Christian Living

How to Keep from Burning the Bridges of Reconciliation

Reconciliation is a buzz word in our day. As we reflect on history and the errors of those who came before us, we feel an obligation to build the bridges they burned, whether unintentionally or with violent purpose. The list of injuries is long, and the task is large.

One place reconciliation is strangely missing is the local church. We seem to forget how it is essential to the Gospel’s message. Each one of us is eternally estranged from God because of sin within us. Yet Jesus was born to sacrifice Himself so the penalty of our sin would be paid, and we would have the opportunity to be reconciled to God.

In places where there are multiple choices for a place to worship, people often leave one congregation in favor of another, not so much because God has called them to connect and serve in that new church home, but because of problems with people from the old one. If only we could find a way to reconcile.

We might find it easier if we learned to talk about what has happened with a different set of words. How we define our situation will determine what course to take, if we leave room for any at all. When it comes to reconciling our relationships, we have to be careful to keep open the bridges that bind us together.

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Podcast

Restoring a Relationship of Love

Conclusion. When it comes to love, redemption is not enough. To buy back, to own, is not the end of the plan. There is one step left. Without this step the great Lover cannot receive what they long for. It empowers the “happily ever after” and it comes at a price.

http://www.audiomack.com/embed4/chrismackinnon/restoring-a-relationship-of-love

Bible, Christian Living

Rules, Obedience, and Knowing God

You did it. Someone stopped you on the street. A family member was over at your house for dinner. You stopped into a church without any clue as to what awaited you inside. And suddenly it all made sense. God is real. Jesus did everything you couldn’t do. Now you believe. You’re a follower of Jesus. The old is gone, the new has come, and you’re ready to start down the journey.

Before long some well-meaning but misguided person or group is going to start imposing rules on your life. Don’t do this. Do that. Fill your days here and not there. At first it sounds simple and you desire God so much that you go along with it. As the days turn into weeks, months and years, you learn to gauge how well you and those around you are doing at knowing God. You read your Bible and pray everyday. Your car can almost always be found in the church parking lot because you never miss a service.

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Some of us really like rules. We like to-do lists and have apps for that. That’s right, we don’t just have one, we have a few. Because we don’t want to miss anything, don’t want to leave anything undone. So we’re going to work at it. One of the categories for your to-do’s is simple named, “God.” Your Bible reading plan is there. A list of prayer needs is there. There’s even a calculator for your tithes, missions support, child sponsorship and food bank donations. Plus a calendar with all of those services you wouldn’t want to miss, your discipleship course, conferences, book reading deadlines, and so much more.

Is this the relationship we are called to with Jesus Christ? Is it about to-do lists and rules? We want to stay close to Him and far from evil. Growth is the name of our game; we aren’t staying still because staying still is moving backwards because it ain’t moving forwards. I wonder what Jesus would have to say about all this doing and obeying.

Continue reading “Rules, Obedience, and Knowing God”