WE’RE ON THE SAME TEAM!

Matthew – God’s Purposes
 
Matthew 18 15 won
An unbeliever married into a family of believers who attended our home church years ago. We were friends with this couple and went out to dinner or attended sporting events together often. After a while, the unbeliever trusted us enough to ask questions about the church, letting us know that he had been observing the conduct of church going people. His questions caused us to think more deeply about how we look to the unbelieving, outside the church world, who are searching for Truth. They look for honesty and integrity in humans who “go to church”. Here are some of his questions:
 
Why do you fight with each other over what is sung in church? Who really wins?
 
Do you follow each other or do you, like you say, follow Jesus, who you say is the One?
 
Why are you in competition with other churches? Aren’t you all on the same team?
 
Why is money such a big issue? It seems all you want is my money when I just want to be friends until I trust you and your organization with what I have.
 
Will you still love me and be my friend if I don’t “buy into” what you are “selling”? (He was a salesman so this was his language.)
 
What about the person you have as a church deacon who regularly cheats people in his business during the week? How is that okay?
 
Matthew 18 stepsOur kind of lame, first answer is God’s church is made up of imperfect people who make mistakes. But as I think more deeply about this answer, it isn’t good enough. We are a redeemed, forgiven, chosen people because of Jesus’ dying and rising again from death as a result of excruciating pain and agony a cruel cross. Why, then do we continue to hurt Jesus by the way we behave as believers with one another when he clearly told us (through His disciples) to “Love God and Love each other” like I have loved you? Our disagreeable stuff pales in comparison! Can we begin there? Can we love each other deeply enough to confront them and love them back into living how Jesus taught us to live?
 
Because He knew we would need help in our imperfection, easily offended, still being transformed daily selves, Jesus gave us a method of resolution INSIDE the Body of Christ for our disagreements and wrong doings to each other. Here is the plan:
 
Matthew 18 agreeMatthew 18, NLT
Correcting Another Believer
 
15 “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. 16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 17 If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.
 
18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.
 
19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
 
THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION:
 
Oh, what a better witness to the power of Christ in us, if we followed this plan of resolving our issues and misunderstandings PRIVATELY so that the love of Christ is shown more PUBLICLY to the observing world of, what I like to call. “pre-believers”.
 
Matthew 18 30How sweet it is when brothers and sisters agree on the goal helping each other find and follow Christ. Healthy Bodies of Christ know this. Issues resolved in a spirit of love and unity so we can get back to what God has called us to BE and DO is monumental to growing in His love. The closer we are to Christ, the closer we are to each other!
 
BE the Body of Christ who is known for Love of Christ and Love for others in and outside the Body of Christ.
 
Matthew 18 Son
Dear Heavenly Father,
We say and do stupid stuff as the sheep of your pasture as we learned yesterday. Continue to convict and challenge us to be better, more loving and kind than we were the day before. Help us climb higher in our thinking and behaving. Help us to see others the way you see them, to always love, no matter what, and to love You first of all. We are the Body of Christ. We are on the “same team”.
In Jesus Name, Amen
 
And I’m singing…
 
How Beautiful
 
How beautiful the hands that served
the wine and the bread
and the sons of the earth.
How beautiful the feet that walked
the long dusty roads
and the hills to the cross.
 
How beautiful
how beautiful
how beautiful is the body of Christ.
 
How beautiful the heart that bled
that took all my sin
and bore it instead.
How beautiful the tender eyes
that chose to forgive
and never despise.
 
How beautiful
how beautiful
how beautiful is the body of Christ.
 
And as He laid down His life
we offer this sacrifice
that we will live just as he died:
willing to pay the price
willing to pay the price.
 
How beautiful the radiant Bride
who waits for her Groom
with His light in her eyes.
How beautiful when humble hearts give
the fruit of pure lives
so that others may live.
 
How beautiful
how beautiful
how beautiful is the body of Christ.
 
How beautiful the feet that bring
the sound of good news
and the love of the King.
How beautiful the hands that serve
the wine and the bread
and the sons of the earth.
 
How beautiful
how beautiful
how beautiful is the body of Christ.
 
Songwriters: Ann Wilson

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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