December 21, 2015
About the Devotional Series:
For five consecutive Mondays, beginning on November 23, we’ll be releasing a new Advent devotional – one for each week in Advent plus one for Christmas Day. This year’s series focus on 2 Corinthians 4:7 in which Paul declares that, “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God . . . .” The treasure of abundant life and the privilege of sharing that life with others has been poured into the “clay jars” of our lives. Each devotional will focus on a specific aspect of the “treasure” which has been poured into the “clay jars” of our lives and how that “treasure” can flow into the “clay jars” of family, friends, and neighbors. As a result of this treasure that we have received, we bless others.
Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
“Where is my hundred dollar bill?” I thought to myself desperately. I was searching all over Beuhner’s Hardware Store on Main Street. Dad had given each of us children a one hundred dollar bill to use for buying Christmas presents for the people in our family. For a grade school boy in the late 1970’s, this was a large sum of money. Distracted (a frequent state of mind for me) in my shopping, I had set my money down somewhere in the store. What a disappointment it would be to Dad to find out that his generous gift didn’t accomplish any of his intentions!
Our Heavenly Father has entrusted us with the gift of salvation. As new creations in Christ, we have within our humble, human hands the divine currency of saving grace. He gives us this gift so that we might participate in the celebration of sharing God’s grace with others. We are empowered beyond our means to give others the unbelievable opportunity to be made right with God through belief in Jesus.
Like kids, we are easily distracted by all there is to see and do in this world. Sometimes ministry itself distracts us from God’s intentions. We can absent mindedly misplace God’s grace. We can lose a sense of his presence and lose sight of people we encounter as intended recipients of his gift of grace flowing through us. How disappointing this must be to God and frustrating to his purposes for us.
Fortunately, as I retraced my steps through the hardware store, I found my one hundred dollar bill! I was back in the business of sharing Dad’s gracious gift with others. This week between Christmas and New Year’s would be a good time to retrace our steps, reconnect with God’s grace, and resolve to reengage in the ministry of reconciliation. Let’s look for opportunities to share God’s grace with those you meet, in order to give them the precious opportunity to return to God.
Father, thank you for the privilege of sharing in your ministry of reconciling people to you and your plan for their lives. Help us to embrace our role as ambassadors of reconciliation and to see every person as a potential recipient of your grace in Christ. Amen.