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Written by Keith Haney for “THE LIGHT BREAKS THROUGH” @ https://alightbreaksthrough.org
Original post @ https://alightbreaksthrough.org/reclaiming-the-language-of-reconciliation/
Reclaiming the Language of Reconciliation
FEB 25, 2020
A woman breaks her chains as the links turn into freedom birds
I just spent a week of training on reconciliation. One of the key learnings was teaching people how to be reconciled with God. Ambassadors of Reconciliation has identified three keys steps. 1) Apply Scripture, 2) Uncover idols and guide the person to repent before God, and 3) Proclaim God’s forgiveness to comfort and encourage, and to empower him/her to live out his reconciliation with others. I found this training one of the most powerful life-changing things I have learned in my ministry.
What is ripping so many Christians and churches apart is people who hold on to unforgiveness for years? The withholding of forgiveness destroys ministry and lives. Let me encourage you today to reclaim the power of God’s Word and reconciliation.
Many reconciliations have broken down because both parties have come prepared to forgive and unprepared to be forgiven. 
Paul applies God’s Word beautifully here in the area of reconciliation. He describes how we are to live together in brotherly love. Colossians was my wedding verse and my favorite picture of our life together.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” 
We have other words for Paul that guide us toward seeking reconciliation:
We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 
We need to allow the word of God to be spoken plainly and powerfully when hearts are hardened through the pain of conflict.
Uncover idols and guide the person to repent before God.
In uncovering your idols, it starts with calling sin what it truly is. It is not a mistake; it is not a little white lie; it is more serious than an error in judgment and it is a big deal. Sin separates us from God.
8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.“ 
This illustration is very telling about uncovering our idols and repenting before God.
As a young minister, I frequently preached at road camps, commonly referred to as “chain gangs.” Once, while speaking on the necessity of forgiveness, I noticed that tears filled the eyes of a burly man. Later, the guard told me this man desired a conference. When it was granted, the conversation ran something like this:
“I thought you said that whatever the sin, God would forgive. Is that right?”
“Yes,” I replied, “if you satisfactorily meet the requirements of forgiveness and then demonstrate the new life in Christ.”
“Well, I killed a man. I can’t get him off my mind.”
He wept. He told me the whole story. I suggested certain passages of Scripture and daily disciplines. We prayed together during which time he reiterated his guilt to God.
Some weeks later, after the service, the guard told me the man wanted to know if I would eat dinner with him. This prisoner was one of the chefs. He prepared a good meal, and I complimented him on his culinary skills. To which he replied, “Thank you for telling me the story of forgiveness.” 
Proclaim God’s forgiveness to comfort and encourage, and to empower him/her to live out his reconciliation with others.
In my training one big ah-ha moment was the realization that most people rarely hear the words of forgiveness proclaimed to them personally when they seek reconciliation. Imagine bearing your souls and seeking reconciliation only to not hear “I forgive you”. We have lost the ability to speak the words of God personally. Imagine instead when someone is seeking reconciliation we say something like:
“I have good news for you. For his unfailing love toward (Name of person) who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed (your) sins as far from (you) as the east is from the west.
The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. (based on Psalm 103:11-12)
We have been called to a ministry of reconciliation. If God has forgiven us how can we withhold forgiveness from others? If there are people in your life you are harboring unforgiveness with, go and be reconciled.
 Green, M. P. (Ed.). (1989). Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively (Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Col 3:12–17). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (2 Co 5:20–21). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (1 Jn 1:8–10). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
 Jones, G. C. (1986). 1000 illustrations for preaching and teaching (p. 95). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
P.S. (from bruce) Don’t you want to put your faith and trust in Jesus now ?? If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ?? Here is the truth about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ… https://godsmanforever.com
To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…
You say you are a “born again” believer… “ BUT ” is your soul “ON FIRE ” for the Lord ?? If not, open this link – https://godsmanforever.com/2020/08/01/are-you-a-christian-in-gods-eyes-and-on-fire-for-the-lord-or-not/
Picture credit: https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&sxsrf=APq-WBviC3S2Bcgyd5OHbwe1YD6guz23ag:1645544562648&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=image+2+Corinthians+5:20&fir=kCJKwRVoMG3-5M%252CgRL7yuBCkT8KpM%252C_%253B_ow3PdU2DJQREM%252CY4dgE0JSrEXsgM%252C_%253B-Yed_RTCr1ne4M%252CY4dgE0JSrEXsgM%252C_%253BywhSVKvqFuElVM%252CJPj6ga1hPFNOSM%252C_%253BlJ83i27e1jga8M%252CG2pcM6tsnEdxcM%252C_%253BDRH3Sjye14YQQM%252Cu3x_hvF7p1WT1M%252C_%253B9toqcbndfgcacM%252CHAdgUBbDY3II5M%252C_%253BGOapGoLD9kLEfM%252Cc8VMYm77mYPJ3M%252C_%253B961pAVWyWLqSpM%252CabCuvjjj_kcAqM%252C_%253Bb8Ogh5MzUHcNAM%252CHAdgUBbDY3II5M%252C_%253BgDDmXK8r5FosHM%252CLHk7SgTpGZULTM%252C_%253ByUgderI6TWcqbM%252CzZ_tb7bZsD4nFM%252C_%253Bli523vTXKFs9fM%252CukIR93J6MXnptM%252C_%253Byid-A3euiUNLyM%252C5u7TfAgg5unaWM%252C_%253BuJlJyFNgZX_GTM%252C5u7TfAgg5unaWM%252C_&usg=AI4_-kTXP9He3d4Glxe3IN-5Sr4zl6g4hA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjqi_mY05P2AhXtlIkEHQ7AAPwQ7Al6BAgCEDs&biw=1316&bih=844&dpr=1#imgrc=JMWBAa27FsEfvM