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Reconciliation in the Life of the Christian

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Reconciliation in the Life of the Christian

This is really about forgiveness for me.

Why don’t we want to forgive or restore fellowship? Fear of being hurt again. It hurt too much. We would rather hate them. They don’t deserve it. We don’t really love them enough. It is easier to just never have to deal with them again.

Don’t forget the example of Joseph reconciliation with his brother in Gen 50:15-21. They were scared, and perhaps when someone comes begging to your to not KILL THEM it is easy to be gracious and forgive.

So what made it easy to forgive them? Ultimately why did he forgive them? Joseph trusted God.

How can we be like God when we reconcile? Like him we can take the first move and really do all the work.

Is it good to reconcile?

How does the need for reconciliation occur? A wrong or series of wrongs goes unforgiven and grows into bitterness and resentment.

Step to reconcile:

Step to forgiveness:

  1. Recognize your weak spots. What are yours?
  2. Resist your first impulse
  3. Admit your guilt Deut 32:35 “It is mine to avenge: I will repay. In due time their foot will slip.” Taking revenge “is an attempt to participate in God’s judgment. And you probably played a part as well.
  4. Forgive one at a time. It “is more like writing a book than writing a letter.”
  5. Speak kindly about the other person to others
  6. Take them to the Lord in prayer.

We are commanded to try to keep the peace :


! Reconciliation in the Life of the Christian

Intro – Can you guess the topic from these sayings?

§         “Smoke the peace pipe

§         “Let bygones be bygones

§         “Make peace

§         “Bury the hatchet

Hatchet jokes –

1.      When you bury the hatchet, don’t bury it in your neighbor’s back.

2.      “He never forgot such offenses, which was one of his fundamental weaknesses. He might bury the hatchet for a time, but he gave the impression of always carefully marking the spot.” About Pope Paul IV.

Origin of the phrase: The term comes from an Iroquois ceremony in which war axes or other weapons were literally buried in the ground as a symbol of newly made peace.

Why do you think I picked this topic this week?

 

Then - the really important stuff – reconciling with the important people.

The Bible and Reconciliation

What is the best example of reconciliation in the Bible?

God and us

2 Co 5:18-1918Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

The word reconciled is Greek καταλλασσω katallasso which means "the exchange of hostility for a friendly relationship, reconcile. “

Do you realize that there was hostility between God and you and me that had to be dealt with? What does that teach us about reconciliation?

§         God thinks it is important

§         It doesn’t come cheaply

§         It takes action by at least one party

 

Bad examples in the Bible

§         Cain and Abel in Gen 4

§         King Abijah in Judah and King Jeraboam in Israel

2 Chron 13:1-7, 13-17.

Good examples in the Bible

§         Jacob and Esau

o       Why Esau bore a grudge. Gen 27:41

o       How it ended Gen 32

§         J sent messengers – he took the first step

§         J feared when he heard E was coming

§         J prayed Gen 32:9-12

§         J sent presents Gen 32:13-20

§         J finally meets E

·        They embrace and kiss Read Gen 33:4

“Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.”

What grace shown by Esau!

§         J insisted on paying back his brother, but God never makes us pay him back!!!

§         Joseph and his brothers

o       Sold as a slave in Gen 37

o       He becomes the second in command in Egypt in Gen 41.

o       Meets his brothers in Gen 42-45. Read Gen 45:1-5 Sure, it’s easy for him! He could crush them while they grovel.

o       But it doesn’t end there. Their Dad Jacob (Israel dies) and they think now they are done for. Read Gen 50:15-20.

For reconciliation to happen you must FORGIVE

Why was Joseph able to forgive? “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good”. He trusted God!

So let’s meddle…

Who               in our life is usually the one where things get so bad that we need reconciliation?

In his book, Untwisting Twisted Relationships, William Backus wrote, “Though we expect from our relationships the sweetest moments life can offer, the brutal fact is that what parents, spouses, sweethearts, friends, and neighbors say and do can cause a large share of life’s miseries.”

How               does the need for reconciliation occur? A wrong or series of wrongs goes unforgiven and grows into bitterness and resentment.

 

Should we be reconciled? Why?

§         Commands from Scripture

Ro 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

2 Co 13:1111Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

1 Th 5:12-13 12But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.

§         It is good for us

o       Blessings – Matt 5:7 Blessed are the merciful for you will be shown mercy.

o       Proverbs 11:17   "The merciful man does himself good."

How?

Step to forgiveness:

1.      Recognize your weak spots. What are yours?

2.      Resist your first impulse

3.      Admit your guilt Deut 32:35 “It is mine to avenge: I will repay. In due time their foot will slip.” Taking revenge “is an attempt to participate in God’s judgment. And you probably played a part as well.

4.      Forgive one at a time. It “is more like writing a book than writing a letter.”

5.      Speak kindly about the other person to others

6.      Take them to the Lord in prayer.

For me the key is in the parable about them man forgiven the great debt – we don’t appreciate how forgiven we are,

Mt 18:23-3523“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24“When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25“But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. 26“So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ 27“And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. 28“But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ 29“So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ 30“But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. 31“So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. 32“Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33‘Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ 34“And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. 35“My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

Once we come to appreciate how much Christ has forgiven us then we are free to forgive others regardless of the severity of an offense. Through the leading of the Holy Spirit we are able to allow Christ’s forgiveness to penetrate to every layer of our mind, will and emotions. Being willing to forgive others frees us from the self-destructive tendency of being critical, angry and fearful of others. From SermonCentral

Close with this from C.S. Lewis:

Real forgiveness means looking steadily at the sin, the sin that is left over without any excuse, after all allowances have been made, and seeing it in all its horror, dirt, meanness and malice, and nevertheless being wholly reconciled to the man who has done it.—C. S. Lewis

 Don't forget to encourage them with the great promises of 1 Cor 10:13, Romans 8:28 and 1 Peter 5:10.

Even when our heart is shattered

I will trust you Lord

Even when I am deserted,

I will trust you Lord.

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