Tag: reconciliation

Aug 10 Reconciliation

heartcloudFather, thank You that You are a God of second chances.  And third and fourth and even more.

When the Israelite men had sinned and taken foreign, pagan wives, there was an acceptable resolution.  There were consequences yes, but they were able to take an oath to renew their covenant with You.

In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he lists many types of wickedness, then says “And that is what some of you were.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 

In both of these cases, reconciliation was made possible because You chose to accept repentance.  You cleansed them, You set them apart.  You returned them to right standing with You.

And the same is true for me.  When I have sinned, and I come to You in the realization of what I have done, agree with You that it is sin, and am remorseful, repentant; You forgive that sin.  You wash me and set me apart, and again I am in right standing with You.

But, as with the Israelites, there are consequences.   Sometimes the consequences are life changing, and can cause ongoing problems.  They had to put aside their foreign wives.  Sometimes I have to put aside a relationship or something I think I really want that is not good for me.

Paul says, “Everything is permissible for me – but not everything is beneficial.”   Lord, there is such freedom in You.  Help me be wise in that freedom.  Produce in me the Fruit of the Spirit so I can be good and kind, patient and faithful, gentle and self-controlled.  Show me when I am being selfish or unwise.  Remind me to think and pray before I act.

Father, I offer You the relationships in my life.  Please deepen the ones that are godly, and distance me from any that are not.

I give You my time and ask that You show me where I waste it.  Give me the strength to cut out activities that eat away time I could spend better.

I give You my priorities and ask You to help me reorder them where they are not in line with Your purposes.

“To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”

Father, help me recognize what is right and just, and help me do it.   When what is right and just is at odds with my selfish or prideful or greedy nature, help me overcome that nature and be led by You.

Thank You for Your help in all this, and for the hope You give me.  Amen

Ezra 10:1-17; I Corinthians 6:10-12; Proverbs 21:3

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Jul 10 Time for Reconciliation

08_Hezekiah_Assyrians_JPEG_1024Father, You allowed the people of Judah and Israel to be taken captive, out of and away from the land You promised them:  a land flowing with milk and honey.  This land, chosen from all the earth, would be their resting place where they could live in peace and worship You as they had promised to do.  They would live out the covenant You had made with them and enjoy Your blessings all the days of their lives.

This land would produce crops enough to support the people.  It would yield grass enough to support all the livestock so they would be healthy enough to reproduce with abundant milk to nurse the young.  The flowering plants would provide ample pollen so the bees could make lots of honey.  Thus: a land flowing with milk and honey!

But the people were unfaithful to You.  They did not do what they had promised to do, and worshipped idols like the pagan cultures around them.  They gave offerings of all kinds to stone and wood figures.  And even sacrificed their precious, living children as burnt offerings.

Yet even in Your judgment of their unfaithfulness and idolatry, there was a limit.  For You had promised that “if Your people, who were called by Your name, would humble themselves, and seek Your face, and turn from their wicked ways, that You would forgive their sin and heal their land.”  And at the end of their set time, they did indeed seek You.   And You brought them back.

O Father, thank You for this picture of reconciliation.  It mirrors what You offer me.  There are consequences when I sin.  But You have promised that when I humble myself and turn from my sin, and seek Your forgiveness, that You will forgive my sin.

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Lord, there are so many ways I fall short of Your standard.  I miss the mark.  There are things I do that I shouldn’t, and things I should do that I don’t.  I have spoken wrong words, done wrong things, thought wrong thoughts, and had wrong attitudes.

Lord, as You bring these to my mind, I agree with You that they are sin.  I confess my sin and do not try and justify or legitimize it.  I turn from it and ask for Your forgiveness.

Thank You that You forgive.  Thank You that Your blood pays the price my sin deserves.  And that You purify me from my unrighteousness.   Thank You that You are a God of second chances…and third…and fourth…  And that You have the power to free me from my sin.

And beyond that, when other believers also agree with You about what is sin in their lives, You hear their payers.  Father, our culture is sin sick too.  Open our eyes to the unfaithfulness and sin in our lives.  When we call to You, and humble ourselves and turn away from that sin, You are able to heal our land.  We need You Father, heal our land!  Amen

1 Chronicles 9:1; 2 Chronicles 7:14; 1 John 1:9

Apr 2 Lord of the harvest

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“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”

Lord, I didn’t grow up on a farm like my father did, so many scriptural references to farming culture require research for my understanding. I do understand that a crop is planted and cared for, grows, and when it reaches maturity is harvested in some fashion to gain the benefit of consuming it.

A pastor pointed out in a lesson, that as wheat grows, the topmost part of the stalk called the head, is where the grain is that constitutes the consumable portion of the plant. As the individual kernels of wheat mature and ripen, they grow larger and heavier. When the head of the stalk is heavy and bowed down, it is ready for harvest.

So also, he said, it can be observed with people…

The analogy here is that You Lord, are the farmer, the Lord of the harvest. You plant and care for people in that You have ordained when each one of us will be born, and where and to whom. People grow and mature also. You ‘harvest’ us when we are ready to accept the truth that You are the One True God; believe that Your Son Jesus died on the cross for our sin as the only way to be reconciled to You, and confess with our mouth that we accept that reconciliation and will serve You as our Lord. When we are reconciled to You, we can help with the harvest, bringing others to know You.

As I can now share the truth with others, there are many ways of reaching people with Your message of good news. One thing I can look for, to see if people are ready to hear, is the same as with the wheat: when their heads are heavy and bowed down!

For many people, they must come to the end of themselves and their efforts before they are ready to accept You into their lives.   One way to recognize this, is that they will often look tired, worn out or discouraged. It may be that all I have to do is ask how they are, or what is wrong, or if there is anything I can pray for them about, to do my part in the ‘harvesting’.

Father, help me to be mindful of people who are ready to hear about You and how much You love them and want a personal relationship with them. Give me the time to listen, and the words to say that will help me be an effective worker in the harvest. Amen

Luke 10:1-4