We are so grateful to Chuck for sharing his devotionals with us. They are not just relevant but powerful as we frame and re-frame our work as entrepreneurs. The prayer at the end of each piece is a beautiful synthesis of thanks and requests to God. We hope it’s as encouraging to you as it’s been to us!
— by Chuck Alley
2 CORINTHIANS 5:16-21 WHAT IS YOUR VANTAGE POINT?
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 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. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
There are two ways of looking at the world. The human manner of interpreting the world around us is our natural world-view, while the divine perspective is only acquired through Christ. From a human or worldly point of view, all things are experienced relative to the frame of reference of the self. People are sorted into categories like friend, foe, family, colleague, lover, hero, helper, or bore. In short, everyone fits into one of two summary categories—for me or against me. From a worldly point of view, even Jesus is regarded in that manner. We might be attracted to him because of what we think he can do for us. Perhaps we need healing, we have reached the end of our human resources, or we think he promises us prosperity in this life. Alternatively, with the measure of Jesus being ourselves, we might reject him because he interferes with the way we wish to live our lives or he troubles our consciences.
While the human, worldly perspective is natural to us, the divine perspective can only be ours by gift. In order to reconcile humankind to himself, God sent his Son to show us God’s view of the world and to demonstrate how life is lived based on the divine perspective. Jesus’ whole life was centered on God—loving him, obeying him, and fulfilling his purpose. The gift of reconciliation with God is ours through our positive response of Jesus’ call to follow him. To follow someone is to walk in his steps and to do what he does. To follow Jesus, we need to keep our eyes on him. There is no way of following someone we are not looking at, and with our focus on that person, our life becomes centered on him.
When Christ is the center of our life, then he becomes the lens through which we see and interpret everything and we say that our life is in Christ. Our transformation is so radical that we are truly a new creation. It is a re-creation because of the magnitude of the change. But it is also a re-creation in that it is the work of the Creator and not our own. It is God reconciling himself to us through Jesus that causes the change in those who believe. The resulting change in our world-view issues forth in a change in our purpose for living and a new motivation to serve as vehicles of the knowledge of God’s reconciliation to others. If we are in Christ, then we have gotten out of ourselves and live to serve God and our neighbors.
Prayer: Renew my mind and open my eyes, Lord, to see your self-giving love as the way I am to view the world as a Christian. Re-create me in your image and inspire me through your Spirit so that I might fulfill your will for my life. May I live my life so dedicated to following you, Lord Jesus, that all I think, do, and say is thoroughly immersed you. Amen.