Pastor Jeff Knott of Grace Church in Port Hope, Ontario continues the sermon series on “The Joseph Stories” with “Reconciliation”:
Joseph’s story is our story – what God is doing in him, He is also purposed to do in and through us. There are parallels in Joseph’s life that parallels our lives.
God’s purposes in a dysfunctional world are:
- God deals with the hurts. We are meant to move beyond our hurts to a place of healing and freedom.
- God uses people and events as a way of chastening us so we look like Christ.
- God uses people to prosper us so our lives are displays of His glory.
- The hard work of patience, of waiting for God to bring together all the various parts of our lives so that He can work out His purposes under His sovereign timetable.
- God’s gift of anointing, His purpose to empower us to do what we’ve been called to do.
We can conclude that God is active in our world. If His purposes are good, then we need to rejoice.
There’s a sixth purpose of God in a dysfunctional world which is His desire for reconciliation.
What God is ultimately doing in a dysfunctional world, what His final aim is, is to bring together all the relational fragmentation, all the personal estrangement, all the parties of various states of discord and enmity and He is bringing them back together again to a place of harmony and fellowship.
God wants to heal the dysfunction in our world. His goal is to restore creation back to that same relational connection that we had at the beginning – what He intended for creation.
That healing process is called reconciliation. Reconciliation is at the heart of what God is doing, this is the story the Bible tells that we would live in forgiveness in reconciliation.
It’s one thing to forgive, it’s quite another to be reconciled. It’s a different thing, but it’s part of the process.
Forgiveness involves acknowledging the hurt. Even though something’s been done to you, something painful, something hurtful, you are willing to let go the offense.
Anger without malice, that’s what’s involved in forgiveness.
Reconciliation is when the other person accepts the accusation that they’ve actually hurt someone and then they receive the forgiveness for the need that’s being offered in their lives. They acknowledge the offense was done by them and then they receive the forgiveness that is being offered.
There is no reconciliation without repentance.
We need to practice forgiveness day in and day out because we have been forgiven for so much and we stand underneath the cross and realize how we have offended the Lord.
If I’ve been forgiven so much, Lord help me to be forgiving.
Join God in the work of reconciliation.
God can bring healing to those places; He can knit back together all those frayed ends so that we are whole, so that we are renewed, so that we are being continually renewed.
Live out of forgiveness.
If we have been forgiven this much, then we ought to forgive one another.