verse that reminded me that God’s will for my life, generally speaking, does not need to be complicated. What I mean by this is that we can simplify things by focusing on what God has told us to do in His Word. Yes, I know there are the specific areas of life like what to do with my life, should I marry this person and even should we buy a certain house. The challenge for many is that we become paralyzed by wanting to know these specifics and we ignore the obvious. We are learning about Authentic Ministry from the Apostle Paul in our study of 2 Corinthians. The Apostle’s response to his critics is really nothing more than focusing on the basics of living for God. We covered one such verse in our time in 2 Corinthians 5 this past Sunday.
The Apostle reminds us that God’s will for our lives can be summarized in one word. Now, this one word does not spell out the specifics for each person because God works through each of His followers in a unique way. The single word does set our trajectory so that the Lord can steer us to where we need to go.
Paul reminds us, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;” (2 Corinthians 5:18) The beginning phrase “All of this is from God” is a reference to the previous verse. Verse 17 that is well known to many followers, reminds us that when a person accepts Jesus, God remakes them into a new creation. One aspect of God’s work in your life is that he changes you from the inside out. Our verse then makes a powerful statement about God’s will for His followers in one word, “reconciliation.” The word means to restore a relationship with another after a presumed wrong. The person wronged here is God, the offender is Adam and Eve through their disobedience in the garden and us by our rebellion against God. Reconciliation powerfully describes what God did through Jesus to deal with the issue of sin so that our relationship with the Creator could be restored. We commonly refer to this as the Gospel of grace.
What I want us to focus on, however, is the last part of our verse. God has given us the “ministry of reconciliation.” This is a clear statement of God’s will in one word (actually three), generally speaking, for every person that has been transformed by the Gospel. It is now our responsibility to bring the message of Jesus to those in our lives. The best people to share the message are those who themselves have experienced God’s power in their lives. A later verse reminds us that we are God’s only plan for getting the message out. You might ask, “What does God want me to do specifically?” I cannot answer that, but if you make yourself available to the Lord, He will make it clear. The challenge then becomes following through on the Lord’s leading.
Let me stop here with a simple question, “Are you committed to fulfilling God’s purpose for your life?” If so, then you should be actively seeking how to touch those around you that do not yet know Jesus.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson