Reconciliation - Hard to Do But Great Rewards -Part 1

Photo by  Ben White  on  Unsplash

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Another topic that was suggested on the blog survey was that of reconciliation. Wow. Now that’s a topic! Once you are estranged from someone, it is so hard to reconcile.

I would be remiss if I didn’t begin with the ultimate reconciliation. True forgiveness and reconciliation comes from Jesus Christ and unto Jesus Christ. Until we know Him through our personal reconciliation, we cannot fully forgive and reconcile with others.

So how do we do that you might ask.

  • First, we have to confess that we are sinners.

    • Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

  • Accept the free gift of eternal life.

    • Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

  • Confess and believe that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead.

    • Romans 10:9-10 “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”

  • Know for certain that you belong to Jesus.

    • Romans 10:13 “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

  • Get involved with a Biblical local church

    • Hebrews 10:25 “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.“

  • Get a Bible and read it; study it. I recommend starting in the book of John.

    • John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

  • Follow Jesus - obey Him as He speaks to your through the Bible and the Holy Spirit

    • Matthew 16:24 “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

Now that we have our own reconciliation with Jesus secure we can discuss reconciliation with others.

Next week we’ll discuss the Biblical view of reconciliation with others. Please leave comments or email me with your comments, if you’d like. I’d love to hear from you!

Living Out Your Faith One Day at a Time -Part 2

Photo by Ben White

Photo by Ben White

My Mother had this way about her that no matter what topic you may be discussing, she would be talking about Jesus in no time. I was always amazed by her being able to turn every single subject into Jesus. Can I just say that she lived out her faith!

Not only did she live out her faith by talking about her Saviour, but she loved people with the love of her Saviour. She love people because Jesus loved them…and they knew that she loved them. She was also a prayer warrior. Even after she became homebound people would call her or stop by to see her so she could pray for them. And pray she did.

My point in sharing a little bit about my Mom is that no matter what season of life she was in, she lived out her faith one day at a time. That’s what we are all called to do. Living out your faith is more than just talking about Jesus, but that’s a great place to start!

 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33 ESV

James 2:14-17 Put feet to your faith

James 5:16 Pray for others

1 Samuel 15:22 Be obedient

Malachi 3:10 Tithe

Matthew 28: 19-20 Be on mission

Hebrews 10:25 Be part of a local church

Whatever the season of life you are in, be faithful to our King in that season. If you’re a mom of young children, loving Jesus and serving Him often comes in the care and nurture of your family. As you love and serve your family you may have the privilege of serving other families along the way. Your children’s friends and their parents are watching you so be a godly example and share the gospel.

As that season of life changes to having adolescents and teens, serve there. Kids of that age need strong Biblical leadership more than ever and so do their friends.

The cycle continues as we move through various seasons of life. Keep your eyes open to opportunities and serve Jesus where you can. The best way to serve Him is by serving others.

For the Love of Doing It

Photo by Nathan Lemon

Photo by Nathan Lemon

What do you do for the love of doing it? Recently, I’ve been sewing. Nothing fancy and certainly nothing that requires a pattern, but sewing for the love of sewing.

I heard someone who quilts say that you start quilting because you want one and then you want to make quilts for your kids and then for your grand-kids and then for friends and then, well, just for the love of quilting. Many folks who quilt end up donating quilts to causes they support because they love sewing quilts so much they just have to keep at it.

So let me ask you again, what do you do for the love of doing it?

They say if your job is something you “love”, then it’s not like “working”. Not sure I’m on board with that one or not. What do you think?

Well, I mentioned earlier in this post that I love to sew. I love to read. I love to crochet. I love to work in the yard and see blooms from my labor (and from my husband’s labor). I just love doing a lot of things for the love of doing it.

When it comes to our faith, what do we do for the love of Jesus? I love helping others. I love being an encourager. I love seeing the light of life in someone’s eyes when they accept Jesus as their Savior. I love studying the Bible. I’m sure you love all these things, to.

34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[f] you did it to me.’
— Matthew 25: 34-40 ESV

I think when we love Jesus, we want to do good for others. After all, serving others is serving Jesus. How excited are you (am I) to tell someone the wonderful things Jesus has done for you (for me) in comparison to our latest project that we have “loved” doing?

So tell me, what good shall you do this day? I’m going to find someone to encourage!

Transforming in a Time of Conforming

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

The pressure! Do you feel it? It’s like a vise. Coming at us from every side. Pressing. Squeezing.

There’s only one way out! The “world” wants us as believers to conform to it’s standard. Melt us into it’s world-view. Blend in and be like everyone else.

Thankfully, Jesus teaches us to be transformed, not to conform. How do we do that?

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
— Romans 12:2 ESV

We are transformed by the renewing of our mind. So how do you renew your mind? Through the Word of God. The Word of God is Jesus (the Living Word) and Scripture (the written Word).

First, we must be saved, born again. Being a believer in Jesus is so much more than to “believe” He exists. It’s confessing you’re a sinner, asking Him to forgive your sin and trusting that He will save you. Then you wholeheartedly follow Him. That means not following your own wants and desires, but obediently doing His will.

In today’s society, there are self-help books everywhere! In secular reading and in the Christian realm. To be better, just do this or that. God didn’t save us to be better, He saved us to be a new creation! Hallelujah! And the greatest news about that is that we don’t do that on our own - He does it! Whew! My only responsibility in the process is to surrender to Him and be obedient. He does all the transforming! The results of our transformation are up to Him. Isn’t that great news!?

That leads us to the second step. Surrender. To surrender is to submit to another’s authority. Jesus teaches that we are to die to ourselves and take up our cross - that’s surrender. Putting our own wants and desires aside and obediently following Him. Jesus lived a suffering life on this earth. So when you follow Him, you should expect some suffering.

Think of it this way, if you were to find a precious metal or stone in the earth you would have to heat that metal until all the dross was burned away or chip off all the parts attached to the stone that were not pure. If we think about that in relation to our lives, it is a painful process; often accomplished by suffering.

Part of surrender is obedience. When we submit to authority, we obey the rules, guidelines and laws set before us. The time for kicking and screaming is over. We surrendered so now we are to obey willingly.

God, not your self-effort, is the source of transformation. www.bsfinternational.org

The above quote really spoke to me in my Bible study this week. We have been studying Solomon and his proverbs. The beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord. It is Jesus Christ who changes, transforms us. Not self-help books, not sheer will and determination, but Jesus.

If you’ve known me throughout my lifetime, you can easily see the transformation that Jesus has done in my life. Every day He is changing me even more. Sometimes the process is slow and difficult, but as I surrender and am obedient, He proves true in His transformation power!

Will you be transformed today through Jesus? He is always ready to forgive when you confess and ask. He will happily make you a new creation. Just trust Him!