Saturday after the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:1-21 (NKJV)
1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. 9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. 12 For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you.
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
If we are living faithfully in Christ, we will not live our lives in a happy-go-lucky fashion. We will not go from one success to another. We are burdened in this world. We groan and are distressed. We are not just burdened with the progressive failure of our physical bodies, but burdened also with the very life we must live here. We do greatly enjoy God’s creation, and we are deeply thankful for the blessings and provisions we are granted on this earthly pilgrimage. We also groan over the sin and darkness we must endure in this fallen world.
We watch in horror as a world runs toward death, and away from Christ. It grieves us deeply that this world is subjected to futility and will stumble in the dark from one tragedy to the next. Sometimes it is more than we think we can take, but “we walk by faith, not by sight.” We know there is a better world that awaits us. We live in that hope. We continue to struggle against the sin in this world. We continue to try to bring good out of evil. But we put our ultimate hope in the Lord and in the world that He will make for us.
He gives us His Spirit to guide us and give us confidence. We can be confident as we try to bring light to our world that our Lord has brought it already. He supports us and brings His purposes to accomplishment in and through us. We cannot be failures when we let our Lord work through us.