"Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 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." 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Peace on earth is a familiar phrase we sing and hear about at Christmastime, but what does it mean? How is it possible? According to the Word of God the Father sent His Son into the world to reconcile each one of His children to Himself. Jesus enables us to have peace in our hearts when we are reconciled to God through cleansing and forgiveness. He removes our sins continuously as we confess, repent, and ask for forgiveness. If we keep ourselves reconciled to God daily, we will be reconciled to each other.
When I was a young mother with a young family we moved to a new location. When we became involved with a homeschool coop I was approached by another mother and asked, " What was my secret?" I looked at her confused, and she said your kids love each other and with your three boys I don’t see the rivalry my boys have. I assured her my boys have the same struggles, but explaining I keep my children in the Word of God daily before we begin each day. I explained His Word is set up in our home as our guidelines for how we treat one another. When anyone disobeys His rules we all know it, and it is corrected with confession and repentance, and restoration. If me and my children stayed reconciled to God and His rules we had peace in our home and with each other. It always worked until they were out from under my authority in our home. Then your children have to choose for themselves, but you have the satisfaction of knowing you did what you were called to do for the short amount of time you have them under our authority in our homes.
It is not a complex solution to having peace on earth. There must be peace first and foremost with you and God, your Heavenly Father. He makes up for the shortcomings of our earthly fathers. He can heal you of offenses and hurts we have incurred as children from both parents. He created mothers. He has all the answers.
Satan uses offenses to divide and destroy relationships. We must walk closely enough with our Father that we no longer live for ourselves, but for Him.
"…and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf."
2 Corinthians 5:15
If I keep myself in the love of God and His Word I am forgiven for so much daily, that it gives me the grace to forgive others. For the love of Christ controls us Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:14. We are totally dependent and shall always be as long as we live on this earth on the love of God to love Him and to love others in that order. We somehow think this is a one time experience, or just a weekly event in our social life, but no, it is a way of life daily. We are daily dependent on the love of God.
Jesus is God’s greatest expression of love, so we must keep ourselves in the love of Christ and follow His example. Treat others as He has treated you. We know we are totally unworthy of the sacrifice He made while we were still sinners without repentance.
" He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
2 Corinthians 5:21
None of us got what we deserved, and yet we want others to get what they deserve if they offend us in any way. The only solution for myself is that I remain in a very reconciled relationship with my Lord and Savior above all others. His Word remains a mirror for me to see the truth about myself which keeps me from self righteousness and pride. I am constantly reminded of what I am apart from Christ. I need His example ever before me as my standard, and not looking to those around me and you do too. Here are some sobering scriptures of truth concerning the consequences if we choose to disobey and go our own way. Romans 2:3-11 states:
But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God: or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to His deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but every unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.
God forbid we do not heed the warnings of a stubborn, unrepentant heart with selfish ambition and empty conceit, storing up wrath for ourselves.
How easy it was in our home when God’s Word was the house rules. These rules were established out of a desire to love God with all our hearts, body, mind, soul, and spirit. The children were made aware of how much the Heavenly Father loved them. They were taught about the sacrifice Jesus made for them to be reconciled and forgiven on a daily basis each time they sinned against His Word living out life in our home as a family. We had six members in our family, so there was plenty of opportunity to apply God’s Word to offenses and to learn how to avoid them. They were disciplined with the Word of God. Hebrews 12:11 was read often.
"All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
This scripture was my standard to know if I had disciplined correctly. If we did not have the peaceful fruit of righteousness achieved I would know we weren’t finished. Oftentimes this meant forgiveness had not truly taken place in the heart of the one offended, so the offender, nor the offended, were set free from the offense. I had to persevere as a mother and rely on the Holy Spirit to lead me into all truth as He promises to. The children were disciplined in love, and understood discipline was a form of love. Please refer to Hebrews 12:4-11.
As we approach the day of our Savior’s Birth let us live our lives reconciled to our Father through Jesus’ cleansing blood of forgiveness and take the Word He left us to our families for reconciliation. If we establish His rules in each of our homes we can bring peace in our homes. Know that individuals make up families and families make up the world. If we obey His rules in our homes, and while living life outside our homes, on a daily basis, peace on earth will return one person at a time. Know how important this decision you make about the ministry of reconciliation is in your life and the lives of others!
In His love.
Christmas fun at Korner’s Folly in Kernersville, NC with clients and friends!