In Atlanta as it is in Heaven
On Sunday we had the privilege of hearing Josh Gilbert preach for us. Josh is Mason's Dad, Al and KK's son, and is a church planter in Boise, Idaho. He's lived in Boise for about 11 years now, and shared with us a message from 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 that shapes everything he does.
"For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died.; 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. 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. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ is he a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 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. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
Have you ever thought about what controls you? What controls your thoughts, actions, and decisions? What controls the way you spend your time? For us in the metro Atlanta area we may quickly answer, "Traffic!" If we dig a little deeper we'll probably find that we're controlled by family, desire for comfort, a love of money, or an addiction. We're all naturally given to live for ourselves.
When the love of Christ controls us, we no longer live for ourselves but for Him and his purposes in the world. What would it look like if you didn't live for yourself? What does it look like for you to be controlled by the love of Christ?
For one, we would no longer see people according to the flesh. I don't view others as obstacles that are in my way or tools for me to use to get where I want to be; I see them as Jesus does. Everyone that we interact with has been placed in our path by God, who wants to show them His love through us. God has put us in our homes, neighborhoods, jobs, and friend groups with our particular set of interests, hobbies, and passions so that we might help reconcile people to Him! This is the ministry of reconciliation.
We can live this out simply by being intentional where God has already put us. Who can you pray for? How would Jesus see the people in your world? Listen to people in your everyday life and pray for an open door for the kingdom of God to break in.