Lent Devotional March 10, 2017

2 Corinthians 5:14-21
God of compassion, in Jesus Christ you did not disdain the company of sinners but welcomed them with love.  Look upon us in mercy, we pray.  Our sins are more than we can bear; our pasts enslave us; our misdeeds are beyond correcting.  Forgive the wrongs we cannot undo; free us from a past we cannot change; heal what we can no longer fix.  Grace our lives with your love and turn the tears of our past into the joy of new life with you.
14 You see, the controlling force in our lives is the love of the Anointed One. And our confession is this: One died for all; therefore, all have died. 15 He died for us so that we will all live, not for ourselves, but for Him who died and rose from the dead. 16 Because of all that God has done, we now have a new perspective. We used to show regard for people based on worldly standards and interests. No longer. We used to think of the Anointed the same way. No longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is united with the Anointed One, that person is a new creation. The old life is gone—and see—a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:14-17 (The Voice)
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 people’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. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 (NIV)
Father of mercies, we confess that we have sinned against you.  By your Holy Spirit, come and work repentance into our hearts.  Help us to see you as you are: with outstretched arms, a loving heart, and power to save.  Help us to see Jesus, the friend of sinners, and to follow him more faithfully.  As we have received him, so strengthen us to walk in him, depend on him, commune with him, and be conformed to him.  Give us an experience of your grace that makes us bold, that we might joyfully live for the good of others.  Amen.

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