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Daughter of the King - born from above in 1989.

Deborah grew up in a military family and moved to Florida in the early 1970's.  She began her journey of creative writing soon after coming to know Jesus as her personal Savior. Her primary goal is to share her personal testimony with others while bringing hope and practical help through her writing.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Can You Balance Your Checkbook? Be Reconciled to God...

For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. (II Corinthians 5:21)

Webster’s Dictionary defines reconcile in the following manner:   to restore to friendship or harmony; to settle or resolve differences; to make consistent or congruous; to account for – to check against another for accuracy.

I have worked in small business accounting for over twenty years, and one of the first things I learned in Accounting 101 was how to reconcile a bank account.  Account reconciliation has to do with making sure that the amount of cash you show in your checkbook is identical to the account balance shown on your bank statement as of the same date.  In accounting, the General Ledger is a set of accounts used in accounting to keep track of all the financial transactions of a company.  Debits must equal credits – or your ledger will be out-of-balance.  If there is a discrepancy, you must find it in order to reconcile your account balances.  

In the Christian life – Jesus Christ provided the solution for the enormous imbalance on our personal ledger.  We were left with a huge discrepancy called “sin”, and it was adjusted through His sacrifice on Calvary.  He covered our deficit when He imputed His Righteousness on our behalf.  He provided the credit entry in order to bring us into perfect balance.   

While we were in sin, we were at enmity with God.  We had no means by which to reconcile ourselves to Him.  In his letter to the Romans, Paul says this, “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation" (Romans 5:10-11).  

And again Paul writes, “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God" (II Corinthians 5:18-20).

Two examples of reconciliation come to mind in scripture:  the stories of Joseph, and of Hosea.

Genesis chapters 37-47 tell the story of Joseph and how God used him to save his family and the entire nation of Israel at that time.  After being betrayed by his brothers, Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt, where he spent the next thirteen years.  He labored for Pharaoh’s officer Potiphar while in prison, and gained favor for his release by interpreting Pharaoh’s dream when his own wise men could not.  Pharaoh was so impressed by the young Hebrew’s gift, that he set him as ruler over all the land, and everything  he owned.  The dream meant that seven good years would be followed by seven years of famine.  It hit not only Egypt, but Israel as well.  Joseph's family was affected as much as the Egyptians were, and Jacob sent the ten older brothers down to Egypt to see if they could find grain there. 

Unbeknownst to them, Joseph was now in charge of selling grain, and when he saw them he recognized them immediately, but they did not recognize him.   After a series of encounters with his brothers, in which he accused them of being spies, and after they groveled, insisting on their innocence, he put them in prison.  They were instructed to bring their youngest brother, Benjamin, who had been left at home with Jacob, their father.  Then, after Benjamin had made the journey to Egypt, and being unable to contain his emotions, Joseph finally revealed his identity.   He wept so loudly that even Pharaoh was aware of what was taking place in his residence.

The reunion was complete.   They sent for their father Jacob, who could scarcely believe that his son Joseph was still alive. Jacob journeyed to Egypt, reunited with the son he had loved so much, and met Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh for the first time.   In response to his brothers’ fear, he said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?  But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Genesis 50:19-20).  What a beautiful picture of love and restoration, of forgiveness and reconciliation.

The book of Hosea is the first of the Minor Prophets.  Hosea means “May the Lord save”.   Hosea was a native of Israel.   He regarded Israel, which at that time referred to the northern part of the Jewish homeland, as being corrupt and evil. Hosea prophesied during the concluding years of Jeroboam II (about 783 - 743 BC).   He was more tenderhearted than the stern Amos.   Hosea loved the people whom he was compelled to condemn, as evidenced by his writing style.  Hosea was commanded to take a wife, Gomer, who would become a prostitute as an example of God's relationship with Israel.  Hosea was to manifest God's patience and unconditional love.

Hosea's home life is described, and it is a mirror image of the nation of Israel and its relationship to God at that time.  Hosea's wife had left home for a life of prostitution, and Israel had turned away from God and pursued false gods.  Hosea continually preached to Israel saying, “Come, and let us return to the Lord; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.   After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight.  Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord…”  (Hosea 6:1-3).   Hosea continued to love his wife, and finally brought her home again.   God would also continue to love Israel, and one day, restore favor unto her.  Reconciliation would take place and God would forever embrace her with His Love.     

Remember, Jesus Christ is the bridge to reconciliation for us.  It is through His Blood that we are brought near to God -  “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2).   Today is the day!  Be reconciled to God…

 Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It is written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion.  It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together. 

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