Perhaps you’ve heard the statement from Scripture, “therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). But you may not know its context, which is really important because that statement is huge and we need to understand what it means.
The newest Transform Discipleship Resource walks through this verse, and the three following it to see what God has done to make us a new creation, and what that means for us when we follow Him.
One word: reconciled.
It shows up five times in those three verses. But what does it mean?
–to restore to friendship or harmony
–to make consistent or congruous
–to cause to submit to or accept something
–to check (a financial account) against another for accuracy
–to account for
Does that definition seem like a lot? A simple google search quickly shows differing definitions of “reconcile.” Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary says that it is in the top 10% of most-searched words.
Did you catch that? We’re searching for what reconciliation means all the time, friends! No matter which definition you choose on the search engine, it’s not an easy concept to understand or practice.
But we try to understand and practice it all the time — we try to reconcile the amount of time we have in a day to the things we need to get done. We try to reconcile the way we feel about ourselves to the way others see us. We are constantly reconciling our understanding (thoughts and feelings) of reality to other interpretations (experiences, ideals, people’s words,).
Anybody else exhausted?
Thankfully, God’s reconciliation is not our reconciliation. When He restores friendship or harmony, we don’t have to fear Him holding things over our head or turning on us. When He settles something (like the waves of the sea), they settle.
So reconciling is something we do. But it’s also something we are. Reconciliation changes identity drastically – even from enemy to friend.
So what does all this mean for you right now? It’s the start of another academic semester. We’re on the edge of changing seasons, and shifting weather. Maybe an old sin or lie is trying to destroy your peace or enjoyment of Jesus. Maybe your circumstances are tempting you to doubt that God still (and constantly) gives good gifts. Maybe you’re doing just fine, but don’t feel close to Him (or don’t feel anything at all).
Friends, if we don’t settle the present reality of our hearts’ anxious thoughts and questions with the spiritual reality of who Christ is, we’re missing out (dissatisfied, and maybe even miserable). Because He is SO GOOD and EVERY good thing comes from Him (James 1:16-17)!
So take a few minutes to prayerfully work through this new resource for yourself, and seek the God who reconciles with His love. Maybe someone else in your world needs to hear this truth about His character too.
Praising His goodness,
The Transform Team