During the month of June, we are delighted that our mutual friend and fellow church member, Stan Bevan, is sharing some thoughts on the challenging topic of reconciliation. We commend his reflections to you, and hope you find this final one helpful.
With our love and prayers,
Matthew and Pauline
This Is the last of my thoughts on reconciliation based on personal experience.
After my experience at sea in National Service days when I had a glorious experience of the Holy Spirit’s presence, I came ashore and worked in Slough on design and development of diesel engines.
I recounted my spiritual experiences at a service at Datchet Baptist Church where the Pastor, Bob Anderson encouraged me to join the Baptist Lay Preacher’s Association. This led to part time studies at Regent’s Park College, Oxford and I became an accredited Baptist Lay Pastor. One year I was elected as the President of the Berks Baptist Association.
Through Boys’ Brigade work as President, I was invited to a Mission Church in Chesham to preach at their Church Anniversary. I accepted and with all acknowledgments preached T.J. Lewis’s sermon on Reconciliation, in my own words, of course.
Being an Anniversary, they concluded with Communion, so I put T.J.’s comments into the service stressing the need for reconciliation between ourselves before taking the bread and wine.
After the service two men approached me and said they had heard the Lord’s call to settle their differences. Wonderful!
About two years later I was invited to preach and again the Lord led me to say something further on the subject of reconciliation with an account of an experience with the industrial organisation ’Faith at Work Trust’ of which I was Chairman.
Again, after the service the same two men who had come forward previously came up to me.
One of them explained to me that last time when they came forward it had been the initiative of the other man and in actual fact he was saying in his mind “It’s about time he apologised, let’s hope he is sincere!”
Of course, the desire for peace didn’t last! This time it was the insincere man who was seeking forgiveness. Hugs and genuine tears from both parties.
When we seek peace with Jesus you can be sure that He accepts us with a forgiveness offered long before our response to Him.
‘He died that we might be forgiven’ says the old hymn – believe it, it’s true!
Yours, Stan Bevan
P.S. Summing up of my four letters:
Reconciliation needs action; it gives inner peace; not always words but it does mean sincerity of both parties; and it is the work of our ever-loving Heavenly Father by His Spirit.