“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;” Ephesians 4:11-13 NKJV
“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,” 2 Corinthians 5:18 NKJV
RECONCILIATION IS A PRIORITY WITH GOD
“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24 NKJV
IF YOU’RE HESITANT TO RECONCILE, WORK THROUGH THESE STEPS:
1) RECONCILIATION STARTS WITH FORGIVENESS
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 NKJV
“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” Romans 5:10 NKJV
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:25-26 NKJV
2) PRAY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE MISTREATED YOU
“Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” Luke 6:28 NKJV
3) BE HONEST WITH THE MOTIVES OF YOUR HEART
“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:17-21 NKJV
“But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” James 3:14-17 NKJV
“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?” James 4:1 NLT
“Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:21-24 NIV
4) BE WILLING TO ADMIT ANY PART YOU MAY HAVE HAD IN CONTRIBUTING TO THE PROBLEM
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5 NIV
5) BE HONEST WITH YOUR OFFENDER AND WHAT IT WILL TAKE TO REBUILD TRUST
“Therefore, bear fruits worthy of repentance,” Matthew 3:8 NKJV
“You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:16 NKJV
CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION THIS WEEK...
- Reconciliation starts with forgiveness. What areas are easy for you to give forgiveness and why? What areas are hard for you to give forgiveness and why?
- Have you ever prayed for someone who mistreated you? What happened as a result of your prayers?
- Share about a time when you weren’t proud of the motives your heart. How did things play out and what did you learn from that experience?
- Read Matthew 7:3-5. How does taking responsibility for yourself first allow you to be an ambassador of reconciliation that sees clearly?
- Consider sharing with the group how they can be praying for you this week as you bring reconciliation and rebuilt trust to relationships in your life.