2 Corinthians 5

2 Corinthians 5 contains some great promises from God, an understanding of what is to come, and a description of our role as Christ Followers.  Paul begins by talking about our human bodies as being a “tent” our “earthly home”.  That will give way to “a building from God…..a house not made with hands….eternal in the heavens”.  What a contrast and promise.  Our current state is pretty unsettled and unstable.  Tents are a somewhat limited form of shelter – they can be easily swayed by the surroundings and are not terribly stable.  But God has prepared something much better for us in eternity.  And here is the promise: “He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee”.  God has prepared our place – it isn’t something we need to worry about.  Our role is to receive His gift of grace and cling to His promise of an eternity prepared by Him.  And he sealed that promise with His Spirit – it is a guarantee.  We often get money back guarantees in our human world today.  But God has given us an eternal guarantee that will last forever!

Paul notes that “while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord”.  We can’t truly receive all that God has for us in our mortal nature.  That comes when we end live on earth.  But while we are here, we should take a cue from Paul who tells us “we walk by faith, not by sight…. we are of good courage….we make it our aim to please him”.  Is that your aim?  Are you focused on walking in faith just to please an audience of One?  Does it matter?  It certainly does.  And Paul gives us the reason why how we live makes a difference: “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ….each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body….to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart”.  God cares about our heart – that is the real qualification for our eternity.  Are you ready?  Have you prepared to stand before the judgment seat?  It is coming for each of us – no free passes – no get out of jail free cards – we have to give an account. 

So how do we deal with the reality that we all screw up and fail pretty regularly?  Paul tells us the secret: “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come”.  We are a new creature when Jesus comes into our heart.  We can live a life that is different.  It doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes and sin.  If that were the case Jesus would not have needed to go to the Cross.  But it does mean that our motivations are different with Him at the wheel and we truly can learn to walk in obedience to God’s will and by listening to His whispers and the Holy Spirit in us – we can live a much better life. 

Each of us as a Christ Follower need to realize that like Paul, “we are ambassadors for Christ….God making his appeal through us”.  We are his messengers.  We are the way He chose to deliver the good news to those in our patch.  We have a job to do.  How are you doing sharing Jesus?  Paul says “we implore you….be reconciled to God”.  He and his team had a heart to share the gospel because it is a high stakes reality.  Folks who don’t know the message and deal with sin through Christ have a dim future.  The message is basic and clear: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”.  Jesus paid the price.  He is the hope for the future.  He is our Savior and Lord.  Are you letting people in your patch, in your home, in your office or place of work, even in your church, know about Jesus?

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