therefore

Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1.

Gracious promises such as these …

I will live with them … I will walk among them … I will be their God … They will be my people … I will receive you … I will be a Father to you … You will be my sons and daughters …

Call for our submission …

Let us purify ourselves … perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

That makes us as distinctive as …

Righteousness is to wickedness. As light is to darkness. As Christ is to Belial. As a believer is to an unbeliever. As the temple of the living God is to idols.

Grace. Submission. Distinction. God takes the initiative and reaches out to humanity. Humanity responds to his goodness and recognizes its creator and savior. Then this rescued humanity is made different from the rest of this world. In that order. And it has always been so.

Grace: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son …” Submission: “… that whoever believes in him …” Distinction: “… shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Holy God and Father, should I deny the reality of your graciousness, there are no brakes on my ride to hell. Should I refuse to submit to you in light of your graciousness, I only accelerate my descent among the lost. Should I deny your power to make me distinct, I deny you and your goodness as well as myself and my own need. In the name of Jesus then, open my eyes to see you for who you are – a gracious Creator God – and to see myself for what I must be – a responsible being in your creation. Amen.

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