Monday, February 26, 2007
Very few among us have been so fortunate as to not experience the pain, turmoil, and even agony of a break in relationship with someone who was once close to us. Steve Troxel of God's Daily Word Ministries has some good, though difficult-to-hear thoughts on this subject in this devotional.

Malachi served as a prophet to Israel about four hundred years before the birth of Jesus. He brought a message from God which reminded the people of His love and rebuked them for their disrespectful worship. But through Malachi, God ended the Old Testament with a prophesy about future restoration.

Malachi 4:5-6
"I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."

Just over four hundred years later, John the Baptist, "the Elijah who was to come" (Matthew 11:14), began to preach a message of repentance. The purpose of John's ministry was to prepare hearts for the coming of Jesus; "Prepare the way for the Lord" (Matthew 3:3). But according to Malachi, John would also cause the hearts of fathers and children to turn toward one another.

When the Spiritual fellowship between man and God was broken, a basic void was formed in man's heart which led to a breakdown in his earthly relationships. The moment we lost the ability to walk in perfect harmony with God, we also became filled with self-importance and pride, and lost the ability to truly love one another; "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have {true} fellowship with one another" (1 John 1:7). Walking closer to Jesus allows us to walk closer with others; "We love because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).

God created us to be in fellowship with other people - even imperfect, hard to love people. Our quiet and peaceful times of study and prayer are essential for our Christian walk; but some of God's most important truths can only be learned as we stumble through difficult situations with others. Only there can we learn the difficulty of true grace and forgiveness; only there can some of our own deep sin (like pride, jealousy, and anger) be revealed.

Many relationships are filled with past pain - particularly the relationships between parent and child - but God's Word still stands as truth. He has provided the path to restoration; a path which begins with repentance, requires the cleansing of sinful pride, and leads to a heart filled with love and forgiveness.

Who do we need to reconcile with today? Full restoration requires the cooperation of both parties; but as a child of God, we can now cross the desert and begin to mend what is broken. Jesus died as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins in order that we may be reconciled with our Heavenly Father. He crossed ALL the way over and completely mended our shattered heart! Let's walk in the light of His love and take the necessary steps to humbly reconcile with one another.

  posted at 5:23 AM  


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