Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:13-16)
In the last post I shared about what we can learn from the Scriptures about Forgiveness and Reconciliation and how we can apply this to family life by living the Cycle of Reconciliation when transgressions occur. Today we are going to talk a bit about why it is important to get this right in our families: because the way we live says who we are.
The verse above, from Matthew, is a snippet of a conversation between the disciples and Jesus. As I was praying about this post, the one statement came to mind: “But who do YOU say that I am?” (vs. 15). And this is really what the Family Workshop is all about – demonstrating within our families WHO Jesus is – we must be living the Word out behind our closed doors; we must BE the Living Word to others we meet along our way; in everything, we must do all that we hear in the Word, from the Word (Matthew 7:24-25).
Let’s turn Jesus’ question,“But who do you say that I am?” to ourselves. Think about how we might respond to this question, if He asked it of us. As for me, two things come to my mind immediately. First, Jesus is Lord of my life. Second, Jesus is the example of perfect obedience to God that I must follow.
So of course, as Christians, our lives reflect our relationship with Jesus. The way we work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:2) in the relationships we have with others, demonstrates the degree to which Jesus has this place in our lives: (1) Lord and Master (2) Example and Role Model. As you let that sink in, do some soul searching. I have had plenty of opportunity for that this week due to many hurdles and sticky relationship issues. I have had to set aside my own way of doing and thinking, my old ways, and very intentionally look for the most excellent way (1 Cor 12:31); and at times it has been a real struggle.
If Jesus is Lord of our lives, if He is the Master we serve, then we would obey Him. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15).
If He is our role model and we imitate Him, we will accurately reflect His image to others: Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil 2:3-9).
All this is to say that the way we forgive and reconcile with others matters. It is not just “kissing and making up.” It is holy ground. When we seek forgiveness, we humble ourselves, we acknowledge our wrongdoing. And we are following the pattern that Yahweh gave to us so we might be reconciled to Him. When we extend forgiveness, we give grace generously, as He does. And we demonstrate a behavior that is at odds with the World. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18-19).
We must deliver the message that God has entrusted to us. Our lives must be an example of reconciliation with God and others. We have heard the message, but it is by doing it that our House is built, our families are made strong. It is by doing what we have heard, from Christ, that we are built up into the image of Christ and are able to glorify Him. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:35).
That’s all for today! Still need to get to one of my pet peeves: the differences between saying “I’m sorry”, seeking forgiveness and seeking reconciliation…that’s for next time.
May the peace of God which passes understanding guard your hearts and minds today and always.
justAgirl…just like you!