“As ministers of reconciliation, we can model the same love we experience from our heavenly Father to those unfamiliar with His life-giving grace.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 6, 2022
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, NKJV
All followers of Jesus are called to a ministry of reconciliation. We help non-believers be reconciled to God and believers be reconciled to one another. By making sure our lives are an ongoing example of going to others we have offended, we ask forgiveness and seek to be reconciled. The 1828 Websters Dictionary defines reconciliation, “to call back into union and friendship the affections which have been alienated; to restore to friendship or favor after estrangement; as, to reconcile men or parties that have been at variance.” Reconciliation is a labor of love which may not happen. One person can forgive, but it takes two to reconcile.
Paul commissions all who have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ to receive from the Lord the ministry of reconciliation. Before sin entered into the world in the garden of Eden, man and woman were reconciled to God and to one another. Satan and sin created estrangement from Holy God, so now only Christ can bring human beings back to their Creator. Faith in Jesus cleanses our sin and reconciles us to the pure righteousness of the Lord. Yes, the ministry of reconciliation is not referring to a vocation, but to a lifestyle for all those who follow Jesus.
“Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24, NKJV).
One of the harder realities in life is the experience of being relationally estranged from someone, not reconciled. Believers in Jesus know a better way. They know since they have experienced reconciliation with God, they are responsible to seek reconciliation with God’s children. As Jesus taught, seeking reconciliation with a brother or sister in Christ comes before offering your worship to Christ. Love initiates with a specific apology, asking forgiveness, and seeking relational repair. Pursuing reconciliation is not a one and done, but an ongoing lifestyle of grace and love.
A person hurt and offended may choose not to forgive. Maybe as an unbeliever he is not capable or does not have a category for forgiveness and he feels by not forgiving, he is punishing the one who offended him. The larger issue for an estranged unbeliever is his relationship with the Lord.
It’s essential as Jesus followers we do not give up on anyone, especially someone who could be separated from Christ’s love for eternity. As ministers of reconciliation, we can model the same love we experience from our heavenly Father to those unfamiliar with His life-giving grace. The unsaved will ask, “Why does she love me without conditions? She is kind, when I am mean. She accepts me, when I reject her. And one day, he might say, “I want the love she has, I need God!”
“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight” (Colossians 1:19-22, NKJV).
Heavenly Father, by faith I accept your gift of the ministry of reconciliation, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.
Who has the Lord laid on your heart for you to renew your efforts to love well and repair your relationship?
Celtic Worship ft. Steph MacCleod: Jesus Paid It All
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