Thursday, January 08, 2015

Luis Palau

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…  2 Corinthians 5:17-18

Happy New Year PCC!

Don’t you love the thought of “new?” I still love holding babies because everything on them is so new…their little fingernails and fingerprints, the whites of their eyes and the fresh color of their iris, the beauty of their skin.  The smell of a new car, putting on a new shirt, hearing from people who have had knees or hips replaced. Or think of the New Year’s phenomenon.  From celebrations to resolutions, there is a fresh hope, fresh energy exerted at the thought of new.

Reading through 2 Corinthians 5, you pick up a similar enthusiasm from the Apostle Paul.  Only for him, the exhilaration was surrounding the concept of new life!  Wholesale transformation from the inside out!  Paul in verse 17 above is saying that from his perspective, everyone qualifies for the transformational internal and eternal alteration that comes only through Jesus.  Having experienced complete forgiveness, a new eternal purpose, a daily sense of God’s presence, and other worldly peace that comes only from Jesus, Paul could never look at anyone the same way again. Every person he laid eyes on was a candidate who qualified to be transformed by the power of Jesus, just as he was.  He said it himself in verse 16: 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.

My point?  As followers of Jesus, saved by grace through faith in Jesus, we have not only been forgiven and made new, but we have been given a ministry.  It is the ministry of reconciliation!  Reconciliation means to re-establish a broken relationship.  We actually have been hand-picked and commissioned by the Lord to share with a lost broken world, and every single occupant in it this incredible message:  You Qualify!  The God of the universe has sent me to you with a personal message.  He loves you and wants you to stop running, turn to Him, be made new, and come home!

What a gift!  Men and women, do we realize how spiritually rich we are?  Do we understand that with this spiritual inheritance comes a sacred stewardship? For the next five weeks, we will explore these very truths in a series called Generous Living.

This Sunday, to kick off the series, we have a person who, next to Billy Graham, has stewarded this sacred ministry and shared the Gospel around the world to more people than anyone alive. (Having addressed more than 1 billion people in his lifetime.) Luis Palau will be with us sharing how we, too, can steward the life-transforming message of the Gospel. What a great way to kick off the New Year and this new series!

The ministry of reconciliation is not our ministry, it is God’s.  We will, one day face God for a performance review of sorts and account for how we stewarded His ministry that He entrusted to us.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

How are you doing stewarding God’s ministry of reconciliation? I encourage everyone who calls PCC home to make the next 5 weeks a priority and not miss one Sunday.  I honestly believe we will never be the same. I can think of no better Sunday than this one to bring a friend, neighbor or colleague to PCC.

I love being your pastor!


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