Challenge Central: a CBC devotional
by: Pastor Jeremy Heikkinen
2 Cor. 5:9-10 says, “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (emphasis added, ESV).
What are you aiming at these days? Growing up we used a phrase to describe someone’s poor aim, we would say “You can’t hit the broad side of a barn door.” It was one of the biggest things around! Hitting a barn door seems like such an insignificant target today. There are so many things going on right now that have become targets in our lives: Covid restrictions, protests against vaccine mandates, tax returns, upcoming elections, etc. What should be our aim or goal in all these things? What is your goal?
In 2 Corinthians, Paul is writing to a group of believers in the midst of crazy times in a crazy city (Corinth). He writes to help keep them focused on what is truly important. In verse 1-4 of chapter 5, Paul reflects on how challenging it can be to live in our own skin sometimes, we groan. Yet, there is one target that Paul gives that is the most important where ever you are. Please God. This is the most important target for all of humanity. This is why we were created! This one target affects every other goal in our lives. It does not mean that we have no other goals, but it does mean that no other goal is above this one. It also means that I cannot pursue any other goal without the influence of this goal. How you live really does matter! Paul reminds them that they will give an account to Jesus for what they chose to do and how they did it, whether good or evil.
So how are you doing at being pleasing to God in the midst of your stance on political issues, family tension, pandemic restrictions, and personal groaning? Are you seeking to please God above all in these things or are you trying to please someone else? Are your answers gracious and seasoned with salt in such a way that does not corrupt (Col. 4:6; Eph. 4:29)? In what ways are you “walking in wisdom towards outsiders, making the best use of the time” (Col. 4:6)? In 2 Cor. 5:14-15 Paul describes what it looks like when the love of Christ controls us. It looks like no longer living for myself but for him who for our sake died and was raised. What will it look like for the love of Christ to control you this week? In what ways will you no longer live for yourself but for Christ?