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On The Upper Room Discourse Re-Release For Lent 2024

A GIFT TOO WONDERFUL NOT TO RECEIVE

Do you know that God has already done everything that was needed to reconcile you to Himself? The Bible tells us in Colossians 1:22: “Christ has now reconciled you in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy, blameless and irreproachable before him. And that’s how God looks at you as a follower of Jesus. Christ has reconciled you to God.” Here we see that God through Jesus Christ has reconciled you to Himself. Completely! Finally!

My first experience with reconciliation came as a young man when I opened my first checking account. At the end of the month, I received my bank statement, eagerly opening it to see how much money the bank said I had with them. Then I set about “reconciling” my checkbook to the bank’s balance, adding up my outstanding checks that had not yet cleared the bank, plus bank fees. But there was a problem! My balance did not agree with the bank’s balance. I was sure that the bank had made a mistake and was obviously wrong. So again, I added up my outstanding checks, along with the bank fees. Surprise! The bank was right. That was my first experience with reconciliation.

Imagine for a moment that rather than reconciling my checkbook to the bank, I take the monthly bank statement and throw it in the trash. I keep on writing checks. “Hey, I can’t be out of money, I still have checks!”

The bank starts sending me letters telling me that I am overdrawn, but I keep throwing their letters into the trash. I am bouncing checks all over town. Then one day I receive a call from the bank president saying: “Mr. Smith, it’s been brought to my attention that you are seriously overdrawn, and I want to help you. I want to reconcile. I want to reconcile our accounts. You have a lot of overdrawn checks and charges that keep piling up. I want you to know that I have a Son who has a lot of money and he keeps His money in our bank. And my Son wants to help you. My Son has agreed to cover all your overdrawn checks and bank charges. That means you won’t be bouncing any more checks and getting any more overdraft letters and added charges. As far as my Son and I are concerned, you are reconciled to the bank. You are put in harmony with us, and we are at peace with you. My Son has done all of that for you. Now, my question for you Mr. Smith is: Will you believe, will you receive the good news of what my Son has done for you?”

I tell you that fanciful story because it helps me to understand what the Bible means when it says that God’s Son has reconciled us to Himself through His death on the cross. He has done this, as today’s scripture says, “so as to present you holy, blameless and irreproachable before him.”

It does not mean that we are not deserving of blame or reproach, but rather, because of what Christ has done we are reconciled and put right with God. Jesus, the Son of God, has settled our account. This is a gift too good to walk away from, too wonderful not to receive.

TAKE AWAY

Name and reflect on the thoughts and feelings today’s reading stirs in you. Take a few moments to talk with God about them.

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