Sunday, August 30, 2020

What it is to be Reconciled

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through 
Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:18

The world abounds with people whose sin has alienated them from God. Christ's sacrificial work has restored Christians to a love relationship with the heavenly Father. As Christians, we are appointed as ministers of reconciliation. Once Christ dwells within us, we become His ambassadors, and we entreat others to be reconciled to Him (2 Cor. 5:20). We are God's messengers of peace, urging others to return to God (Matt. 5:9).

Sin breaks our relationship with God; it severs relationships with others as well. Broken relationships are the epidemic of our day. Sin alienates family members, separates friends, divides churches, and destroys marriages. Sin creates mistrust, jealousy, hatred, and greed, all of which devastate relationships. Only Christ has the remedy for the disastrous effect of sin on human relationships. As His ambassadors, we are to take the message of reconciliation to a broken, divided world. We urge reconciliation first with God, and then with each other.
How tragic when God's messengers of peace harbor enmity toward each other. It is a travesty to carry a message of love and yet be filled with hatred. If there is someone whom you refuse to forgive, your message of reconciliation is hypocrisy. The evidence that you are a disciple of Jesus is that you love your fellow Christian (John 13:35). In each of your relationships, make certain that your actions share the love and forgiveness that reflect what you received from God. Then you will not only speak the message of reconciliation, but you will live it as well. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

This thing of reconciliation is an interesting one.   It's not often that I can somewhat relate to a devotional like this one. 

There's a friend who, for a short time, was working where I am now.  He is no longer due to a corporate decision to remove temporary jobs. But in the span of time that he was there, God used me to help reconcile this man back to Him. 

It was a wonderous time.  Really just being sensitive to being prompted to answer his questions.  God took care of us not being interrupted while at work.  He attributes a great deal of what has since transpired to the reconciliation process of him and his wife.  They are getting back together. 

He had a shaky upbringing in the Church.  This was his Prodigal Son moment.  He asked questions and God used me to answer them.  It was and still is an amazing thing to help in that moment. 

Reconciliation is for all of us.  Even Pastors have need of it.  Anyone who is human has been in a relationship dilemma.  Something said or done that disrupts the relationship.  Reconciliation is needed to restore it. 

When a great divide happens reconciliation is difficult. The greatest one we will ever face is the one between us and God.  The only one who could bridge that gap was Jesus.  

Deep within everyone, I believe, is a longing to just be held by Jesus.  I know most have heard the song "I Can Only Imagine".  For me?  I am looking forward to being held by Jesus.  That kind of hug that says "it's all right now". 

Reconciliation is possible in this life between you and others but to do it up right requires a relationship with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit can go places we cannot in relationships.  Have experienced that on many occasions. 

Living it out is only possible in a right relationship with Jesus.  When the world calls for hard justice and we forgive, opportunities for reconciliation can happen. 

Jesus went through so much that we cannot even fathom in order to provide reconciliation between God and man.  

If you are in a broken relationship with Jesus or with someone else, the place to begin is in prayer to start the healing process.  Let go of your rights your desires your wants and give it all to Jesus to fix. 

Think about your struggles. Has it been worth it to have a broken relationship for this long?  

In the story of the Prodigal Son, once the Father saw the wayward Son on the horizon, he got up and ran to him.  He bridged the gap before his son could hold him back. He made the way when the way was difficult. He can still do the same with you.  My new friend hadn't the context to understand just what all God was really doing in his life. He had questions and the answers were just out of reach.  He couldn't understand a Bible like the King James.  The language confused him.  I told him that I can relate.  It's why I use the New American Standard Bible. It's written in modern English from the original manuscripts that the King James was supposed to be written from. 

There's relief in reconciliation.  A deep deep wonderful feeling of peace. 

Seek out Jesus today and begin your own reconciliation with Him and those in your life that you are separated from. 

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