Posts Tagged ‘2 Corinthians 5:20’

Mirror image of “now” is “won”

October 2, 2016

 

2-corinthians-2-14

Rather than posting an entry on the Verse of the Day, I sometimes comment on the Word for the Day. Such is the case, for October 2, 2016, as I think of a word of enduring significance—a word for all seasons—“a right now” word—the adverb indicating time: NOW.

Years ago I recall a Bible study where I taught on this important three-letter word. I have long since lost my notes, but I remember asking the participants, “What time is it?” Several responses included the day and time, down to the minute and even the seconds as revealed on a stop watch. I then said. “The time is now.” I went on to ask, “What time will it be in 5 minutes, in 50 minutes, in 50 years, if the Lord tarries

To illustrate my point even more graphically, I had a poster board with the outline of a clock with minutes and hours marked out. On the face of the clock there were no hands, however. In the center of clock in bold block letters was “NOW.”

In the teaching were a number of references to scriptures that included the word now. 1 John 3:2 (NKJV) makes known this truth:

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

Elsewhere believers are identified in this distinctive way:

2 Corinthians 5:20 (NKJV):

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

For past several years, I will sometimes give myself a morning motivational talk, as I look in the mirror and repeat an expression attributed to Kim Clement, “I see myself somewhere in the future, and I’m looking so much better than I look right now.” I go on to add this little quip: “But right now, I’m looking good!”

The word now recently came into play at my church, Christian Provision Ministries in Sanford, NC when the church displayed a new logo and adopted a new theme: “The Future is Now!” In thinking about that expression, I also recall this phrase from an original poem with the same title: “Now is the yet to be.” The essence of the timelessness of now is also revealed here:

The Eternal Moment

Redeeming the time because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:16

Now is always the time.

Though grains of sand

fall and form

a mountain

range,

Now

does not

add nor take;

the moment cannot change.

The time is always Now.

I made a remarkable discovery regarding looking at words in the mirror. What you observe is the mirror image of the word or the word is spelled backwards. What do you get when you reverse the letters of NOW?  The word WON: a reminder that as believers we have already won the victory through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Another verse that begins with “now” immediately came to mind:

2 Corinthians 2:14

14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

Graham Kendrick offers a song that make reference to this verse: “May the Fragrance of Jesus”

Reconciliation: In right relationship with Him

March 29, 2016

2 Corinthians 5--19-20 2

The Verse of the Day for March 29, 2016 expresses God’s ultimate desire for unity for His people in terms of their relationship with Him:

2 Corinthians 5:21

For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].

To more fully understand what this means and the means whereby we achieve this unity in our relationship with Him, we need to examine the preceding verse as well as the Verse of the Day:

2 Corinthians 5:20:

 So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God.

Ambassadors in the natural sense are said to be mediators or those who reconcile warring factions together. Those who broker peace agreements behind the scenes are generally ambassadors. As Ambassadors for Christ, we likewise offer terms of agreement whereby reconciliation with God is restored for those who have separated themselves from God. The following poem reveals the role of believers who stand in Christ’s place, fulfilling our role:

As Ambassadors

31 Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one who is coming against him with twenty thousand?

32 Or else [if he feels he is not powerful enough], while the other [king] is still a far distance away, he sends an envoy and asks for terms of peace

Luke 14:31-32

 

As Christ, the Lord, implores and calls each soul to be reconciled,

So we beseech you in mercy and stand in his stead,

That mankind might reconnect–no longer exiled.

Just as a great king will send an entourage ahead

Of his army and offer terms of agreement,

Expressing his desire to redeem and restore

With a covenant that shall forever cement

And make known his will, even in times of war,

We see that behind every plan unfolds a process,

Conceived in wisdom long before the world began.

From God’s gracious right hand that shall forever bless

Flows loving favor, expressing His divine plan.

The day is forthcoming when all conflict shall cease,

As ambassadors offer final conditions of peace.

 

Listen to this stirring rendition of the Reconciliation Song by Stephen Newby and Antioch Live

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now is the time

March 11, 2016

NOW

Once again, on March 11, 2016, instead of commenting on the Verse of the Day, we are going to take a look at the Word for the Day. In this case, the word that I have selected is “now,” an adverb indicating time. The word generally means “at the present time or moment” or “in the time immediately before the present, as in “just now” or “right now.” Used throughout the Bible, the word “now” often begins a statement that expresses the present moment or time, such as in the following familiar verses that reveal aspects of our identity:

2 Corinthians 4:7:

Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us.

2 Corinthians 5:20 (NKJV) reminds believers of their privileged designation:

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

We are also reminded of our ever-abiding position of victory in Christ Jesus, our Savior:
2 Corinthians 2:14 (NKJV):

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

1 John 3:2 (NKJV) also makes known our relationship with God, our Father:

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

Hebrews 11:1 (AMP) makes this powerful declaration about faith and its present application:

Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].

Recently I was given a watch as a gift from a dear sister in Christ, as a reminder of the time that God so graciously had given me, as each new day unfolds. Each time that I look at the watch and ask, “What time is it?” I respond by saying to myself, “Now is the time to praise the Lord and give Him thanks for another day of life.”

I also recall that many years ago I shared a teaching that focused on the word “now.” To illustrate that now is an ever-present reality, I drew a picture of a clock with no hands on it. In the center of the clock in bold capital letters was the word “NOW.” I asked the audience a series of questions, as they looked at the clock: “What time is it?” “In five minutes what will be the time?” “If the Lord tarries, in five years what will be the time at that time?” In each instance, the response was the same. “Now!”
With regard to time, Believers are encouraged to redeem the time. To seize each opportunity and “live in the now.” We are familiar with this statement:

Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift.
That is why it is called the present.

To follow up on that anonymous quote, we must learn to redeem the time, to seize the moment, and live in the now, graphically and poetically illustrated here:

         The Eternal Moment
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
                 Ephesians 5:16

Now is always the time.

Though grains of sand
fall and form
a mountain
range,

                   Now
does not
add nor take;
the moment cannot change.

The time is always Now.

Babbie Mason offers a lively reminder that “Now is the right time to praise the Lord.”