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Make a Sound 7: Call to Reconciliation

In the last few blogs we considered the effect of words, specifically words spoken in agreement with the Word of God. Our purpose is to prepare a people for a world-wide event of reading the Bible out-loud to one another in small groups. In this blog we will consider the need of good relationships. Other blogs are available on this site, and information on the event is at http://www.readthebibleoutloud.org

God’s Word created the heavens and the earth. The Holy Spirit hovered over God’s good creation to bring order out of chaos. The history of the world was moving from disorder to order. The words of the serpent, “Hath God said,” changed atmosphere of the world God created, and those words changed the direction of history when Eve acted on them. The direction of history began to move from life to death rather than from death to life.

The words spoken out-loud from the cross, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing,” restored the original direction of history. At that time God reconciled the world to himself, “not counting their sins against them” (II Cor. 5:19). Those who receive these words enter into a personal history that moves from death to life, from chaos to order. Those who reject these words of reconciliation remain on the road from life to death.

Man’s refusal to receive the word of reconciliation does not alter the heart of God. He is still reconciled to the world even though many in the world have not entered into a new life with him. Our refusal is not all-powerful; God’s offer stands in the face of man’s rebellion.

As we join Jesus in this act of forgiving others “out-loud,” our atmosphere and the direction of our relationships will change. But if we want others to admit they were wrong before we offer forgiveness, reconciliation cannot happen. In our unforgiveness we actually stand opposed to Jesus’ words from the cross. We are choosing to move from order to chaos in our relationship with others.

We can choose to move toward reconciliation even if others are refusing. Reconciliation can be in our heart even if the other is not responding to our forgiveness. That’s the way our Father is. He remains reconciled to a world that refuses to be reconciled with him.

What does this have to do with reading the Bible out-loud together? Our voice carries our spirit. If our spirit is wrong toward others while we read God’s Word, we cancel out the potential effect of the reading. It’s an astonishing truth that our words can make void the word of God (Mk. 7:13). The word remains valid, but we put ourselves outside its power to work in us and through us.

Our voice is a vehicle of our spirit. If we read with a spirit of resentment and bitterness, our resentment will go into the atmosphere with our words. Reading the Bible out-loud will affect the atmosphere positively only as we read with a spirit of reconciliation.

Let’s get our relationships right before we gather to read the Bible to one another. Honor, respect and affirmation is in order at all times, but especially now. Since we are “one spirit with him” (I Cor, 6:17), we can participate in the ACTS of God in our present world, but only if we join him in a spirit of reconciliation. To accomplish that, we must join him in his WORD of reconciliation.

The Holy Spirit will brood over our reading only as we cooperate with him in his agenda to reconcile all things to himself. To do that, we must read his Word out-loud in a spirit (attitude) of forgiveness and reconciliation.

http://www.readthebibleoutloud.org

Looking forward,
Fount Shults