Friday, October 12, 2012

Reconciled to God

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-21


This morning I am going to join the pleading of Paul and implore all who are inclined to give ear to the Holy Spirit and what He may reveal to you through the following scriptures to be reconciled to God – not by anything you can do, but rather by trusting in all He is able to do. I have a lot of scriptures relating to this fact and after each set of verses I will add the thoughts I feel inclined to write, but please do not stop where I have left off and just move on. Please take time to inquire of the Lord for yourself. Ask yourself and God, “How do these verses speak into the unique situations in my life?” Be willing to hear what is revealed to you and act on any changes you feel need to be made in your life regarding those revelations. It is very important to the condition of your heart to not leave what the Lord has shown you for another day, instead take very seriously the warning of the author of Hebrews and beware to not allow your heart to become hardened through sinful neglect.


Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God...lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said:

'Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.'” Hebrews 3:12-15


Here we go:


For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight...” Colossians 1:19-22


It is amazing God is pleased to clean us off and make us pure time and time again through the sacrificial offering Jesus provides – I can't even fathom the patience and love He has towards us and I know my own heart is nowhere near being that forgiving and kind to those who do things which seem so foolish to me. Again and again God puts down His hand, rescues me from the pit I allowed myself to fall into, cleans me off and then asks me to show His light in this dark world, knowing full well I will fail Him again and yet He puts His confidence in me anyways. Wow, I have so far to go!


'Come now, and let us reason together,'
Says the
Lord,
'Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.'”
Isaiah 1:18

I am pretty certain that no matter how much reasoning I can do on my own, I could never comprehend the gift God gives me over and over again – washing me clean of all my selfish and wayward choices. My human mind has such a hard time in letting go of the fact that evil and sin need punishment and should result in destruction, but maybe that is why God asks us to reason together with Him – in doing so His reason is able to help me at least start to understand His godly reasoning and how I too can reason that way towards others who I need to forgive instead of judge.

Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity
And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?

He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in mercy.
He will again have compassion on us,
And will subdue our iniquities.

You will cast all our sins
Into the depths of the sea.”
Micah 7:18-19


There is no other religion that lives by the principals that God sets forth in the bible for His people – Jews and Christians alike. All other religions require some form of punishment for sinful behavior, either in this world or in the next. Our God is a god of mercy, not judgment. Judgment for sinful behavior is only within the heart of man, not in the heart of the God who made the heavens and the earth – at least not judgment which He can not rectify through sacrifice which He has shown He also wants to provide on our behalf. His compassion towards us is what drove Him to the cross and that sacrifice continues to be the force that pushes His plan forward towards bring reconciliation to all the world – man, beast, and nature alike – so one day we can all dwell completely free of sin in His New Jerusalem.


For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him...Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9 10, 23-24


“For God did not appoint us to wrath...” - that has to be the most wonderful phase in the bible. A sure promise that no matter how far away a person can flee from God that He is always patient and willing to accept us back if our heart is willing to see Him as He really is – our salvation, our hope, our God. God wants us to find real peace in Him, to realize the trap of sin can be overcome with His grace, compassion, and forgiveness through Jesus, and in being faithful to Him amidst our weak condition He will grant us fellowship with Him here on this earth and throughout eternity.

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