Sunday, January 10, 2016

WHAT DOES BEING RECONCILED TO GOD MEAN?: SCS 67

Reconciliation Statue at Coventry Cathedral, also known as St Michael's Cathedral, is the seat of the Bishop of Coventry and the Diocese of Coventry, in Coventry, West Midlands, England.

Sunday, January 10, 2016, Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 65

PRAYER for Today:
Father, we know You are able to heal the hearts and souls of all of us who are broken. Help us Father to accept your grace that we might be reconciled to you. We ask for Your will to be done and that we may act saintly towards our fellow sojourners who around the world are hurting so that they might see a little of You in our daily lives.  It is in His name we pray. Amen.

SCRIPTURE LESSON for Today: 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 (KJV)
11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.
13 For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.
14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 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.
20 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.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.


SERMON for Today:

To be reconciled to God is to become new.  This Scripture tells us we have been reconciled to God by Jesus because Jesus took our sins to the grave and then broke the bonds of death and hell.  It is a simple enough plan to understand.  The question then becomes why do so many of us have such a hard time accepting God’s grace and being reconciled to Him?

I believe the main reason is that we cannot imagine anyone doing this for us.  Most of us have a hard time finding another human who we think understands us and gives us a real break when we mess up.  We simply cannot fathom a story in which the creator of all that is and all that will be loves us enough to want to have a personal relationship with us enough to send His Son to the cross.  If we have enough ego to possibly believe that kind of story, then we don’t even think about needing God.

To understand why God would provide such a path to Him you must carefully study the Hebrew Scriptures and God’s interactions with His creation.  All He ever seemed to have wanted was a voluntary relationship with us.  The plan of reconciliation was His last plan to have this voluntary relationship with us.

We are told in this passage of Scripture that the church and all Christians should have a ministry of reconciliation.  If we were doing our job we would be uniting people back with their Creator and with each other.  Reconciliation should become a word on the lips of every Christian rather than judgments, anger and accusations.  We are suppose to be about the business of becoming new.  Not remaining the same old judgmental folks.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:”

May God Richly Bless Your Life This Week and For Evermore. Amen.

  
© Ed Cooper, January 10, 2016, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
  All rights reserved

(Ed Cooper is an ordained Elder and minister in the Christian Church/Churches of Christ which are a part of the Restoration Movement started in Appalachia in the early 1800’s.  Ed started preaching as a teenager in the village churches around Mashoko Mission, Zimbabwe, Africa when he was there with his parents in the early 1960’s. Ed recognizes he is a flawed sinner needing God’s grace and your prayers.)

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