Colossians 1:18-22 (Message)
He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross. You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted.
You and I are accountable for our life to God. At one time, we were accountable for every single action and deed which required a sacrifice whenever we did something wrong or failed to obey God’s Word implicitly. There are not enough herds or harvests for my sins alone. No matter how hard I try I am unable to ever keep my account in good standing with God. My sinful nature does not permit it as my flesh wages war against my spirit day by day. Too often I am too busy trying to settle things in my own heart to extend the Love and Kindness of God to others. I must learn to win this battle to win the war. We are accountable for our life. A day is coming when God will judge all of mankind. I must be ready for that day. I cannot just throw Jesus Christ’s name around and slather His Blood on my life when it is convenient or I run the terrible risk of missing my opportunity to live with the Lord forever. Oh, I hear you. “I believe in once saved always saved” and so do I. But to be truly saved one must reconcile their life to God through Jesus Christ. Their account in Heaven must be in agreement with the Lord as we live in alignment with His Word a life that is compatible and consistent with Jesus Christ. Otherwise, we are only fooling ourselves. Our life should indicate that we are on God’s Side. As God puts our lives back together, He includes others as well. We are the Family of God. We are the Body of Christ. We cannot do it alone but must bring it all together to be whole in His Holy Presence.
The word account means to give an explanation of conduct. Lord, help me. The only way to have a balanced account with God is through reconciliation. To reconcile means to bring into agreement or harmony. It means to make compatible or consistent. It also means to make oneself no longer opposed or opposite. In order to be reconciled to the Lord, a change is clearly indicated by definition. Cleaning up our life is not what God is after. We would have done it a long time ago, if that we were able to. We cannot do it. The Blood of Jesus Christ was necessary to make a way for us to return to righteousness. The word reconcile comes from the Latin word “reconciliare” which means to “make friendly again.” We must become Friends with God again. This relationship is a bond of trust as we put our faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ to reconcile our life to the Lord, it is only going to work as long as we are committed to rebuilding our relationship. The only thing that we have to offer in this covenant is our sincere love.
I Timothy 2:5-6 (NLT)
For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.
Jesus Christ is the only way that we are reconciled to God. He is the access point. Jesus Christ is the Way, Truth and Life. (John 14:6-7) You will never get to the Father any other way no matter how hard you try. You must do it the Way that Jesus did it. He is our Mediator. He earned the right to lead the way on the Cross when He purchased your freedom. He has the right to tell you how to live and you have the freedom to decide whether or not to live it. But Jesus did not force a bond between God and His People, He reconciled God and humanity. He removed the one thing standing between us and God so that we could return to the Lord. We still must walk in His Way. We must live by the Truth to have a brand new life that we have been offered. A gift given must be accepted, opened and utilized to make it worth having. The gift of redemption works the same way. Our life is redeemable through Jesus Christ but not if we do not reconcile it to God. A coupon will expire in my purse. But if I use it is worth something. If Jesus Christ is the access point, we must find out what it is that He requires. God set form His Commandments and we failed miserably. (John 15:9-11) Jesus also has a commandment. “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:12-13) Every single commandment God has given us keeps us in agreement and harmony not only with Himself but other people. The offenses of this world are committed against others. Jesus made the Way for us to return to God. His one and only commandment is that I love other people the same way that He loves me. Mind blown!
Ephesians 2:14-18 (Message)
The Messiah has made things up between us so that we’re now together on this, both non-Jewish outsiders and Jewish insiders. He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance. He repealed the law code that had become so clogged with fine print and footnotes that it hindered more than it helped. Then he started over. Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, he created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody. Christ brought us together through his death on the cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.
Salvation is a personal experience with the Lord. Righteousness brings us into harmony with the Lord but in right standing we become surrounded by many. Jesus died for you. But He did not die for you alone. The commandments caused mankind to keep stumbling, tripping and falling over one another to get into God’s Presence. There was little understanding of God’s Presence as men had to go through men to get there. Some were excluded. Others were ignored. Manmade religion caused a huge problem when it came to reconciliation to God. But Jesus Christ washed all that way in the Flood of His Precious Blood. Now we can step into righteousness again. We have been given the opportunity to be reconciled to the Lord. We are in the process of redemption. We must give an account of our life to God one day – it is all summed up with this.
Romans 14:10-14 (NLT)
So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I’d say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we’re all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren’t going to improve your position there one bit. Read it for yourself in Scripture: “As I live and breathe,” God says, “every knee will bow before me; every tongue will tell the honest truth that I and only I am God.” So tend to your knitting. You’ve got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God. Forget about deciding what’s right for each other. Here’s what you need to be concerned about: that you don’t get in the way of someone else, making life more difficult than it already is. I’m convinced—Jesus convinced me!—that everything as it is in itself is holy. We, of course, by the way we treat it or talk about it, can contaminate it.
The bottom line is this – I am accountable to God for my life. I am accountable to Jesus Christ to not get in the way of another on his or her way to the Cross. This is love. We cannot step over another and remain in agreement with the Love of Jesus. We cannot push past someone to be in right standing with the Lord. In order to be prepared to give account for my life on Judgment Day, I must live a life that is in complete harmony with God through Jesus Christ. No offense can remain between me and other people or the sacrifice of my life is worthless. (Matthew 5:23-24) Rather than wrapping myself up in religiosity, I must bind myself to others with love. There is plenty of room in the Presence of God for all those He created. We will all be kneeling together when we meet Him face-to-face. Indeed, my hands are full taking care of my own life. But I am now under the clear consideration that if I learn to bind myself to others with the Love of Jesus Christ, I will learn to walk in Truth and experience Life everlasting just as the Way (Jesus) has promised. Religion is a manmade attempt to get right with God. However, Jesus Christ (the Way) says it is through our relationships. “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” (Colossians 3:12-14)
Hebrews 4:12-13 (NLT)
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.
The new definition of grace is incorrect. Grace does not make it okay to live any way that we choose and just come to God’s Laundromat on Sunday to get clean. Grace is provided by the Blood of Jesus Christ to allow us to live as Friends of God all the days of our life. Friends do not offend one another. Enemies do. Friends trust one another. Adversaries do not. We can love even our enemies and adversaries when we live in the Grace of God because the love requirement in our life is satisfied. We are content. We lack nothing that is good so there is no longer an expectation on humanity all our hope is in the Lord. We are free to love as Jesus commanded. Grace does not exempt us from the Word of God that is alive. Grace allows us an exemption when we fall short. His Grace is sufficient for our shortcomings, but Friends of God do not take advantage of His Goodness and Grace. We are all accountable to God. We will one day explain our conduct in the midst of overwhelming love and grace including all the times we stepped on it, splashed through it rather than remaining covered in it. We will be shoulder to shoulder with those we offended, ignored and even kept from the Cross by our behavior, actions, deeds and words. Our tears will flow together on that day. We are accountable for the life we live to God. We are accountable of the love we give to Jesus Christ. When He cuts open our heart with His Word on that day what will He find? The day is coming. The time is now. You are accountable. This is a call to righteousness. It is an act of reconciliation. It is the process of redemption. What explanation will your life offer? It is totally up to you. Accountability is not a bad thing. It offers many blessings as we measure our life compared to Jesus Christ. It affords us the Promises of God when we successfully walk in His Way. It is a goal to reach higher and dig deeper into the foundation of faith that makes for building our new life in Christ. It is hope for the future. It’s all about love.
Luke 6:36-38 (NLT)
“You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”