Wednesday, November 16, 2011

But I don't like them!

God has called us to a ministry of reconciliation.  What does that look like when there are those who have hurt you?



Scripture

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,
(2 Corinthians 5:18 NASB)
namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
(2 Corinthians 5:19 NASB)

Observation

What we find in today's scripture is that there is a direct correlation between our relationships with others and our relationship with God. Christ could easily have told the Father that He didn't like those humans! Can you imagine? Humanity had rejected everything that God, out of His love, had done for them. However, because of that deep love, God, the Creator, continued to reach out to humanity in a desire to heal the relationship. Jesus, submitting to the will of the Father, allowed Himself to be crucified on a cross to provide the pathway for reconciliation. Our relationship to God can be healed and the things that we have done to destroy that relationship will no longer be held against us. And this reconciliation, or restoration of relationships, is the ministry that God is giving to each and every single one of His followers.

Application

Because we serve a relational God, the enemy comes in and attacks us at the very level of our relationships. Why not attack us at the point where God wants to bring the greatest strength! Today we find relationships at all levels under strain. Why else would the divorce rate be just as high among believers and non-believers? Because the job of believers is to become involved in the ministry of reconciliation and that is about relationships.

There are times in life when we are very hurt over relationships. The tendency is to "take our toys and go home!" We feel justified in the fact that we don't like those people and it's okay for us to feel that way. The truth is that the individual to be harmed the most by that attitude is you. When you allow feelings of "justifiable indignation" to grow and to fester in your life your relationship to God will be harmed. The charge to love God and then to love others is not simply a nice word of encouragement from the Lord, but rather, it is a call to healing. When we have human relationships which are broken, then our relationship to God is also broken. He calls us to a ministry of reconciliation. For each one of us that may mean something different, but it also means that we don't harbor bad feelings toward others. We ask God to heal our hurt and our wounds. We ask God to reconcile the relationship so that we can be in a right relationship with Him.

With whom might we need to be reconciled today? Go to them and begin this ministry to which we all are called.

Prayer

Lord, please help me today to be an agent of reconciliation. Amen.

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