1. Hello, listening friends.
2. We welcome you to this broadcast.
3. I am so glad you joined us today.
4. Today, we’re going to talk about a very important subject.
5. This subject is crucial, not only for your family relationships, but for all your relationships.
6. This subject is vital to your walk with the Lord.
7. This subject is restitution;
8. and we will see true restitution in Genesis, Chapter 33, verses 1 to 20.
9. Family conflicts are always unpleasant.
10. Family fights are painful and distasteful;
11. but the process of reconciliation can be equally disconcerting.
12. The process of reconciliation after a family feud can be daunting.
13. In fact, in many a family conflict, some people find it easier to stay apart than to reconcile.
14. Why is that?
15. Because some people find it easier to keep on harboring resentment.
16. They find it easy to continue to nurse their anger.
17. They find it easier to rationalize their reasons for the fallout.
18. They comfort themselves with the position that they were right in the matter.
19. Why do people do this?
20. Because some people will do anything to avoid confrontation.
21. In the last message, we saw Jacob limping across the river.
22. After God wrestled with him and God won and Jacob surrendered,
23. after God confirmed to Jacob, yet again, His plan for his life,
24. after the joy of meeting God face-to-face,
25. after the joy of victory and blessing that came from surrender,
26. now, it is time for Jacob to do what he has been dreading for 20 years.
27. Have you guessed it yet?
28. Facing his brother, Esau, whom he wronged 20 years before.
29. When Jacob stole Esau’s birthright, his mother, Rebekah, told him to go away until his brother’s anger had subsided.
30. Now, Jacob faces his brother, Esau, with the assurance of God’s blessing and protection;
31. but, nonetheless, Jacob has to clean up some past dealings.
32. My listening friend, if there is one thing that we all must understand about reconciliation and restoration, it is this:
33. reconciliation and restitution are outward manifestations of our salvation.
34. They are our outward manifestations of God’s forgiveness of our sins through Jesus Christ.
35. God’s forgiveness must be expressed in our willingness to ask others for their forgiveness when we have wronged them.
36. Restitution is a word that is missing among believers’ vocabulary today;
37. and, yet, it ought to be at the forefront of our reconciliation with others.
38. My listening friend, please listen carefully to what I’m going to tell you.
39. Lack of willingness to make restitution cheapens repentance.
40. Lack of restitution throws doubt on the authenticity of our repentance.
41. In Genesis 33:3, when Jacob encountered his brother, Esau, he immediately set about the task of making restitution.
42. He bowed down to the ground seven times.
43. Twenty years earlier, Jacob had tricked his brother, Esau, out of his father’s blessing.
44. Now, after God wrestled with Jacob and Jacob lost to God, God changed Jacob’s heart;
45. and the evidence of his changed heart was that Jacob repented of his past sin;
46. and, in addition, he bore the fruit of repentance.
47. When Jacob received the forgiveness of God for his sins, he became willing to confess his sin against his brother.
48. and asked for his brother’s forgiveness.
49. Jacob could have said, “Well, God said to my mother that Esau would serve me.”
50. Jacob could have said, “Regardless of what I have done or have not done, Esau should be subservient to me...”
51. but, after Jacob’s heart was touched by God,
52. Jacob recognized the wrong that he had done.
53. He confessed his sin. He repented of his sin; but he also made restitution for his sin.
54. My listening friend, when God touches your heart,
55. when God forgives your sins,
56. when God blesses you with salvation,
57. when God ministers to you by His grace,
58. you must be ready to do the same toward others.
59. You must be willing to right the wrong, even if it takes 20 years.
60. Let me ask you this, my listening friend.
61. Are you carrying bitterness toward someone?
62. Are you loaded with anger and resentment toward someone?
63. Have you sinned against someone?
64. Have you wronged someone?
65. Have you taken advantage of someone?
66. Have you taken someone else’s property?
67. Have you cheated someone?
68. Have you cheated God of His tithe and offering?
69. Let me tell you, on the authority of the Word of God,
70. that there is no amount of singing of hymns that will help you.
71. There is no amount of Bible studies that you can attend that will help you.
72. There is no amount of sermons that you can hear that will help you.
73. There is no amount of making excuses for your sin that will help you.
74. None of that will substitute for your righting the wrong.
75. Some people may say to me, “You don’t understand my predicament.”
76. Some people will say to me, “You don’t know my real world.”
77. My friend, all these excuses will not work.
78. Jacob bowed down seven times and said, “My lord, Esau,” and, then, insisted that his brother accept his gifts.
79. My listening friend, it takes humility to do that.
80. What we don’t often understand is that, when you decide in your heart to make restitution,
81. when you decide in your heart to seek forgiveness for the wrong that you have done,
82. God is working on the other end as well.
83. Let me show you.
84. Everything the Bible tells us about Esau is that he did not fear God.
85. He was into instant gratification.
86. He was tough, and he was rough, and he was wild;
87. but God had already gone ahead of Jacob and changed even Esau’s heart;
88. and, when you decide in your heart to right the wrong,
89. God will run ahead of you and prepare the other person’s heart.
90. God will go ahead of you and work things out—to your surprise.
91. In fact, notice that Jacob and Esau never talked about the problem or the sin or the past.
92. They never discussed the old hurt.
93. Do you know why?
94. Because often an embrace can speak much more eloquently than words.
95. Before God touched Jacob’s heart,
96. before God wrestled with Jacob,
97. Jacob sent others ahead of him.
98. He sent gifts ahead of him;
99. but, here, he goes out in front and meets Esau face-to-face.
1. Jacob, having been conquered by God, now had new courage to face his past sins.
2. Having been conquered by God, Jacob now had new strength to go and face his brother.
3. In our reconciliation, we often forget the power of God that is working in others.
4. Let me tell you something about not resolving past conflict and sin.
5. The problem with past conflict and bitterness is this:
6. if past conflicts are not dealt with, they do not go away. They go underground;
7. and, when past conflicts and sin go underground, they can poison the soil and they can hurt a whole lot of people.
8. My listening friend, I want to tell you that restitution is not easy.
9. Bearing the fruit of repentance is not easy.
10. Facing past sins can give you a horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach;
11. but, when you do it in Jesus’ name,
12. when you do it in Jesus’ power and for Jesus’ sake,
13. you will have all the strength you need because God will go ahead of you and prepare the other person.
14. Somebody may say, “Well, what if the person I have wronged refused to forgive me?”
15. That is not your problem. That’s their problem.
16. That is not your problem. That is their problem with God.
17. Repentance involves costly obedience, not merely repeating some words;
18. and that is why genuine repentance has such a powerful impact on others.
19. When Esau saw his brother’s true humility and confession and repentance, he was overwhelmed;
20. and, so, instead of killing him, he ran to him and embraced him.
21. He fell on his neck and kissed him.
22. My listening friend, I want to tell you something very important.
23. Asking for forgiveness will remove the shadows that are hanging over you.
24. Asking for forgiveness will restore you to full spiritual health;
25. and asking for forgiveness will also bring you answers to your prayers.
26. Unconfessed sin will always hinder answers to your prayers.
27. The psalmist said in 66:18,
28. “If I cherish a sin in my heart, God will not answer me.”
29. Listen carefully, my listening friend, as we conclude.
30. At the end of this broadcast, take a moment and examine yourself.
31. What sin do you need to confess?
32. To God?
33. To a spouse?
34. To a father or mother?
35. To a son or daughter?
36. To a co-worker or a neighbor?
37. Today, make the decision to make that phone call or make that visit.
38. Whatever it is, decide today to make restitution;
39. and God’s spirit will go before you and prepare the way.
40. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.