9Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! 10For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Romans 5:9-11
Reconciled means "to put an end to hostility." Have you ever thought of yourself before you received Christ as being hostile toward God? That's a very strong word. Hostile means "unfriendly, antagonistic." Some synonyms for hostile are "unkind, bitter, unsympathetic, malicious, vicious, rancorous, venomous, poisonous, virulent." Wow, that escalated quickly - from unkind to virulent.
That's how we were toward God - virulent. I think of all the hostilities occurring around the world - civil wars, terrorists, hatred between different people groups, rebellion - and that is how I was behaving toward God. That truly grieves my heart.
But through Jesus Christ, that is over. I am now in right relationship with Him. I am not working against Him but with Him. I am not His opponent, but His ally -- all because of Christ's sacrifice and my acceptance of that gift. Such a profound act on His part, such a simple one for me. Accept. If only all hostilities could end that quickly. I guess they could if someone was willing to make the sacrifice first. And He did -- He is the One who brought peace, eternal peace into my life.
You know what's interesting -- even when I lived in hostility toward God, He was loving me all the time. Amazing.
Father, thank you for your love. Thank you for your sacrifice. Forgive me for my hostile heart toward you. The war is over. May my life forever be a shadow of the love you showed me. So be it.
Reflect on how you lived in hostility toward God and give thanks for His love through it.
How does being reconciled to God change how you live?
Who do you know who needs to hear about God's amazing love and gift of reconciliation?