Working toward restored relationships

Every week in our church, whoever preaches writes a follow up devotional for further study and reflection. Here is my last sermon and the devotional that goes with it. Enjoy!

ENCOUNTER: Read 2 Corinthians 13:9-11

After my sermon on Sunday I have been wrestling with the message I preached. I love how much Jesus loves us, and I long to know that in the depths of my being. I can get my head, all day, around the idea that God loves me and when I sin, he forgives me, and when I betray him or ruin things, that he not only forgives me, but restores me. He restores our relationship, and restores my calling, allowing me to continue to serve Him and His Kingdom.

But what has given me pause this week is that this selfless love, this love that works towards restoration that we long to receive, MUST be directed towards those people in our life who have betrayed us, wronged us, broken us. This is master’s level love. This is what it means to not simply love others as we want to be loved, but to love others the way Jesus loves us.

So here is the hard work. Who in your life has wronged you? Who has broken relationship with you? Who have you closed the emotional vault on? Who is that person? _______________________________

Will you love them the way that Jesus has loved you? Will you seek restoration? This is totally different than forgiveness. Forgiving our enemies is a brutal call in it of itself. Would you be willing to take an intentional step towards seeking restoration.

I have no idea who you picked or how they have wronged you. I don’t even think there is an answer as to what this actually is going to look like. But the first step, which is the hardest is to begin by being open handed with them and asking God for grace and strength, wisdom and courage as you lean into restoring this relationship.

May God have mercy!!

BE REFLECTIVE: This process is not about stuffing your feelings or hurt. It is about laying them before Jesus and allowing Him to bring grace and healing. Would you be willing to re-identify the hurt and pain an lack of forgiveness you are dealing with. Embrace the grace of God in this process and lay it out there? Would you be willing to reflect on one practical step you can take towards restoration?

BE A BLESSING: This internal work will be a blessing :)

BE TOGETHER: Would you be willing to invite one other person with you on this journey?