As believers, what we do with the walls of hostility is critical to our spiritual well-being and those around us. People need to see individuals who are willing to break down those walls and shift the atmosphere around them. How are we going to demonstrate the heart of God to a lost world if we continue to have walls of hostility in our lives!? …
Most of us have erected walls of hostility at some point in our lives and have kept others at a distance. We may have erected those walls to keep family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors, or church members at a distance. Some of us may still have walls of hostility against some people. For many years, Esau and Jacob had a wall of hostility between them, but there came a time that they had to deal with it and tear down the wall. …
Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. John 12:23-26
The above passage occurred after triumphal entry. Many came to see Jesus and brought their palm branches declaring the entrance of the King of Israel to Jerusalem! However, Jesus knew that the true triumph was waiting for Him on the other side of the cross! He had to defeat the enemy and redeem man from the power of hell, sin, and destruction!
While Jesus’ disciples must have felt good about Him being acknowledged by the people, Jesus likened His life to a grain of wheat that has to fall to the ground and die before it produces much grain and becomes fruitful. Even though Jesus lived a perfect and sinless life, His true reproduction began after going to the cross!
Jesus endured the accusations, scorns, and sufferings before the eyes of His family, disciples, friends, and His enemies. The cross may have made Jesus look weak and guilty to the world, but He was meek and pure, and His strength was under the control of the Holy Spirit. He was not derailed by the voices around Him and neither did He bow down to the demands of others. Despite people’s expectations of Him to be the king of Israel, Jesus knew that the nation of Israel as well as humanity needed a Savior for its redemption and reconciliation! This must have disappointed His disciples, but Jesus knew His assignment and what the Lord had required of His son! If He had not died for the sins of humanity, He was going to remain alone, and He could not bring the many sons and daughters to salvation and reconciliation to the Father!
In this hour, many look to government and experts to be the savior of humanity. There are many demands on them to have answers for the current situation, but Jesus has the answer to man’s true condition. People may be temporarily focused on the pandemic, but the world including our nation is need of spiritual restoration and deliverance! There is no peace unless the Prince of Peace is invited into our lives. Our marriages, families, communities, and our nation are in need of healing, and the answer is in the cross of Jesus.
True healing begins with us admitting that we are incapable of fixing our problems. We need to ask for forgiveness for our sins, our selfishness, and our stubbornness that has caused so much disorder in our lives and in our communities. We also forgive others. Jesus paid the full price for all our sins to set things right with the Father and with one another. He also taught us that we can experience the power of resurrection through repentance and denying our old nature. When we allow our carnal nature to die to unbelief, pride, division, animosity, strife, hatred, and anger, we give room for the resurrection power to bear fruit of the spirit and restoration in our lives. Jesus paid a high price, so we can have the privilege of living a life of freedom, peace, love, and reconciliation. Thank you Lord for sending your son to the earth! Thank you Jesus for your great sacrifice and redemption! Thank you Holy Spirit for being with us and for your conviction and revelation!
I have been sharing in the last two devotionals about God’s call on the believers to be the ministers of reconciliation. Reconciling people to God and to one another is a noble and powerful thing to do. However, it is not an easy assignment because we will be faced with opposition from within and without.
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Ephesians 2:14-18
The Lord called us to be peacemakers, which goes hand in hand with being ministers of reconciliation. Contrary to the popular belief, peacemakers rock the boat! The disciples continually rocked the religious and political boats to reach people for Jesus.
Peacemakers are willing to roll up their sleeves, take risks, and get into the mess to clean it up. Being a peacemaker is about bringing reconciliation into the atmosphere and breaking down the spirit of hostility and enmity. Reconcilers take the side of the Prince of Peace recognizing that man is subject to pride and fear causing him to react and fall into sin.
Sometimes being a reconciler means that no one likes us too much because we are not willing to taking their side, but that’s ok. Taking the side of truth is never easy, but wouldn’t you rather please God than to please man temporarily!? If the fear of losing relationships causes us to compromise, God cannot use us as ministers of reconciliation. In turn, people will use us to vent and gossip about others, and they will leave us dirty and poisoned in the name of friendship and intimacy.
But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. Acts 9:27
Jesus’ disciples wanted to avoid Paul because he had been the persecutor of the church. It was Barnabas who had the courage to bring Paul to the other disciples and encouraged them to believe God’s transformation in this man’s life. Barnabas could have feared losing relationships with the disciples, but he was willing to take the risk because Paul was a changed man and God’s work was more important!
Barnabas became a minister of reconciliation and allowed God to use him to rebuild trust in the disciples concerning Paul. It was really the disciples who had to change their minds and put their past fears and offenses aside. This important step allowed all the apostles to work together in unity, be more effective in their ministry, and represent Christ well to the new believers.
Are you willing to do the hard work of being a minister of reconciliation? Whenever we look at the Biblical characters, their courageous work of reconciliation went above and beyond the moment, and it played a significant role in God’s prophetic vision for the future.
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