2 Corinthians 5: 20b-6:10
We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
As God’s fellow workers, we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation, I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, in hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hungry; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, yet we live on; beaten, yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
What cost are we willing to pay for the salvation of a family member? A neighbor? A stranger? Paul and his followers had received the ministry of bringing the gospel of reconciliation of mankind back to God–the salvation and favor of God through Christ. They became the servants of God filled with sincere love and the power of the Holy Spirt. They were equipped in the truth with weapons in righteousness. They had great endurance; in troubles, in hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hungry. They received glory and dishonor, bad report and good report. They were genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, yet they lived on; beaten, yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich with salvation. They were looked on as having nothing, and yet they possessed a new life–reconciled back to God as a new creation in Christ.
Father thank you for your gift of a new life in Christ. Fill us with the power our your Spirit, the wisdom and revelation of your word that we will tell others about your gift of love and grace for them to be reconciled to you in Jesus’ name we ask, amen.