From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
Father this morning we come again aware of the pain and the anguish that fills our world today. People in Atlanta are hurting. Folks in Portland are angry. Men and women in our own city are desperate for change. And around the world countries are feeling the effects of things here, while there is still a health crisis and nations at war with one another that is causing more suffering and pain and fear. Added to that are the sad circumstances of our personal struggles with marriages in crisis, financial hardships, and our own battle with indwelling sin. Our hearts are broken this morning, but we are not without hope.
So Father this morning we come again, as we do every morning, aware of our great need for your help. Please help us, o God! We join with the writer of Chronicles who said we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you!
Give us Christ like compassion in our hearts for all the groaning of the world. Help us to weep with those who weep. Give us eyes to see people not according to the flesh, but aware that every person we have ever or will ever interact with is an eternal being. Our battle is not with flesh and blood, so help us not to war with one another but to tearfully appeal to one another.
Grant us the resolve to daily join you in the work of reconciling the world to yourself. We can’t by ourselves change governments let alone people’s hearts and minds. But you can. And you call us to be faithful here where we are. You call us as your ambassadors, to be those who represent another world, a different kingdom, and to show this world what that king is like. Will what you command in us, Lord.
May your people be the most loving, most gracious, most joyful, most courageous, most fearless, most confident, most hope filled and unflappable people in the entire world. Demonstrate the power of the Gospel in the way we interact with one another, that we would be known by our love, and that our love for others would be seen in our self-forgetful, others-preferring, resolved-to-serve-in-humility, godly and Christ like manner…
Confound the world with the confidence, hope, and joyful sacrificial servanthood of your people. change hearts and give hope to the people in Jesus Christ, the anointed one, the son of God who came to destroy the works of the devil who is even now prowling around this earth seeking to stir up dissension and to divide your people.
Please grant mercy and justice to the people of the land in which we dwell. We know you will ultimately do this and pray that you would progressively do this through the church and with the jars of clay that we, your people, are. Make your appeal to this world through us. Reconcile this world to yourself.
And so we take courage today, Father, knowing that He who is with us is greater than those who are against us. Strengthen our hands and reinforce our weak knees that we may stand strong in the power of the Holy Spirit and serve faithfully as ambassadors of Christ, that the world will see and hear you making your appeal through us. Help us, your people, to shine as lights in the darkness. Great is this darkness, Father, but greater still is the light of the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ!
We pray this in the name of our God and Father, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and for the glory of Jesus Christ our savior. Amen.