Listen to this devotional:
2 Corinthians 5:20 – We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. (NIV)
I used to hate a guy called James [not his real name] who lived about five hundred yards from my home. I don't what started the rivalry, but his house was in a different street, so that automatically put him in the category of "enemy". We used to shout and call names at each other, and throw stones in the summer and snowballs in the winter. It went on for years; to this day, I can't remember what caused such hatred.
I do, however, remember what stopped it. We grew weary of fighting one another and decided to become friends. Instead of shouting at him, I asked James if he collected postage stamps. To my surprise, he did, and we arranged to meet after school to swap our doublers — stamps that we had more than one of. From that moment on, we became the best of friends and were constantly in each other's company throughout our teenage years. We had discovered similar interests and had given up on our fighting. We had buried the hatchet and reconciled our differences.
I guess that's what God does when He sends Jesus into the world. He takes on our similarities and gives up on our enmity. God gives us a wonderful opportunity to be reconciled to Him and restored to His kingdom. Without Jesus, we would be at war with God forever. Without Christ, we would have no hope of returning to God's love.
This is why it's important that we as Christians become ambassadors of God's peace. Sadly, that's hard to do in a world which is bent on war. However, if we want hatred to end and enmity to cease, then we have to become agents of reconciliation and servants of goodwill. Without Christ, our world will be at war forever. Without Jesus, the earth will have no hope of experiencing love.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, some people say that the hope of peace is mere pie in the sky and cannot ever be accomplished. Sometimes we fail miserably at keeping peace with one another, and Your church seems to be in the midst of all the fighting that's going on. Remind us that our faith is not meant for fighting, but for reconciling. Help us to remember that You call us to be ambassadors of Your unity, and not agents of the devil's divisions. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.