Monday, February 7, 2011

"Reconciled" - My Article in the Southside Messenger

Spirit & Truth # 213
By Rev. Greg Smith

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”
--Jesus (Matthew 5:9 NIV)

            Jesus had all kinds of crazy teachings that some people doubt whether He really meant.  “Blessed are the peacemakers…Turn the other cheek…Go the second mile…Pray for your enemies.”  These kinds of lessons turn the world on its ear.  Could Jesus really have meant what He was saying?  I mean, what would happen if everybody in the world followed advice like that?
            The world would be changed forever!
            However, instead of viewing the world through God’s eyes, we choose to view other people through worldly eyes.  I read about a reporter who was interviewing an old man on his one hundredth birthday.  “What are you most proud of?” asked the reporter.  “I don’t have an enemy in the world,” replied the old man.  “How wonderful!  How inspirational!” the reporter said.  “Yep,” the old man said.  “I outlived every last one of them.”  That old man needed an attitude change!
            In 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, (NIV) the Apostle Paul writes,
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

            Regarding no one from a worldly point of view means seeing our enemies through God’s eyes rather than being blinded by our own bitterness.  If you’ve been made new in Christ, how much more should you forgive!  If your enemy is a fellow believer, how much more should you treat him or her as the new creation that Jesus has called them to be!  We who were once enemies of God were brought into His family by the blood of Christ.  It is the indwelling Christ who allows you to reconcile with your enemies as well.  Through Him you can no longer count their sins against them.
            If Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us so that we might become righteous, how can we follow Him and do the same?  We can do this by simply say “I’m sorry” when someone is offended by us—whether we think we’re at fault or not.  We can accept blame that we think we don’t deserve, for the sake of reconciliation.  That’s what Jesus did when He hung on the cross.  If you’re a Christian, then you’re Christ’s ambassador of peace.  Do you have the courage to do the same thing He did—to lay your life down for the sake of peace?

No comments: