Meditation for 10/16/2019
“Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning.” (1st Timothy 5:20)
The church is not a society of the perfect; rather it is more like the “emergency room for sinners.” Members sin, and to say that we do not is just not being honest and truthful. Each church, beloved, has the responsibility to develop ways to rebuke, warn, and exhort its members who continue in sin. In this way the church family encourages each other in Christian faithfulness and maturity.
If one continually engages in sin, they have not understood the message of God’s Word. Yes, forgiveness is given each and every time one seeks it with a truly repentant heart. This means the person who has sinned, has a desire to not commit their sin again, and is thus ready to receive forgiveness. One who has no repentance in their heart will simply commit the same sin or sins over and over again.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, the only thing that can separate us from the love of God is sin; thus, we may sin, but have the ability of coming before Your throne of grace seeking to be forgiven, but only if we are truly repentant of our sin/s. The Holy Spirit guides us where we should go and where we should not go. Give us wisdom to know the difference; thus, giving us a greater chance of not falling into sinful ways. We love You, Abba, and have the desire to stay within Your will at all times. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“A nation is never more tan one generation away from atheism!”
“If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take a special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn hims as a brother” (2nd Thessalonians 3:14-15)
Discipline should be backed with forgiveness. Church discipline may be appropriate when serious offense is involved, but Christians never are free to withhold forgiveness when a person evidences repentance. Undue punishment may cause overwhelming discouragement and grief unless Christian love is reaffirmed. Redemptive love and real forgiveness are essential in maintaining a strong fellowship in a church. Such qualities should be in good supply in any church. Discipline and punishment should never be the dominating note in a church’s life.
The Church, Discipline: (Matthew 18:15-20)
Beloved, the church must practice fellowship. Christians must settle disputes to continue fellowship. The church has a three-step plan for solving differences: 1) The two striving parties privately attempt to overcome their differences. 2) Two or three people serve as witnesses and encouragers to solve the problems. 3) The church attempts to settle the disagreement. The time element of the three steps is not mentioned in the Scripture, but the process implies a period of time for the parties to reflect and pray. Persons who do not respond to the three attempts to overcome strife show themselves unconcerned for the fellowship and remove themselves from the church. The church witnesses of Christ’s power to forgive. Jesus has give the church the work of bringing people to Him. The church prays, worships, and experiences the presence of Jesus. The church is a powerful body created by Christ Jesus to promote fellowship, forgiveness, witnessing, and worship.
Second Thought of the Day:
“I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.” (3rd John 9-10)
Egotistical, self-centered church members cause disputes in the church. They try to destroy the reputation of other church members and destroy Christian fellowship. They assume power and dictate matters in the church such as who may be a member.
John set the pattern for the church by dealing with the dispute head-on rather than trying to hide and deny it. The authority and love of Christ must at all times, guide attempts to settle disputes. Furthermore, leaders in the church are not to seek preeminence over others nor to malign other leaders in order to win greater influence.