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Day: February 2, 2015

Reconciliation: The Place of Grace

Reconciliation: The Place of Grace

It’s likely you’ve heard the admonition to “preach the gospel to yourself.” But do you have a practical, systematic way for doing that? What do you say when you preach the gospel to yourself?

{How do you tell yourself the good news when you are under fire?}

The gospel message about Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection has the ability to enrich us and make us wealthy in mind and spirit, word and deed (see Colossians 3:16). Yet if we have little grasp on how to effectively apply it, we miss out on the power it holds.

Preaching the gospel to ourselves means allowing our thinking, emotions, and responses to daily be shaped by the truth of the gospel. ~Arabah Joy

In this series, we hope to give you practical help in preaching the gospel to yourself. We’ve pulled key gospel concepts and compiled them into a list of words, such as justification, redemption, and sanctification. Don’t let the big words scare you because we’ve explained them!

We’ve also summarized each of these powerful truths in a useable way.

We hope this series will deepen your grasp on the gospel and give you verbiage for what to say when you need a healthy dose of good news!

How to use this series:

To begin, read my post below. Then visit each of the links for more gospel words. Take notes while you visit! You may want to bookmark this page because you’ll probably want to come back here often.

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Reconciliation:

  • Former enemies agree.
  • One resigning to something not desired in order to be reconciled.
  • The process of making compatible.

It happens every time I speak a harsh word to my husband. Or when his words don’t land gently on my heart. There is this invisible weight pressing down my eyes. I avoid his. I can. Not. Look.

I know this force is the presence of my pride. My pride must yield, must actually die in order to restore our relationship. Whether it’s his offense or mine. There is no relationship without reconciliation. And no reconciliation without death. In the case with my husband, death to my pride.

“Reconciliation, by definition, assumes a previous state of alienation and hostility caused by the offensive action of one or both parties.” Jerry Bridges; The Gospel For Real Life

Isaiah 59:2  states the condition of our souls in relationship to God: “but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” Our sin separates us from God and He turns his face away and will not listen to us.

There is so much about this in scripture. We face our condition daily. Even if no one else sees, even if we keep from acting it out, we harbor thoughts. Anger, jealousy, cursing, lies in our discomfort, and fears.

It’s all there inside of us pointing to our desperate condition.  We feel it. We hide behind our unsteady structures: accomplishments, good deeds, popularity . . . until our business fails to fulfill us. Until we realize that we are giving to the poor for the reason of satisfying our guilt. Until we face rejection or disagreement. Then we find we’ve built on sinking sand.

So familiar are we with our mucky hearts, we often take little notice of the mud. We think, “I’m not as bad as So-and-So” We find false-justification by comparing ourselves to others who are ‘worse’.

We do need God to show us how offensive our ‘goodness’ is in light of His holiness.

When we read what God has to say about our sin, it’s a stark and piercing reality.

The sinful mind is hostile to God. Romans 8:7
Because of sin, we were enemies of God. Romans 5:10

His Holy love sent Jesus. His Holy love submitted in innocence to death by crucifixion. Jesus submitted his body to angry, hate-filled men when he could have called down a host of angels. Matthew 26:53

Reconciliation results from a change of heart. Death to my way.

In the case of my relationship with my husband, one or both of us needs to humble ourselves to restore relationship. Pride dies, or relationship dies. There is no getting around it.

In the case of our relationship with God, we are the ones that need to change. But we can’t. As hard as we try to keep ourselves from lying, cursing, seeking to make ourselves look good, gossiping, slandering, complaining, we inevitably find we can not.

So, come to the Cross. The place of grace.

“Its tragedy summons all sufferers. Its absurdity attracts all cynics. Its hope lures all searchers. . . . Its bottom line is sobering: if the account is true, it is history’s hinge. Period. If not, the cross is history’s hoax.” Max Lucado; “The Cross”

The Cross of Christ is where EVERYTHING changes. Blind see. Deaf hear. Dead are raised. Broken are made whole. Sinners are reconciled to God. This IS the GOSPEL good news!

Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.The good news of the gospel is that God sent Jesus, His only Son to suffer the wrath that our sin deserved, that we might be reconciled to God.
Colossians 1:22

When once we have received this gift of salvation through repentance, we ARE reconciled. We are new creatures. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Our identities are changed. We ARE declared to be holy and blameless. We DO stand before him without a single fault.

It is by grace through faith that  we are saved. This gift. Ephesians 2:8

So often we forget our new identity. Especially when we sin or when things are not going well.

When we sin, or life is hard, our natural reaction is to hide or strive. But because of Jesus, we don’t have to do either. Instead of hiding or striving, we can trust God’s mercy. Often we have to fight our way there, to trust.

In those times, we must remind ourselves of the gospel truth: “I am a child of God. He loves me. He shows me His amazing love through the cross where He reconciled me to Himself. He came after me to rescue me. I am saved.”

Then thank Him yet again for this indescribable Gift!

More glorious Gospel words:

Justification by Arabah Joy

Sanctification by Jen

Redemption by Rebekah

Regeneration by Marci

Atonement by Leah

Adoption by Kerry

consecration by Kimberly