Today’s Tasting: Matthew 18
This chapter is choked full of how to deal with daily life events pertaining to attitudes, offenses, and forgiveness.
Humility: The disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus called a little child to Himself, set the child in the midst of them and told them “assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus went on to say, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. Thus, we are to humble ourselves until we are like this little child.
Sin damages: Jesus speaks of whoever causes one of these little ones, who believe in Him, to sin, it would be better for that person if he or she drowned in the depth of the sea. Causing one of these little ones to sin may cause lasting emotional and spiritual damage. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin. Woe to the world for the hurt done to consciences! Since all sin damages and offends Christians should not be indifferent to another’s sin. We are admonished to confront those in sin, taking two or three witnesses if necessary. If the one in sin refuses to hear the confronting Believer, he is clearly a poisonous influence and must be excluded.
Our heavenly Father seeks after the lost, through the Son, of course. So long as there is hope, the Lord will woo and seek people without depriving them of their personalities.
Praying and trusting the Holy Spirit to work: The binding and loosening on earth and in heaven creates a harmony by prayer, while engaging in Christ’s presence. When two or three agree, the Father in heaven makes it happen.
Forgiveness: Peter asked Jesus “How often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him, up to seven times”? Jesus said up to seventy times seven. Peter realized that if an erring disciple was to be reconciled to God, he has to be reconciled to his fellow disciples as well. Peter was probably choosing seven as the perfect but limited number. Jesus’ answer reversed the proud boast of Lamech (Gen 4:24) “If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy sevenfold.” It is not the actual sums involved, but the conflict between them is the point of the parable. Others’ sins might grieve us, but compared with our debts to God they are virtually nothing.
Today’s Nourishment: Matthew 18 teaches much pertaining to attitudes, offenses, and forgiveness. Jesus tells us, if we start over like children, we will rank high in God’s kingdom. God wants us to live with humility and without arrogance or taking advantage of their other’s simple trust. Whatever gets in the way of God, we must rid our lives of it, and not cause other Believers to stumble or sin.
God said to expect offenses, but woe to the one by whom the offense comes. He says to go to the Believer who sins against us. We are to humble ourselves to not let bitterness take root. Offer God’s forgiving love and learn the act of forgiveness. Remember that forgiveness is the key to unlock the root of bitterness and it releases us from bondages. I read that to forgive means, “to untie.” Untie that person(s) that you may hold hostage.
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27 ESV).
I have and continue to forgive—to untie others and myself. I have learned to rid my life of grudges daily, because we are not to let the sun go down on our anger. Now, that is learning humility, dealing with damaging sin, praying and trusting Holy Spirit, not holding onto offenses, and forgiveness.
Perhaps you need to humble yourself and untie someone. Is that person you or is that person a family member, or is that person a friend? Search your heart. Forgiveness is a big deal. It is actually a daily deal.
Tomorrow’s Delight: John 7-8
Gigi of 4
Facebook: Tamela Holland Bradley