International Women’s Day
Min. Mengue M. Eka-Abila
2 Corinthians 5:17-20; 1 Samuel 25. Today’s theme is authenticated by the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peace makers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
Church: think of your best shot at peace making or reconciliation. Also think of your greatest frustration in your attempts to reconciliation.
Reconcile: to make friendly again after estrangement; to settle a quarrel or dispute; to make compatible; to bring into harmony; make compatible (Webster’s New World Dictionary, 3rd College Edition and The Concise Oxford Dictionary) = to make peace.
Reconciliation: the act of being reconciled.
To minister: to supply, provide, administer, to give help, attend to needs.
A minister: a person acting for another as agent and carrying out given orders.
Ministry: the act of ministering or serving.
Today’s theme being, “Challenged to reconcile”, the question arises as to just who are we to be reconciled with? Verse 18 clearly lets us know that God reconciled us with himself through Jesus. Thus Jesus is our peace: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” Eph. 2:13-14 (New International Version). Jesus is our peace because He is the One whose blood was shed so that I, you, you, and you may be able to be reconciled with God.
Why do we need reconciliation at all?
Can there be any need for peace making without any offense? (Church). No offense, no reconciliation. No sin, no separation from God. This means those who never offend God or anybody else need no reconciliation. But is there any such thing as a person without sin? (Church). “For we all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Rom. 3:23. There is no man or woman living on planet earth without sin, except for Jesus of Nazareth, and this was due to His divine nature. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8. “If we say we have not sinned, we make him [God] a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:10.
The question now is, do you desire to be reconciled with God?
The answer is simple: yes or no. If you find yourself still arguing on whether or not you’ve ever done anything wrong, you do not really want to be reconciled with God yet. Then go ahead and enjoy your sin and its subsequent effects in your life, and unfortunately the lives of those around you.
In case your answer to the above question is yes, the Bible says to you, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. All you have to do is confess, acknowledge your sin, and the Lord will forgive you, thereby you will be reconciled with Him through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Christian Women: Ministers of Reconciliation
In 1 Sam. 25, we have a perfect example of how effective a praying woman can be at reconciling a good man with God. She was in tune with God: she knew the word of God and was praying daily. If you do not pray and study the word of God daily, you will not be an effective minister of reconciliation, even if you once made peace with God. You’ve got to keep in touch with God for Him to equip you and guide you for an effective ministry of reconciliation.
Abigail, i.e., father of exultation (leap up for joy, jubilation, celebration), was the wife of Nabal, i.e., foolish (without wisdom, lacking good sense, unwise). Strange couple. Isn’t it? One may wonder how they came to be a married couple. It could be that Abigail, the joyous, may have been mistaken about Nabal one way or the other: he was a party animal. By the time she found out how foolish he was, it was too late. So, she remained his wife anyway. Divorce was not such an attractive option in those days. The danger with fools is that they find it too hard to acknowledge their mistakes or faults, let alone repent for them. He had provoked David, i.e., the beloved, a good man albeit needy at the time (he was not a king yet), to rage. A fool can easily insult others and not give it any thought. Nabal was no exception: he unnecessarily provoked a man who could have wiped him and his entire family out within hours, yet he went ahead and threw himself a royal party!!! Do you know any Nabals in your life (hope you’re not one yourself). Abigail got wind of the impending doom and boldly decided to avert it, using the biblical format: She apologetically bowed to him, validated his anger, and asked for forgiveness. She gave him victuals, which is all he had asked for in the first place, and reminded him (last, yet crucial item) how unnecessary and counterproductive it would be for him to shed blood as a way of avenging himself. She did not scold him: she simply reminded him of God’s promise/plan for him, which he would have made obsolete if he had insisted in carrying out his rage.
Nothing can be as soothing and persuasive as a humble, sincere, and God-fearing woman’s—genuineness–exhortation. David listened to her, and let go off his anger. He decided to return to the desert in peace, trusting God again, that He would take care of everything for him. Thus was he reconciled with God. Sure enough, God took care of Nabal for David: he died just days later, and David married Abigail! God does it better than us!!! (Church). Every time you are provoked, and feel driven to take things in your own hands, say to yourself “God will take care of it for me, better than anything I can do!” (Church). “God does it better than me!!!” (Church).
In conclusion, it takes faith and sincere repentance to reconcile one self with God. It takes biblical genuineness (validation, sincere apology, and the truth) to reconcile someone else with God. In this world of ethnic and racial conflicts, it will take the same virtues to bring about reconciliation and peace. That’s the only thing that will bring true and lasting inner and outer peace, first with God, with self, and with fellow humans. God bless you!