|Image: CikerFreVectorImages / pixabay.com|
TO CHEW ON: "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
Have you ever been at odds with someone in your family so you weren't speaking to each other, or every time you did, that issue between you got in the way? Or perhaps you've been the person trying to get family members to reconcile with each other? Either one is uncomfortable, sad, even tragic.
The need for reconciliation follows a wrong or perceived wrong or hurtful action by one of the parties. It causes a rift in the relationship. To become reconciled, someone usually needs to forgive.
The rift in humankind's relationship with God happened when Adam and Even sinned in Eden. The story of Israel in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New is the story of God making a way of reconciliation.
The penalty for our rebellion is death. God is able to forgive our sins (yet stay true to His justice) because Jesus, God the Son, paid that death sentence for us. On the basis of Him becoming sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) God can now forgive our sin, yet stay true to His standard of moral perfection.
Now our job, as those whose friendship with Him has been repaired because we have admitted our sin and accepted His way of reconciliation, is to tell this good news to others. In our reading Paul calls it the "ministry of reconciliation."
Challenges to the job of being a reconciler are several:
- To live the reconciliation lifestyle by staying in relationship with others both believers and unbelievers. We are forgiven. We need to live a life characterized by forgiveness.
- To share the good news of possible reconciliation to God with friends, neighbours and family members who may not even acknowledge God's existence, let alone the possibility of being alienated from Him by sin.
Why is it important to persist?
Because the consequence of giving up, implied in 2 Corinthians 5:19 "… imputing their trespasses to them…" i.e. making our loved ones bear the penalty of their own sin and rebellion, is unthinkable.
PRAYER: Dear God, please impress on me the urgency of the ministry of reconciliation. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.