As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.
2 Corinthians 6:1, NLT*
The gift Paul’s speaking of is a new life in Christ, reconciled to God and freed from the penalty of sin and death. (2 Corinthians 5:18) In the same verse Paul asks the Corinthian believers to reach out and be agents of reconciliation, bringing others to know this gift of life.
I’m sure that’s what he means by begging them not to ignore the gift. He wants them to fully live – to demonstrate this gift, vibrantly, contagiously, so others will want in, too. The gift is for everyone who’ll receive it.
There’s another aspect of ignoring the gift, though: literally ignoring it. Not letting it change us at all. We’ve escaped a Christ-less eternity, but here and now, life goes on with no appreciable difference.
I believed in God from childhood, gradually moving from a superstitious type of faith into the real thing as I learned more about Him. I knew the dos and don’ts and tried to obey, because that’s what He expected.
But it wasn’t until university that a Bible study weekend showed me Jesus doesn’t just want to be our Saviour, He wants to be our Lord. Not distant, issuing rules, but personal. Close. He wants our obedience, but also our loyalty. Our hearts.
He wants our hearts more than He wants our outward obedience.
How can Jesus have our hearts if we don’t spend time with Him? In quiet, in prayer, reading His Word and even studying it.
Without His having our hearts, of course we won’t change. Others won’t see His goodness. We won’t see it, either.
What if we took a few minutes, just 5 or 10, every day? Even twice a day? A little break for quiet with the Lord, to spend time in His presence. To reorient ourselves under His Lordship. To know Him more.
Father God, You’ve done all that needed doing to rescue and redeem us. You invite everyone to come, to be forgiven and made new. Forgive us for the times we ignore Your gift. Draw us back to Yourself. Forgive those who’ve ignored it long enough that they don’t even think of you now. Like the Roman soldiers, they don’t know what they’ve done. In Your mercy, draw their hearts back to Yourself. Remind them of the gift, and help them to embrace it.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.