Goodness - the Lord has done a mighty work in this man over the last 12 months or so. I've had a front row seat to it all. And it's been unreal. Remarkable, really. The Spirit has stirred him up and it has spilled out on everyone in our household. It's amazing what can happen when a man (or woman!) allows the Spirit to infiltrate their everything. I'm a life (and wife!) that has been changed because of it. Here is a devotional my husband wrote for our church this week. Our pastor is doing a series on reconciliation. We pray this devotional encourages you and blesses you and inspires you in all the right ways and places :) Enjoy!
Reconciliation is a Process
Reconciliation is a process that brings about peace or renewal in a relationship. I like things to be simple, so I came up with a list of what the process of reconciliation consists of:
1. A positive relationship exists
2. A negative or hurtful act is committed by one or both parties
3. One or both parties humble themselves to admit wrongdoing and asks for forgiveness
4. Forgiveness is willfully granted
5. Renewed or reconciled relationship exists
The Word of God gives us many examples of this process of reconciliation. One of my favorite parables follows this process from beginning to end.
Take a look at Luke 15:11-32, you will find the story of the prodigal son. Read through this passage to see how it aligns with the process described above.
1. Luke 15:11, 12 – A father and son relationship exists.
2. Luke 15:13,14 – The son negatively impacts his father by taking his inheritance (a large portion of his father’s wealth/retirement) and wasting it on wild living
3. Luke 15:18, 19 – The son humbles himself and is going to request his father’s forgiveness and the opportunity to become one of his father’s hired servants
4. Luke 15:22 – The father willfully accepts and forgives his son and welcomes him back into the family.
5. Luke 15:24 – The Father and son have a renewed relationship.
This simple story gives us a great example of the process of reconciliation. It includes three aspects that are always involved with reconciliation: humbleness, love, and forgiveness. God desires to have a reconciled relationship with each one of us. In fact, the purpose of Jesus becoming a man and his death and resurrection was so that He could reconcile man’s relationship with God. This is the ultimate reconciliation:
1. God had an intimate relationship with man - Genesis 2:7-25
2. Sin entered the world through disobedience - Genesis 3:11-13, Romans 3:23
3. We must humbly confess our sin and ask for forgiveness – Psalms 51:1-2, Hosea 5:15
4. Jesus is willing to forgive the sins of all those who put their faith in Him – Isaiah 43:25
5. We then enter into a relationship with God which will last for eternity – John 10:27-29
God loves us so much that He put this beautiful process together so that we can have an intimate and fulfilling relationship with Him. He also desires for us to have fulfilling relationships with our family and friends. Jesus consistently preached that we are to forgive not only our friends, but our enemies (Matthew 18:21-22). He has given us the process, now we have to put it in action!
Ask yourself these tough questions:
Who do I need to forgive today? How can I show them love?
Is there a relationship in my life that God is calling me to reconcile?
He's a gem, isn't he? I'm gonna go kiss him on the face right now. Blessings and love to you all!