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Posts Tagged ‘new creation’

I was reading 2 Corinthians earlier, and it reminded me that it’s important to monitor our spiritual temperature. I know, you can’t remember where that thermometer is, right? Me either. That’s no problem, because taking our spiritual temperature doesn’t require any special equipment, just a willingness to be honest. Here’s the passage from 2 Corinthians 5:

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, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:14-18)

How does this fit in with taking our spiritual temperature? The answer lies in the first few words: “For Christ’s love compels us”. How compelled are you to share the good news of God’s grace with lost people? Would you respond to God’s voice with “not my will but yours, Lord”, or would you ignore Him if He’s asking you to do something difficult or inconvenient?

Christ’s love compels us to reach out to the lost, to be His “ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” (v. 20) I hate to admit it, but my spiritual temperature has been rather lukewarm lately. I’ve allowed the devil to use my emotional struggles to discourage, distract and disarm me. My focus has shifted away from God and onto myself, my feelings, my pain, my heartache.

There is a time to focus on ourselves. Introspection is an important part of letting God’s light shine on our brokenness, so that He can heal us. However, if we’re not careful, the devil will take what God means for our good and distort it for his purpose, namely, our harm.

Here are some indicators to watch for if you sense that your spiritual temperature isn’t quite what it should be:

  • “that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them…” Who are you living for? Is God on the throne in every area of your life? Living for ourselves is a dead-end street. Joy and peace cannot be found in the cul-de-sac of self-absorption.
  • “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.” Once we accept Christ, the Holy Spirit enables us to see people through God’s eyes. His vantage point is not superficial or worldly. Rather, He sees our need for forgiveness, healing and reconciliation. When we get a revelation about the depth of our own brokenness and God’s love, we will develop a “fervour fever”, burning to share what God has done.
  • “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” Are you bored with your Christian walk? Wish you had a high-profile ministry position? Change your vantage point. God has given all of us the most significant ministry going – the ministry of reconciliation. It’s our “raison d’ĂȘtre” as Christians.

So, how’s your temperature? If you’ve allowed the enemy to distract, discourage and disarm you, don’t give him the extra ammunition of guilt and shame. Remember who you are in Christ: Totally forgiven, reconciled to the Father, deeply loved, and significant. And remember His promise: “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

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