2 Corinthians 5:14-20 (NIV)
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.
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.
During the month of August, Awakening is committed to prayer. Purposeful, God focused, prayer. Ryan always reminds us that wherever prayer lands, the power of God will fall! We at Awakening, are following in his footsteps, believing and trusting God that great things will happen when we pray.
This last Sunday was such a powerful time of prayer and community. The love of Christ was undeniably present! We read and prayed over a few verses, including 2 Corinthians 5:14-20. The focus was on the fact that it is God’s love that compels us to live our lives dedicated to Christ. By no other means are we willing and able to complete the task placed before us to share the love that we have found. God died for all so that we would be reconciled to Him. Verse 20 explains that we are to share this message of reconciliation with those who have not heard the Good News of Jesus Christ. We, as Christ followers, are to show the forgiveness, love, and truth of our God with the rest of this broken world. We are not to be ashamed or scared to proclaim what we know and believe to be true. We are to be proud and courageous warriors for God!
After praying over these truths, we were lead and encouraged to pray for specific people in our lives and around the world that do not know Christ. First, we started with our “Jerusalem”, the people that are close to us. We then moved to “Judea”, the immediate world around us (i.e. San Jose, work, school…). The third “place” we prayed for was “Samaria.” These are those people in our lives that we do not like, our enemies; those people that we avoid and do not agree with morally. The last “place” that we prayed over was “to the ends of the Earth.” This was for countries around the world that are struggling and are in desperate need of love, support, and grace.
Praying for these “places” and people they can represent was a great reminder that God wants us to show everyone the love that He has for us. Not just the people that we like or the ones that we think deserve God’s grace, but also for the ones that we do not think deserve it and that we might even despise. This can be a struggle. I know it was for me. It is hard to show grace and love to those that have hurt us or that we do not agree with. However, God loves them just as much as He loves you, and they deserve His grace and mercy!
We are called to be Christ’s ambassadors to the world! Do not be afraid to share the love and truth that you have found through Christ, and do not be ashamed or prideful to pray for people that are close and far from you. Where prayer lands, the power of God will fall!
Devotional Author: Laura Watkins