A Congregation of Conservative Evangelical Christians

“Our Daily Bread” Devotion, January 13, 2021

January 13 | Bible in a Year: Genesis 29-30; Matthew 9:1-17

Breaking the Cycle
If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
READ 2 CORINTHIANS 5:14–21

David’s first beating came at the hands of his father on his seventh birthday, after he accidentally broke a window. “He kicked me and punched me,” David said. “Afterward, he apologized. He was an abusive alcoholic, and it’s a cycle I’m doing my best to end now.”
But it took a long time for David to get to this point. Most of his teen years and twenties were spent in jail or on probation, and in and out of addiction treatment centers. When it felt like his dreams were entirely dashed, he found hope in a Christ-centered treatment center through a relationship with Jesus.
“I used to be filled with nothing but despair,” David says. “Now I’m pushing myself in the other direction. When I get up in the morning, the first thing I tell God is that I’m surrendering my will over to Him.”
When we come to God with lives shattered, whether by others’ wrongdoing or by our own, God takes our broken hearts and makes us new: “If anyone is in Christ, . . . the old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Christ’s love and life breaks into the cycles of our past, giving us a new future (vv. 14-15). And it doesn’t end there! Throughout our lives, we can find hope and strength in what God has done and continues to do in us—each and every moment.
By Alyson Kieda
REFLECT & PRAY
Dear God, thank You for interrupting the downward trajectory of my life and making me a new creation! Make me ever more like You.
Where were you headed when you received Jesus as your Savior? How does it help to know that God continues to shape your life to increasingly resemble His?

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT
At the heart of the concept of becoming one with Jesus is His work of reconciliation in us. In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul weaves several themes together—life, love, new creation, and the ministry of reconciliation—all framed by a call to act with urgency. It’s because of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection that we can be reconciled to God. Those who accept His gift of reconciliation should “no longer live for themselves” (v. 15). Instead, we’re compelled to view everyone differently (v. 16), as people in dire need of Jesus’ reconciliation. And what is this reconciliation? God will no longer “[count] people’s sins against them” (v. 19). With urgency, Paul tells us that we’re now Christ’s ambassadors of reconciliation and says, “We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God” (v. 20). Tim Gustafson

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