What a great message
on Reconciliation we heard last Sunday from James Wagstaff. If you have not yet heard it, I encourage you to listen to it by clicking here.
Reconciliation starts with understanding that we are lost sinners in need of a Savior, then confessing our sinful condition and placing our trust in The Lord Jesus Christ to be our Savior.
“We implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
2 Corinthians 5:20-21
Then, reconciliation for those who follow Jesus is our way of showing forgiveness and re-establishing relationships with those we may be at odds with. Sometimes the odds are pretty small and sometimes the odds are quite big.
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
So, there is God’s great desire to reconcile us to Himself and God’s call for us to be reconciled with others. It’s really pretty straight forward.
But what’s the BIG DEAL with us reconciling with others whom we have been at odds with? That’s a great question—I’ve even asked it myself. Let’s take a look at how three people benefitted from obeying God and reconciling with others:
I can’t think of too many people in the Bible who were mistreated more than Joseph. You can read about that horrible abuse and the reconciliation in Genesis chapters 37–50. It’s a pretty awesome story with great benefits to Joseph. Because Joseph was willing to reconcile with his family:
– He was able to re-establish a connection with his father, brothers, and extended family.
– He was able to save his family from starvation.
– He was able to display his faith in God’s providence.
– He was able to help his family become productive and live with purpose.
– He was used by God to pave the way for the coming Messiah, The Lord Jesus Christ
Zacchaeus was a man who had offended others. Once he trusted Jesus as his Savior, God started working in his heart to reconcile with those he had offended. You can read his story in Luke 19:1-10. Here are a few benefits Zacchaeus received because he was reconciled to God:
– He was able to move forward with a clear conscience.
– He was able to establish a reputation in the community of humility, trust, and compassion for others.
– He was able to be seen as a man who had been changed by the grace of God through Jesus Christ.
Now let me tell you about another saint of God – Edna Moore, my mother-in-law. We just returned from Ohio on Monday; we had been there for Edna’s funeral. She lived an amazing and God-honoring life of 93 years.
But life wasn’t always easy for her. She was born in 1928, just one year before the Great Depression started. She was not born into a stable home life. Her mother often made trips back and forth between Ohio and Michigan and eventually Edna was on her own as a teenager. Edna lived at first with her step father but then moved in with her friend’s family, and later into a boarding house. She would find it necessary to work for her own living by the time she was 15-years-old. Working at various jobs and cleaning houses for pennies a week while still trying to make it through High School. Her teachers would often allow her to sleep in class because they knew she had been working the night before.
But Edna had trusted Jesus as her Savior as a young child and it literally changed her life. And because of her deep love for Christ, she tried to do all she could to honor him, including reconciling with her mother. Take a look at how her life, the life of her family, and countless others benefitted because she sought scriptural reconciliation.
Because Edna was able to reconcile with her mother:
– She was able to have a loving relationship with her mother and not allow bitterness to rule her life.
– She was able to have a bitterness free, Christ-honoring marriage with her husband, Harold, that lasted 67 years.
– She was able to raise daughters who learned to forgive others by watching their mother care for their grandmother.
– She was able to be in right relationship with her Lord Jesus who she loved dearly.
– She was able to serve The Lord Jesus in many ways through teaching children’s classes, singing in the choir, serving missionaries, sharing her faith in Christ with countless others, encouraging people going through difficult times, and providing loving care in countless ways.
– She was able to leave a testimony of great faith in Christ with those who cared for her in her last days on earth.
– She was able to be ushered into heaven with no regrets.
Is there someone you are at odds with at this time? Don’t waste any more time. Ask God to give you the courage you need to reconcile with this person. Then take the steps needed for reconciliation. God doesn’t expect you to be a “doormat,” in fact we are told in Romans 12:18,
“If possible, so far as depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
God’s call is for His children to walk together in unity. Sometimes that calls for reconciliation, but with reconciliation comes blessings that will impact eternity.
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