“Reconciled”

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November 14, 2013 | No comments yet

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by:  Staci Stallings

Coming back once again to

2 Corinthians 5: 13-20:

13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

 

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation”

The ministry of reconciliation.

What does that mean?

We’ve been talking about how living on the Tree of Life is living in a right relationship with God.  That doesn’t mean working for Him, or being afraid of Him.  That MEANS learning to trust Him more each day and walk in the paths that He lays before us. That means trading in our old faulty operating system of Shame and Fear, and getting a new one of Grace & Life.

Terrific!

So what’s all this about “reconciliation”?

Reconciliation, the word means to reconnect.

If you pull a plug out of a wall socket and you want your light to work again, what do you have to do?  RECONNECT it, right?

Yep.

And if we want OUR LIGHT, the light of God to shine in our lives, we have to reconnect to Him.  That means we have to reconcile by trading out that bad operating system and getting a new one.  It means leaving some old programs behind and learning some new “software.”  It means learning that God really DOES love us and He really DOES want the best for us.

It means getting off of the Try Harder wheel and the Give Up Wheel, and getting on the “God Accepts Me Just As I Am” wheel!

For me, growing up, I always thought of reconciliation in terms of confession.  You went to confession, confessed your sins, the priest gave you absolution and some penance.  Reconciliation, right?

Uh, maybe.

My problem was, this never really resulted in a reconnecting to God.  I walked out with the same shame and fear operating system that I walked in with.

Is that always the case?  I hope not.  But it was for me.

Yes, there is a place for confession, but beware that that is just a first step.  Being honest about where you’ve messed up is a great first step.  But you then have to take the NEXT step to actually RECONNECT or RECONCILE with God.

Reconciling is a lot different than doing some penance because you feel bad for your sins.

Let’s put this in terms most of us can understand.

Johnny is my son.

Johnny just let the dog in, and the dog ran around and broke several things in my house.

Johnny sinned.  He messed up.  He disobeyed me (no dogs in the house), and the consequences are that things got broken.

Now, “confession” the way I used to do it goes something like this.

“I’m sorry, Mom. I let the dog in even though you told me not to, and things got broken.”

“Okay.  Well, at least you were honest, but you will still have to pay for what is broken, AND you are grounded for a week.”

And Johnny (me being punished) went and did the penance.

That’s okay, as far as it goes, but that’s NOT reconciliation.  Reconciliation looks more like this:

“I’m sorry, Mom. I let the dog in even though you told me not to, and things got broken.”

“Come here for a minute.”  We sit down. “Now WHY did I tell you not to let the dog in?”

“Because things would get broken.”

“And what happened when you let the dog in?”

“Things got broken.”

“Right.  Now what are we going to do about that?”

Big sigh. “Try to fix it.”

“Right, we’ll fix it.  You made a mistake, huh?”

Nodding.

“Are you going to do it again?”

Shaking head.

“Why not?”

“Because it made a mess and now I have to clean it up.”

“Okay.”  Hug.  ”Sometimes we have to learn what doesn’t work the hard way, don’t we?”

Nodding.

The Price of Silence 1-2014

Hug.  ”I still love you.”

“I love you too.”

 

Simplistic, maybe.  But this is reconciling.

Reconciling is what God is SPECIFICALLY calling us to do — ourselves and helping each other to reconcile with God.

In fact, He says, “and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”  The MINISTRY of reconciliation!  We are to go out and help others reconcile with God!

What an awesome, amazing, exciting calling!

First step, get yourself reconciled (reconnected) with God.

Second step, get out there and help OTHERS get reconciled!

And there’s no time like the present to get started!

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