Ambassadors of Reconciliation

First of all, for those of you who did not hear this message 2 Sundays ago, I strongly encourage you to.

http://www.blackhawkchurch.org/sunday/this-weeks-message/message-archive/?sermon_id=120

Secondly, I just so happened to be reading something the other day that contributes an interesting thought with the above sermon.

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 says this

“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; That is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled with God.”

You may have noticed a bit of repetition. Some form of the word reconcile is used five times in this passage. Let’s define it-then dissect the overuse.

Reconcile: To reestablish a close relationship between; To settle or resolve.

Huh. So, reconciliation, the act of reconciling. This is the message we are entrusted with? We are supposed to reestablish a close relationship. If there is fixing to do, then we must have broken this relationship in some way.

This weekend was not one of my shining moments. I blatantly disrespected what I knew to be true and ended up hurting people in the process. I let my selfishness take control of situations, I acted off of my emotions, I told God, “no thanks, I’m good, I can handle this.” Wrong. In John 15:5 Jesus says:

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Jessica Sklba tweeted something that her discipler and my dear friend Gabby told her. She said, “our emotions are not God. God is God.” TRUTH. I broke the relationship. I can’t fix it, only God can. Here’s the thing though, I’m being selfish and beating myself up. I am pouting even though I know God’s redeeming grace is greater than this. I was passing notes with my friend Niccole (because we’re in middle school, or something) and she quoted scripture then gave me some encouragement.

“Okay, Romans 8:28 says “And in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” so even if you should’ve acted differently, God is going to work this situation to glorify Himself, and also for your own good. Yes, it’s good to take sin seriously, and like you said, it’s good to take forgiveness seriously. God loves you! I do too, but He loves you more.”

You should know that if I had to choose 3 people on this earth that I have the most respect for, Niccole would be one of them. Our friendship is a blog post in it’s own-look forward to it around May 25th. When Niccole says things to me, with so much grace and truth, my heart listens. Through repentance I will receive forgiveness in my Savior. As I learn from these situations, God will bring me closer to Him, closer to the relationship that my sin consistently breaks. Sanctification. At a recent Primetime (weekly Cru meeting) Caleb Cook talked about this. He said:

“I have sinned and I am a sinner against God. And what I deserve, scripture says, is death. Good news, however, in Jesus, because 2000 years ago a guy named Jesus came and he lived the life that I couldn’t live. He died the death for my sin that I deserve, and 3 days later he rose from the grave and now in Him, if I receive His gift of forgiveness of sins and confess Him as my Lord and Savior I have an opportunity for new life in Christ.”

Then he went on to describe the difference between our position and our condition. Positionally, he says, “we are pure and righteous and perfect, because of what Jesus did on the cross.” Conditionally though, we are still sinners. Here’s the cool part. Caleb continued:

“Slowly, after a pattern of life that is characterized by repeatedly turning to Him again and again the Lord continues to fill us with His Holy Spirit for our whole life and all of a sudden, my life conditionally is who I am positionally. Because I have repeatedly again and again and again turned to God away from the habits and the things and the joys that I used to delight in, away from the things that used to characterize my life, toward the living God and now my joy and my delight is in Christ.”

He made the point that through our constant reconciling of our relationship with Christ, our condition becomes more like our position. In the eyes of God we are perfect and this is true because of Christ’s death. This is what we are called to. To be reconciled with God. As we repent and turn to God in everything we are sanctified. My weekend is all a part of this process. God is using my poor judgement and selfishness to bring me closer to Him.

You’re probably curious about the ambassador part. Back to 2 Corinthians- it says “we are ambassadors for Christ.” Through this sanctification and my ever growing story of God’s grace in my life I am doing this. My friend Zack said something really cool to me last night (so many friends in this post-it’s because mine are the best). “You may not feel worthy to be an ambassador all the time, but you are one.” Yep, I am. We all are. God’s grace is abundant and evident and that is the message of reconciliation we are entrusted with. Set apart, holy ambassadors. Ambassadors of the relationship we have broken and God has fixed.

Zachary Stevens picked this song.

I know I’m not perfect, I know I make mistakes.

I know that I have let You down, but You love me the same.

You lift me up.

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