Dear Lord, please inspire me, and my brothers and sisters, in reconciliation with you, Christ Jesus, ourselves, and each other.
Lord Jesus, in the Gospel of Matthew, in your Sermon on the Mount, you teach: “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24, NIV). Last night, I said a prayer of thanks for reconciling with a person after our argument. But that person looked at me after the prayer and said, “We are not reconciled yet.” Ouch. How often is it that we think that we are reconciled with each other, and it is not true? Probably a lot more than any of us realizes.
Dear child, sometimes, reconciliation takes time. Allow my Holy Spirit to heal and work on that person to forgive you.
But Lord Jesus, from your Word, it’s clear that reconciliation with our fellow human beings is not merely a suggestion, but a prerequisite to being in right standing with you. Our worship, our prayers, our acts of faith, all become more meaningful when they are founded on relationships marked by love, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
Yes, child, but you can not “make” someone, or anyone, forgive you. It is up to them to decide to do so. Remember that I want you, and all Christ-followers, to give me your relationships. Give them space and time for my Holy Spirit to work on them. Do not try to rush the process. They are growing spiritually by having to work through their un-forgiveness with me. It is a process that takes time.
RECONCILIATION WITH OURSELVES
As we surrender others to you, we turn our attention to our relationship with you. How are we to achieve this reconciliation with ourselves for our sinful behavior?
My child, the apostle Paul offers guidance in Corinthians: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18, NIV)
CHRIST GIVES US A MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION
Dear Jesus, you have given us the ministry of reconciliation. We become new creations in you, Jesus Christ, and with that newness comes a personal calling to each and everyone one of us: to reconcile with you, Lord God, and to bring others into that same reconciliation. How do we do that, Lord Jesus?
RECONCILIATION MEANS TOTAL FORGIVENESS
Reconciliation means total forgiveness. In Colossians, Paul teaches: “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13, NIV) This verse calls you to be patient, to endure, to forgive as Christ forgave you. So, forgive that person fully and completely. You are not able to receive what you have not received from me. Receive my forgiveness fully and completely. I have totally forgiven anyone who comes to me with a sincere heart, seeking my forgiveness. Then, you are prepared to give this forgiveness to others. Don’t hold on to any resentments whatsoever. Even the least little resentment prevents you from this process of full reconciliation. As far as the East is from the West, I have forgiven you. Now, forgive that person, which also entails forgetting the wrong. Let it go.
FULL RECONCILIATION MEANS FORGETTING THE WRONG DONE
In the name of Jesus, I forgive that person, I forgive myself, and I accept your forgiveness. Amen. Jesus Christ, you tell us clearly we are to always forgive each other, in an unlimited amount of times, no matter what. “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answers, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21-22, NIV) You are teaching us, though, that it isn’t merely about numbers; it’s about the condition of our hearts. As followers of Christ, we must be willing to offer forgiveness abundantly, reflecting the infinite mercy God extends to us. And, it does not matter if we have received forgiveness from the other person or not. I understand that I can not play the Holy Spirit in the other person’s life. I must give her time to come to that forgiveness. You don’t say that it has to be immediate forgiveness, although that is best. Sometimes, it just takes what it takes for a heart to be softened.
RECONCILIATION PRODUCES GREATER LOVE
In reconciliation, you, my child, experience the love of God the Father in a unique way. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” (John 15:9, NIV) Remaining in my love requires you, my child, to extend that love to others, manifesting itself in acts of forgiveness and reconciliation. Acts of love for this person will help him to forgive you.
SEEKING RECONCILIATION FROM SOMEONE REQUIRES ACTIONS
Yes, Lord Jesus, reconciliation isn’t always easy. It requires humility, patience, and grace. I and my fellows are reassured by your words in Matthew: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV). You are teaching me it requires multiple actions, not just a one time action.
Yes, my child. Continue to seek reconciliation, until you receive forgiveness. Don’t give up. Be kind, gentle, persistent, patient, and long suffering. And allow me to control the timing in the other person’s heart. Not you. You are not their Holy Spirit. I am. Wait. It will come.
THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION IS A DIVINE CALLING
Lord Jesus, what you are teaching me is that reconciliation is a divine calling. It is a journey that brings us closer to God and to each other. It is the path of love, forgiveness, and peace. Lord God, may everyone who reads this embrace this ministry of reconciliation that you have entrusted to us , as we continue to grow in the love of Christ and love of each other. Amen.
Yes, my child. You are human. And the other person too. You will both make poor choices at times. That is part of life. I use things in life to make my children grow. It helps you become more mature Christ-followers. Conflict in life is normal and natural. Do not be discouraged. Allow the conflict to bring us closer.
Your aspiring servant,
25 May 2023
NOTE: Dear friends, if this daily, transparent conversation with God blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted daily, and a repository of all these posts, in English (Spanish is coming soon). If you ever want to chat, you can reach me at Daniel@SOLIDpastors.org. My Christ bless you richly as you have your own Conversations with God.