|Green Lake Conference Center, Wisconsin|
Wow - what a beautiful, Holy Spirit-led morning we had at Redeemer! You cannot program what happened. I thank God for how our people responded to God speaking to them and leading us all into his present activity.
When the dust cleared (for a while), I preached out of 2 Corinthians 5. The bullets include:
- When a person gets saved they become a new creation.
- As a new creation, they no longer live narcissistic lives for themselves, but they live for Him.
- As a new creation, they no longer view people "according to the flesh (kata sarka), but according to the Spirit (kata pneuma).
- We see people, all of them, as either reconciled to God, or not reconciled to God.
- New creations are burdened by this. They "implore" ("beg) people to be reconciled to God.
- God gives we new creations a "ministry of reconciliation." In this, we are "ambassadors for Christ."
If you are a Jesus-follower, you have a ministry of reconciliation. You bring people to God, and bring people to one another. You are a reconciler, not a divider. Any fool can divide; blessed and few are the peacemakers.
The apostle Paul wrote:
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
God reconciled you, through Christ, to himself. God did not count your sins against you. God did not look at you and the mess you made of life and say, "Nothing good can ever come from this person." You have the message that God did not treat us this way. You are to share this with others. This is Good News.
Because of this basic, core message of Real Christianity, Linda and I labor to reconcile husbands and wives in failing marriages. We have a ministry of reconciliation, just like you. Un-ity, not di-vorce, is the God-thing.
Tap into God's creative, restorative, reconciling abilities to unite people. God can work, through you, to dissolve disparity between people.
Abide in Him, and receive His empowering for a peace unlike this world dishes out.
Do not assist division. Reconcilers refuse to enable dysfunction and sin. Have nothing to do with tearing marriages and families and friends asunder.
Refuse to entertain words like "This marriage will never make it," or "We could never be friends again," or "Nothing good can ever come out of these people." (Warning: as you refuse to enable sin, the enablee will be outraged because, from their egocentric viewpoint, you are not "helping" them. They may even accuse you of not following Jesus, as if Jesus assists people on the road to destruction. In short, the enablee will likely dishonor you and, in their blindness, view you as trying to control them. How absurd!)
Your core belief is: God is able to reconcile. You know this is true, for He reconciled you, to Him, and to others. The idea is: If two people follow Jesus, and are "in him," they will come together since, in Christ, divisive relationships are nonexistent. View things this way. Think community, not individuality.
If you are a Jesus-follower, you are a gatherer, not a scatterer.
You assist people on the road to life, rather then enable people on the path of craziness.
You are someone who brings people to God, and brings people together.
This is dynamic, far more so than those dark, mediocre voices of relational failure that enumerate sins against people and give up on them.