devotional post # 2173
2 Corinthians 5:16-19
2Co 5:16 For this reason, we are not interested in knowing anyone on a mere external basis. Even though we once knew about Christ on a mere external basis, we do not know him like that any longer.
2Co 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature. The old creature has died; notice, the new creature has come.
2Co 5:18 All this is from God, who through Christ made a friend of us for himself and gave us the ministry of making friends for him of others;
2Co 5:19 that is, in Christ God was making a friend of the world for himself, not counting their violations against them, and entrusting to us the message of making friends for God.
getting close to God
Reconciliation is defined as making a friend out of a former enemy. That is what missions is all about. In order to do that, we have to stop thinking of non-Christians as enemies. They are potential friends and fellow believers. We begin by rethinking our relationship with Christ, because at some point all of us view him kata sarka (according to the flesh) — on a mere external basis. But when we hear the gospel, our relationship with Christ changes, and our relationship with God becomes close for the first time. Evangelism is passing on the new friendship. It is possible because when we get close to God, we become new creatures, capable of bringing others to him.
LORD, help us to see nonbelievers as potential friends of God, and help us to pass on our friendship with you to them.