ODJ: the greatest gift

May 25, 2013 

READ: 2 Corinthians 5:14-21

All of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ (v.18).

My 9 year old Ugandan son and I often list the things he’s done the past few years—activities that he could not have done if he were still orphaned and living in extreme poverty. In his village he never would have received a formal education, eaten sushi, gone surfing, read books, flown in an aeroplane, played tennis or even had running water and electricity in his home.

Wasswa’s life is radically different now that he’s my son. His new life with me, though, can’t compare with what it means to experience new life in Christ. As believers in Jesus, we’re controlled by His love that prompts us to cast self aside and live for God and others. “Those who receive His new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them” (2 Corinthians 5:15).

When we belong to Christ:

• We don’t just have different circumstances; we are new people. The old life is gone; a new life has begun (vv.14,17).

• We stop evaluating others from a human point of view (v.16).

• We are reconciled in Christ, and He no longer counts our sins against us (vv.18-19).

• We are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us (v.20).

• We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” (v.20).

• We are made right with God through Christ, who never sinned (v.21).

As much as we shower our children with love, guidance and material things, we could never be their ‘all in all’. Only God can be that—Christ alone. “All glory to Him who alone is God, our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power and authority are His before all time (Jude 1:25).

—Roxanne Robbins

Read James 1:17 and see what God the Father provides for us.
How do gifts from family and friends compare to the gift God gave us when He “brought us back to Himself through Christ?” Write a Thank You note to Jesus for the gifts He’s given you.