June 27th – The Bliss of Mended Ties



When Paul the Apostle heard that the distressing difference between himself and his beloved, but volatile, Christian community in Corinth had been resolved, he was so relieved and overjoyed at being reconciled with them that you can still feel the relief even now in his second letter to Corinth, nearly 2000 years later. He tells them what he has learned from the experience, and spends time drawing lessons from it all, and instead of giving all the credit to the main trouble shooter, Titus, whom he had sent to sort it out, he praised God that both he and they had come through with even stronger faith. Paul’s emphases had been accepted, and his leadership reinstated, and the church had responded positively so now he could step back and see some of the good which was coming out of all the trouble.
The attack on his style of leadership had been resolved, but he never flinched from laying down the law on what was Christian and right and what was unChristian and wrong. In short, the reconciliation was not a compromise – not a surrender to the lowest common point of agreement. It was a truly Christian reconciliation. In Christ, both church and minister become one again and both were improved by it.
Reconciliation is marvellous medicine. It restores to full health the minds of those who had been cross with each other. The ‘feel good’ factor is restored. Reconciliation is like setting and mending a broken bone which becomes whole again, and even stronger at the point of fracture than it was before. Reconciliation is a handshake, sometimes a kiss and a broad smile, as two enemies make it up. One of the first signs at the very heart of the Welsh Revival in 1904 happened on the first night of it all, then the young Evan Roberts had spoken his heart out to a gathering of only seventeen people. Two deacons who had not spoken to each other for years came to the front, arms around each other, sobbing out their confessions of stupidity and each begging the other’s forgiveness. Reconciliation between people is a powerful thing, but it’s really the result of something else which comes first.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. II Corinthians 5: 17-18

Order! In Christ, God has come to meet you. So first get right with God. Then get right with people. The two go together, like body and soul.

A Prayer:
Lord, even when ‘it is all their fault’, it is mine also.

Now read II Corinthians Chapter 7.

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Thought 4 The Day

To forsake Christ for the world is to leave a treasure for a trifle, eternity for a moment, reality for a shadow, all things for nothing. (W. Jenkins)

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