Reconciled and Restored

"This wonderful message of reconciliation.”—2 Corinthians 5:21 The source of many of our afflictions is often rooted in our past. When we come to the Lord, we are saved and covered by His shed blood. We are indeed new: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).

Reading the entire passage, we are also taught, “And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation” (NLT).

We are given a ministry of “reconciliation.” It is a lifetime of being transformed, renewed, and yes, reconciled to God, and to others.

Much of this transformation takes place in the healing of our minds: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).

Our minds can literally be transformed and renewed. That is exciting, good news! Part of that transformation is the healing power of forgiveness, which leads to reconciliation.

Repentance and forgiveness are daily disciplines in our lives, a continual release of resentment, anxiety, and anger, allowing us to receive forgiveness and grant the same grace to others.

You don’t want to be one of those people who lets it build up then blow up!

I once reached a point in my personal life and ministry when I knew I had stuff inside me from the past that needed to be faced, dealt with, and given over to the Lord for forgiveness, cleansing, and healing.

It took some time. Time with the Lord to be honest and face my shortcomings. Time for counseling. And time for the healing God promised. Time to comprehend the healing I received.

I was restored spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. But I know it is always a daily process of walking close to the Lord and continuing the healing.

David, the shepherd, wrote in our beloved Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want…He restores my soul.

The Lord is indeed our Shepherd, and He longs to lead us to peace, healing, restoration, goodness, and mercy, all the days of our lives.

DEVOTIONALSRay Bentley