Monday, March 10, 2014

Reconciliation - The Great Transaction

Everleigh Grace
   Last week, when Lent began, I was busy babysitting our daughter's two children Gavin (41/2) and Rilyn (almost two) while she was having a third addition to her family little Everleigh Grace.  My husband and I kept their home running smoothly and visited the hospital as often as possible.  Unfortunately, I came home with a cold.  However, I would not trade a moment with those children.
     At present,  my body is trying hard to reconcile itself or as an accountant would say, "Bring it back into balance."  That requires rest, lots of fluids and time.  Viruses often have to run their course, but God created our immune system to help speed things up.  In fact, God is also good to bring about the ultimate in healing through a different type of reconciliation.
     Most of us know someone or have experienced for ourselves a break in a relationship.  It might be a falling out with a friend, a loved one or a break-up in a marriage.  All of these situations are painful,  and we long for reconciliation to occur.  Often, we go to great lengths to make this happen, but none of us has gone as far as God did when He sent His only Son to die on the cross for our sins.
     From the time that Adam and Eve fell into sin in the Garden, we have all inherited a sin nature. We have been estranged from God, rebellious, selfish, controlling and wanting our own way.  Yet even in the Garden, God told Adam and Eve that a redeemer would come who would crush the head of the Serpent (Satan) reconciling man to God.
     In his letter to the Christians in Rome, Paul wrote these words (Romans 5:8-11):  "...but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God.  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.  More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."  Did you catch the wording? We have been reconciled by Christ to God!  His sacrifice on the cross opened the gateway to a relationship with God once more.
     Salvation is not a do-it-yourself kind of process.  Rather, God did it all for us.  He regenerates us so we can see and hear the Good News of Christ and answer the call to repent of our sins.  When we call upon the Lord to forgive us and receive His gift of salvation, we belong to Christ as Lord.  His
Papa holding Everleigh, Daddy CJ holding Rilyn
and Gavin
righteousness is imputed to us even as He takes away our sins.  What an exchange!  God through Christ has brought reconciliation to us, and He made the way for us even before we loved Him. Paul further writes in Titus 3:5:  "he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,.."
    This is what Lent is all about.  Thinking on this great transaction prepares us for the glory of Easter.  For Christians, Easter means victory over death, assurance of pardon, eternal life with the Father all through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  During this forty day period before Easter, let us think  about our reconciliation with God.  As we are reconciled to Him, then, we can also be reconciled to others around us.  Additionally, we also become ministers of reconciliation bringing others to the knowledge of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  Reconciliation - a great word - a great transaction that sets us free from sin and death!  Lets meditate on this.  Selah!

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