Reconciled to Reconcile Others
We just celebrated Thanksgiving and are thankful for Jesus, the cross, and His words, “You are forgiven.”
We know that sin—the source of every flaw in us—messes up our lives, hurts loved ones, blinds and isolates us from God. John 1:10, speaking of Jesus’ 30+ years on earth, says, “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.”
Insane. That’s incredible since everything that exists was made through Jesus. Yet when Jesus came into the world He had made, they didn’t recognize Him and even killed Him.
Most people today, by nature and choice, still don’t know Jesus.
Yet because of God’s great love for you, for all, God followed us into the darkness. Jesus didn’t come here for the weather or the pizza. He came to seek and save the lost and to reconcile sinners to God.
Jesus didn’t come here for the weather or the pizza. He came to seek and save the lost and to reconcile sinners to God.
Colossians 1:19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. 21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, to present you before Him holy, blameless, and beyond reproach.
This is our God. This is the good news.
This is also the greatest need of those we interact with at work, school, Big Y, and Tandem.
Therefore, Jesus calls us to share what God has done. The apostle Paul tells us,
2 Corinthians 5:18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the Ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the Word of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
We’re not here to judge anyone.
We’re to share the good news that through Jesus, God forgives YOU. Through Jesus, the Father openly receives YOU. Yet it remains that YOU must receive Him. The Father is at peace with you, yet YOU must be with Him.
On Christ’s behalf, we beg you, be reconciled to God! That’s God’s heart.
On Christ’s behalf, we beg you, be reconciled to God! That’s God’s heart.
That’s our message. Since we seek the opportunity to share the gospel with listening ears, there are a few things we can do.
First, abide in God’s love, embrace the gospel, and live it out. Love God; out of that, be your Jesus-loving self with others.
Love God; out of that, be your Jesus-loving self with others.
Second, pray for your coworkers, neighbors, or anyone God’s got in your life whom you may talk about Jesus with—at the gym, Aldi’s, or the lady who does your hair.
Pray for opportunities to share and pray also for receptive hearts.
Third, build upon your current relationships.
Show interest in their lives, listen to their stories, and don’t be shocked by anything they share. If we are ever shocked by anything anyone else does, we forget the power of sin.
But also, be open about your faith and love for Jesus. Let them know that you trust Jesus. Let them know you go to church.
If they ask, “Don’t you have better things to do on a Sunday?”
Tell them, “Not really, I’ll tell you why…”
If they question, “Do you believe all that?”
You can answer them, “Believe all what?” “What do you believe?” Or “Let me tell you what I believe...”
If they wonder, “Really, why do you go to church?”
You can tell them, “Church is where I expand my worldview and connect with something far greater than anything I know—the God of the universe! At church, I’m reminded of who I am and that I’m not defined by what I do or don’t do. I’m reminded of God’s love and everything He has done for me. I’m reminded that by God’s grace, my sins are forgiven, and an awesome future awaits. So, my church is where I find strength, hope, and love.” Then ask, “What do YOU do on Sunday mornings?”
Be open about your faith and love for Jesus.
Accentuate the gospel, but if doubts or concerns arise, like about sin or hell, don’t ignore Jesus’ less popular teachings to avoid offending the culture, embarrassing ourselves, or turning off any potential believers. Sure, from a marketing perspective, this makes sense. Yet Jesus never hid the truth in order not to offend someone! He said things that offended the self-righteous…
Matthew 15:12 “Then the disciples came and said to Him, ‘Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?’”
He knew!! He also knew that offending some with hard-to-swallow truths meant rescuing others who needed to hear this news. Jesus frequently said hard things that offended the self-righteous but brought eternal life to sinners!
Offending some with hard-to-swallow truths meant rescuing others who needed to hear this news.
When asked about marriage, divorce, roles, greed, and paying taxes, Jesus had unpopular answers. But He trusted in the goodness of God of God’s Word—its veracity, its power—regardless of what people believed.
John 6:60 Therefore, many of His disciples… said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? 62 What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.”
If questions about hell or God’s judgment are raised, don’t gloss over it. Don’t worry if the truth makes God (or us) look bad. This may be a test of your faith in God’s goodness. Either way, this is our wheelhouse! We have the good news that Jesus rescues us from sin, judgment, and hell.
Be humble. Wise. Loving. Deal with difficult answers if they come up. But our emphasis is on reconciling God to people. So our goal is to share the gospel so that they may believe and be saved.
I suggest you memorize John 3:16. It highlights God’s love, gift, and promise.
Memorize and be able to share the main truths from John 3:16 in casual conversation.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
God’s love—”For God so loved the world”
God’s gift—”that He gave His only begotten Son”
God’s promise—”that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
The gospel is that God loves you and sent His Son, Jesus, who took all the things you know are wrong and those that are wrong even without you knowing it, and Jesus paid for these with His life. And this changes everything between you and God. As far as He’s concerned, you’re no longer separated from God. Jesus gives you His favor and eternal life. So, if you’re looking for more than this world offers, put your trust in Jesus. Believe in Him and be saved.
Best present ever!
As Christmas approaches, abide in Christ, treasure the gospel, and be your Jesus-loving self around you.
Pray for boldness and opportunities to share. Will you commit to praying for even one person throughout December?
Be open to cues people give you to share your faith and how Jesus helps you.
See the opportunities to share about Jesus, who He is, and why He came. Invite them to church this Advent season. And whenever someone visits, let’s all show them God’s love.