June 15, 2012

Step Four: Be Reconciled

Acts 15:36-41

Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.
—2 Timothy 4:11


When we deeply offend one another, it tends to cause a separation. Even after the wrong has been confessed and forgiveness granted, the broken, jagged edges of a once peaceful relationship can continue to cause discomfort, even pain.

Can abused family members ever get together under one roof? Can a marriage shattered by adultery grow in trust again? Can an embezzler be hired again? Can divided churches recognize their unity in Christ again? Can business partners who went separate ways work together again?

The answer is a resounding “Yes!” This is how God deals with us in our sin. When we offend him, he does not turn away from us. He earnestly desires to renew an intimate relationship with us and reconciles us through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:10).

Mark deserted and deeply disappointed Paul during their first missionary journey together. So Paul refused to take Mark along on his next trip. But sometime later Paul reconciled with Mark, who became helpful to him in ministry.

In this world of many wrongs, there may be good reasons why a person convicted of serious, repeated sins is not fully trusted again. But if we are followers of Christ, we should make every effort to make peace by turning enemies into friends.

Lord of amazing grace, thank you that in Christ you are reconciling the world to yourself. Help me to do the same to those who have sinned against me. Amen.

About the author — David Zandstra

David Zandstra is a retired pastor living in Marietta, Georgia, having served five churches from New Jersey to California. Along with other ministries, he counsels clients of a pregnancy resource center. He acknowledges his indebtedness to the training and resources of Peacemaker Ministries. David and his wife, Margie, have three children and six grandchildren.

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