Working for Reconciliation

Working for Reconciliation

 The Lord has a lot to say about our relationships.  It seems easy to feel justified in our positions but a key element of the gospel is that grace changes how we relate to one another.  How we relate to others flows from our relationship with God.  We are called to love others with the same love that God has shown us.  How we relate to others is a direct reflection of how we see God relating to us.  Just as God makes us right with Him through grace we are to live rightly related to others through grace.
 
Matthew 5:23–24 “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” 
 
The priority is reconciliation.  We can’t force people to reconcile but we can humble ourselves and seek reconciliation.  While we can’t control what others might do we can surrender ourselves to the indwelling life of God and allow Him to take all the anger and bitterness from our hearts so we are never guilty of destroying but only building up. 
 
Let the Holy Spirit bring to mind broken relationships.  You’re here to worship and grow because you want to be yielded to Jesus.  This verse depicts someone coming to the altar to bring an offering and while there being convicted of a broken relationship.  It’s wonderful to bring offerings to God but they’re never a substitute for right relationships.  It isn’t enough to just avoid taking a physical life – we are to live in right relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We are called to a life that seeks reconciliation with all our might. 
 
Do the ministry of reconciliation.  It may not be bitterness in your heart but there may be anger in another’s heart toward you.  Take the risk to bring healing and reconciliation.  It’s the spiritually strong you seek to restore. 
 
Don’t harbor bitterness in your heart.  Our Lord tells us we must not murder.  We must not even harbor those thoughts and the feelings in our heart.  There is a very subtle danger to think our offerings to God can somehow compensate for the way we break relationships.  The things we hold inside destroy us.  Those conversations we have in our minds about how we are going to tell others a thing or two destroy us. 
 
You are never left to your own resources.  You have God’s life living in you and He wants to live His life through you.  Just as He came to reconcile us to Himself we are called to a ministry of reconciliation.  That becomes possible as we release His indwelling life through us.
 
I hope you have an incredibly blessed week.
 
Today, I got a call between services notifying me that my 96-year-old mother had passed away.  I’ll be flying to San Diego tonight to be with my dad and help him plan the funeral.  As I’m not sure what day I’ll return, please call one of the elders if you need anything.
 
We are going to cancel our men’s Bible Study this Wednesday because both Wayne and I will be out of town.  We’ll get started back up again on the 20th of June.
 
You are loved!

 Pastor Tim