Today’s Date: January 17, 2010
Title: Forgiveness: Be Reconciled
Reading: Gen 35-36:43, Matt 12:1-21, Psalm 15:1-5, Proverbs 3:21-26; Blackaby daily devotional: Matt 5:24
S – Scripture:
“Leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” –Matthew 5:24
Here’s Blackaby’s daily devotional:
“It is useless to give offerings to God while you are at enmity with your brother. Jesus said that His followers should be reconciled with anyone who has something against them. The world seeks reconciliation on limited terms. Christians are to be reconciled, whatever it takes.
You say, “”But you don’t know how deeply he hurt me! It’s unreasonable to ask me to restore our relationship.”” Or, “”I tried but she would not be appeased.”” Jesus did not include an exception clause for our reconciliation. If the person is an enemy, Jesus said to love him (Matt. 5:44). If he persecutes you, you are to pray for him (v. 44). If she publicly humiliates you, you are not to retaliate (v. 39). If someone takes advantage of you, you are to give even more than he asks (v. 41). The world preaches “”Assert yourself.”” Jesus taught “”Deny yourself.”” The world warns that you will be constantly exploited. Jesus’ concern was not that His disciples be treated fairly but that they show unconditional love to others regardless of how they were treated. Men spat upon Jesus and nailed Him to a cross. His response was our model: “”Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do”” (Luke 23:34).
If there were ever a command that is constantly disobeyed, it is this mandate to be reconciled. We comfort ourselves with the thought, “”God knows that I tried to make things right, but my enemy refused.”” God’s word does not say “”Try to be reconciled,”” but “”Be reconciled.”” Is there someone with whom you need to make peace? Then do what God tells you to do.”
O – Observation: (and Interpretation)
In searching the scripture my observation is who is considered a “brother” in this verse. Is it my blood relatives, my friends, only Christians? Or is it anyone I have a relationship with? Most bible translations read “brother”; some translations report “person” – none say if that person is a Christian or not. Which goes with the question that Blackaby refers to that Jesus said, “Be reconciled”, not “Try to be reconciled”. My question is what if the person you are trying to reconciled with refuses? I don’t see Blackaby truly answering this, but to keep trying, would that mean that we can never go before the Lord if the other person refuses? Is it our act of going to the person to make right and making assertive, consistent effort enough, so that we can come before the Lord to commune with God?
Here’s a bible definition of what a “brother” is in, The New Testament Greek Lexicon (http://tinyurl.com/bible-bro)
- a brother, whether born of the same two parents or only of the same father or mother
- having the same national ancestor, belonging to the same people, or countryman
- any fellow or man
- a fellow believer, united to another by the bond of affection
- an associate in employment or office
- brethren in Christ
- his brothers by blood
- all men
- Christians, as those who are exalted to the same heavenly place
Now according to this definition, brother = everyone!
A – Application:
In reading today’s devotional, I must ask the question, what do I do when others sin against me? http://www.gotquestions.org/forgiveness.html
In addition, what happens when we go to someone to “Be reconciled” and they refuse? I read over and over again that we are to lay that issue before God and leave it up to him. My conclusion for this verse is that we make every effort to do what is right before God, to “be reconciled” with all people in our lives and if that person chooses to NOT reconcile then it’s no longer our responsibility. We can now go before the Lord without sin as we have done what he has asked us to do. I believe that the Holy Spirit will convict my heart and mind if I am nonchalant about “being reconciled” and I will not have peace until I do so, to the extent that Jesus says, alright, now that person is against him – because the scripture also says in John 13:20 (NLT) I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me (Jesus), and anyone who welcomes me (Jesus) is welcoming the Father who sent me (Jesus).
P – Prayer:
Father I ask you to forgive me for my sins. I ask that you show me those I have wronged and that you provide an opportunity for me to reconcile. I ask that you reveal whom I need to pray for and that sometimes we may offend others and we don’t know that we have offended that person; and they don’t tell us what or how we offended them, nor come to us to reconcile and then causes sin by not being in your will. Lord I ask that I can come before you daily and I am humbled by your grace and forgiveness so that I can “make right” and reconcile with all that are in my life. Help me to be the person you want me to be. Help me to know and do your will. In Jesus name, Amen.
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