Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Living Reconciliation - Pt. 1 "The Command"

As believers, we are to walk out the ministry of reconciliation in real time. We are to be careful in all things to point those around us to Christ in our actions, reactions, attitudes and the way we resolve conflict. There are three components to this ministry that we are all called to; the command, the hope and the testimony. Clearly, we are reconciled to the Father through Jesus and His redemptive work on the cross. By receiving that free gift we are restored but, there is an element of maintaining reconciled lives-with Father God and with man- which requires something of us. We are to be active participants.

The scripture sets the stage in 1 Peter 3:8-16...

"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
For, 'whoever would love his life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and is lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.'
Who is going to harm you if you do good? But, even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ' Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.' But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander."

The habit of our lives should be righteous living (take note that this is not perfection but, rather an "all-in" pure heart motivation to be and do right before the Father) -following the whole counsel of the Word of God and applying its precepts to our lives. We should always be truthful and truth-filled; passionate in our pursuit of the Father and dealing with our fellow man in light of that. We, as believers, are to be a peace-loving and seeking people. We are to walk humbly with compassion and sympathy always loving and ever-ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us; demonstrating the full measure of God's grace and kindness to those around us.
This is the foundation from which the ministry of reconciliation is birthed in our lives -the vehicle by which the Father demonstrates His great power to heal and affect change in us and in others.

The question is are we willing to pursue it?

More to come...