Lenten Reader | Day 25


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, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

- 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
I couldn’t believe it! He chose me! Yes me, with all my awkward shyness, worries, and low self-esteem. The words leaped off the page when I read, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are” (1 Corinthians 1:27-28).

Fresh out of college at a time when I should be on top of the world, I felt “foolish,” “weak,” and “lowly” without direction in my life. I asked God to forgive me for depending on myself. In turn, He gave me a new life – His life. He wanted to transform my human weakness to display His divine strength.

The apostle Paul encourages us to “be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). To reconcile means, “To reestablish a close relationship between” (American Heritage Dictionary). The word also means, “To make someone accept a disagreeable or unwelcome thing.” God welcomes our unwelcomeness. He used his perfect only son to take all our weakness and sin upon Himself. They were nailed to the cross and destroyed by His death. From His resurrection, you and I are welcomed as His children, His friends, and His ambassadors.

I love knowing that I am reconciled to God through Christ because He loves me, but now He wants me to do that for others. To accept the “disagreeables” and the “unwelcome” people in my family, my neighborhood, and my church.

The world avoids the “unwelcomed” and the “disagreeables.” We can avoid them too unless we remember that we were that way once also.

Out of His unshakeable love, God pursued us. From that enduring love, He gives us the compassion and ability to pursue the “unwelcomed” and the “disagreeables” with the same love He used to bring us to Himself. Want to change your world?

- Anne Cox
Father, this life is brief in light of eternity. Teach me how to love others the way you love me. Show me where to begin this today.