Work Through the Whole Bible, Part 11

Day 3 of 3 • This day’s reading

Devotional

If it sounds as if Paul is calling us to grit our teeth and try harder to be good, then we are missing the point of 2 Corinthians. Paul intends for us to see the world in a completely new way so that our actions stem from this new understanding.


Paul wants us to become so thoroughly transformed that we become members of a “new creation.” The mention of “creation” immediately takes us back to the story of God’s creation of the world. God’s intent for creation includes work as a central reality of existence. When humans disobeyed God and marred the creation, work became cursed (Gen. 3:17–18), and humans no longer worked alongside God. Thus when Paul says, “Everything has become new,” everything includes the world of work as a core element.


God brings the new creation into existence by sending his Son into the old creation to transform or “reconcile” it. “In Christ, God was rec­onciling the world to himself.” Not just one aspect of the world, but the whole world. And those who follow Christ, who are reconciled to God by Christ, are appointed to carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18). We are agents to bring reconciliation to all spheres of the world. Every day as we go out to do our work we are to be ministers of this rec­onciliation. 


There are three essential elements of the work of reconciliation. First, we must understand accurately what has gone wrong among people, God, and creation. If we do not truly understand the ills of the world, then we cannot bring genuine reconciliation. Second, we must love other people and work to benefit them rather than judge them. If we love the people we work among and try to improve our workplaces, products, and services, then we become agents of Christ’s reconciliation. Finally, being seeds of God’s creation requires that we remain in constant fellowship with Christ. 


If we do these things, we will be in a position to bring Christ’s power to reconcile the people, organizations, places, and things of the world so that they too can become members of God’s new creation.


Jesus, thank you that in you, a new creation has come. You have reconciled us to yourself. Help me to live my life and do my work in a way that spreads the message of reconciliation. Amen.

If it sounds as if Paul is calling us to grit our teeth and try harder to be good, then we are missing the point of 2 Corinthians. Paul intends for us to see the world in a completely new way so that our actions stem from this new understanding.


Paul wants us to become so thoroughly transformed that we become members of a “new creation.” The mention of “creation” immediately takes us back to the story of God’s creation of the world. God’s intent for creation includes work as a central reality of existence. When humans disobeyed God and marred the creation, work became cursed (Gen. 3:17–18), and humans no longer worked alongside God. Thus when Paul says, “Everything has become new,” everything includes the world of work as a core element.


God brings the new creation into existence by sending his Son into the old creation to transform or “reconcile” it. “In Christ, God was rec­onciling the world to himself.” Not just one aspect of the world, but the whole world. And those who follow Christ, who are reconciled to God by Christ, are appointed to carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18). We are agents to bring reconciliation to all spheres of the world. Every day as we go out to do our work we are to be ministers of this rec­onciliation. 


There are three essential elements of the work of reconciliation. First, we must understand accurately what has gone wrong among people, God, and creation. If we do not truly understand the ills of the world, then we cannot bring genuine reconciliation. Second, we must love other people and work to benefit them rather than judge them. If we love the people we work among and try to improve our workplaces, products, and services, then we become agents of Christ’s reconciliation. Finally, being seeds of God’s creation requires that we remain in constant fellowship with Christ. 


If we do these things, we will be in a position to bring Christ’s power to reconcile the people, organizations, places, and things of the world so that they too can become members of God’s new creation.


Jesus, thank you that in you, a new creation has come. You have reconciled us to yourself. Help me to live my life and do my work in a way that spreads the message of reconciliation. Amen.


You've completed Part 11 of the Work Through the Whole Bible reading plan! To read more, view the complete list (Genesis through Revelation) of Work Through the Whole Bible reading plans here.