Monday, October 17, 2016
Ministry of Reconciliation
God is the Initiator of reconciliation. God's plan of redemption and reconciliation is accomplished by Christ's finished work on the cross. His death removed the barrier to reconciliation as described in Isaiah 59:2, "Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear." Sin separates us from God; Christ restores our relationship/ fellowship with God. "All this redemptive work that Christ has done to help and transform men is from God. Men neither deserve it nor share the credit for the results." (James Reid) The unsaved (those without Christ) are enemies of God. Those who are in Christ are friends of God and children of God.
One of the jobs God assigns to all His children (no exception) is a ministry of reconciliation. Ministry ("diakonia" in Greek refers to servanthood/service). As Christ's followers (who have been reconciled to God through Christ), we are to serve as Christ's ambassadors. We are called to be His representatives spreading His message of reconciliation to the broken world...that by our words and actions, we might bring others into reconciliation with God. We should take this task and responsibility seriously with passion and conviction as though God were making His appeal (urgent request) through us. We are to implore (plead or beg for urgently) people on Christ's behalf to be reconciled to God. Can you see the sense of urgency? Tons of people die and go to Hell every day. Are we diligently doing our job of sharing the Gospel? Are we living out our faith in Jesus boldly and faithfully? God has entrusted us to share the Good News of redemption and reconciliation with others so that they too can be at peace with Him. We must tell people that Jesus died on the cross to forgive all their sins, resulting in the canceling of the debt they owe God because of their trespasses. Because our trespasses were imputed to Jesus, the justice that our sin demanded is satisfied (not excused). When we trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we make the greatest exchange--our sin for Christ's righteousness. Our sin was laid on Christ at His crucifixion and His righteousness is imputed to us at our conversion. We must help others see the need for repentance, reconciliation, and redemption. Tell them that God loves them and wants to restore them to a relationship with Himself. May we share Paul's resolution: "I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace." (Acts 20:24)
"How tragic when God's messengers of peace harbor enmity toward each other. It is a travesty to carry a message of love and yet be filled with hatred. If there is someone whom you refuse to forgive, your message of reconciliation is hypocrisy. The evidence that you are a disciple of Jesus is that you love your fellow Christian (John 13:35). In each of your relationships, make certain that your actions share the love and forgiveness that reflect what you received from God. Then you will not only speak the message of reconciliation, but you will live it as well." (Henry Blackaby)
"God has a purpose and plan for your life
When from your sin He has given release;
You're an ambassador for Jesus Christ—
Go and tell others of His perfect peace."
"The goal in ministry isn't culture, relevance or innovation. The goal is Jesus. Let us please Him, preach Him & prepare the world to see Him." (Paul Chappell)
Prayer: Abba Father, thank You for reconciling me to Yourself through Christ! I am forever grateful for Your rescue, redemption, reconciliation, and regeneration! Please remind us to take our job as messengers of reconciliation seriously since it is Your will and commission for us. Please empower us to faithfully and boldly spread the Gospel and be effective in our ministry of reconciliation. I pray for unity among Your children that we may love one another and work together to further Your kingdom. In Jesus' Name, I pray. Amen.