Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Desire for reconciliation

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.”

2 Corinthians 5:17-20
 

This desire is of divine origin, for the natural man does not seek after God (Romans 3:10-12) and thus does not want to be reconciled – what for? This question or desire does not exist for a secularly orientated person – 1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” For this reason God, so to speak, brought about this reconciliation, conditional upon the Gospel, to give this desire a firm foundation. The cross of Golgotha and the Son of God, Jesus Christ (John 3:16) signifies this. This divine act however only has a bearing function of external extent, when the message is taken to people and they receive and believe it. Therefore the Apostle speaks of a service of reconciliation done in admonishment and also in a loving, earnest manner. And this should certainly not be a task reserved for the apostles and disciples, or at present for the pastors, elders, missionaries and evangelists, but should be a joyous task for every true Christian. We read in 1 Peter 3:15-16 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” These are then the consequences: on the one hand (on occasion, not always and without bludgeoning) giving a sincere testimony for your faith and in Whom and for what reason, but on the other hand, knowing that such a testimony must also follow a positive life because one is always being observed. God also tests our faith. And many adversities and temptations are there to test us.

This is fundamentally positive, as we also don't do ourselves any favour by preaching to others, but our own lives don't mirror this (1 Corinthians 9:27). This makes our testimony dubious. As Christians, we are, many times, under attack and always under observation. We cannot remain neutral or demand neutrality. This world, our bodies, the devil and his demons and also unbelievers and enemies of the cross (even from our own circles) are always present in our lives and want to have a say without being invited to do so. We must be ready to answer. Not only verbally and with a testimony, but also through our (good) behaviour. This is made possible by filling our minds, our souls and our hearts with God's Word. When God's inspired and true Word is abundant in our inner man, we will be able to overcome every obstacle. This costs time and effort. But, we must also understand that, where God's Spirit and His Word is absent in our soul, something else will enter. When we make positive experiences and practice overcoming, we become more credible and sensitive and, are so much more able to convey God's desire for reconciliation and salvation. And even if we sometimes fail, we are able to get up again and do better, due to God's forgiveness and His grace. We can also testify (through our own lives) that God is compassionate, long-suffering and understanding and forgives us when we make mistakes. But, it is certainly better in every way, when we, in wisdom and responsibility, have a blessed life which pleases and honours God. Our faith-life will also be filled with more joy, peace, love and strength. Amen.

(Translated by Linda Gates)

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