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Lost Crusader #90 Reconciled

“Therefore if anyone be in Christ, they are a new creature…old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation…and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation…be ye reconciled to God.”

2 Corinthians 5:17-20


A hallmark of the Protestant Reformation is the idea of the priesthood of believers. That is, that people need no intermediary between themselves and God except Jesus. Praying in Christ believers can take their case directly before God. No earthly priest is required.


This does not mean that the ministry of priests, pastors, and other human ministers is of no value or in vain. God forbid. It means only that God is always attendant to our direct interaction with the divine. And, in fact, God has given to every believer a three-dimensional ministry essential to their own spiritual life and health—the ministry of reconciliation.


To reconcile people means to restore them to friendship or harmony. Reconciliation is an action rather than a belief. A ministry of reconciliation is the believer doing those things that restore them to harmony with God.


Belief in God points us to our need to be reconciled to God; to live in harmony with God. But reconciliation will not happen unless, and until, we act on that belief. God has already taken action—he has taken the first step—and calls on us to respond. The message Jesus preached can be summed up in a few words of response to God’s call to reconciliation, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)


To repent means to change your mind, or to change sides. Moses called out to a straying nation, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” (Exodus 32:26) Jesus’ call to repent amounts to the same thing. It is to leave what you’re doing now and follow him—this is the kingdom of heaven and the beginning of our ministry of reconciliation.

I say beginning because be reconciled to God involves more than restoring harmony with the Trinity. You must also reconcile with yourself. That is, to restore your inner harmony. Be at peace with yourself by loving yourself enough to forgive yourself just as God has forgiven you.

Once these things are done, you then must be reconciled to others by granting to them the mercy, love, and forgiveness that you have claimed for yourself. Don’t be in a hurry here. You must love and forgive yourself before you are ready to love others. If it does not come easily or in a miraculous rush—wait for it trusting in God that it will come.


Reconciliation doesn’t just involve people. It involves ideas. To reconcile ideas or more precisely ideals is to make them consistent or congruous with our thoughts and actions. I tell people that I do not practice what I preach and that is the truth. I am not ashamed to say so because I preach Jesus and I have not attained to a perfect imitation. I preach perfection—I live only a feeble attempt to reconcile my flawed self with that ideal and am content that I can do no more than that.


In a twisted paraphrase from popular culture (I was a huge Spiderman fan growing up), with great power comes great responsibility. The power of reconciliation to create new divine life from marred clay is beyond my powers of speech. I know it has happened—there is power in the blood. Therefore, I must constantly reconcile my assets. To reconcile business accounts is to check one against another for accuracy. Are my skills, my time, my efforts—my life an accurate record of what I have promised to God?


I cannot repay God or earn divine love. However, I can rob God of his due worship and adoration or his sovereignty over my life in his kingdom. When I’m flying high, have I forgotten why? When I am sitting beneath a juniper tree, have I forgotten from whence comes my help?

Beloved… be reconciled to God.

Maranatha



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