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Please, Please, Pretty Please

by on July 18, 2013

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.
– 2 Corinthians 5:20

When we were children and we really wanted something bad we would say ‘please, please’ and then in desperation say ‘pretty please’. I know what the word ‘please’ means, it is a nicely worded request for something from another person. It is a polite request that may not exactly demand or even sound like an urgent request. Somehow, adding the word ‘pretty’ raised the plea to a new level of urgency and intensity. I am not really sure why this is so, since pretty has nothing really to do with urgency or intensity, but for some reason it often worked when needed. If you have ever seen a ‘pretty’ please, let me know I would like to see it as well.

There are times where a plea takes on stronger language than ‘please’. Sometimes it is urgent enough that one needs to demand, implore, beg or cajole to get a response. If it is a matter of life or death that any means often seems to be considered, and rightly so. In Paul’s 2nd epistle to the Corinthians he used very strong language in pleading with people to be reconciled to God as we see in this week’s memory verse. The Greek term Paul uses can be translated beg, implore, pray or beseech. The reason for such strong language is that we are dealing with a matter of life or death, eternal life and eternal death.

Often we find ourselves trying to soften the language of conversion but Paul make this very clear, it is a stark choice with eternal consequences, therefore he begs all who hear him to respond and accept reconciliation with God. The next verse, 2 Cor. 5:21 makes very clear the Gospel message “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”. Sin has eternally separated humanity from God, but God made a way for reconciliation by the Lord himself becoming a sin sacrifice and suffering God’s own punishment for sin. The result is that through simple faith in this sacrifice of Christ’s we can be reconciled, brought back into the right relationship, with God.

It is ok to beg, implore, plead and pray that each would come to receive this reconciliation. Sometimes we need more than a polite plea, sometimes we need to bear our hearts for those we love and make sure they know how strongly we desire for them to share this hope. Yes, it is the Holy Spirit who must convict and open the heart, but the message has been given to human voices to share as God makes his appeal through the message from the Apostle that we now speak.

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