Monday, August 29, 2011

A Morning Cup of Tea :Matthew 18: 11 - 20

Good morning! I'm a little anxious today. Hopefully my nephew will have results back from his ultrasound last week.
  Today we find Jesus talking about lost sheep. In verses 12 through 14 he tells the parable of the lost sheep. A man had one hundred sheep. One went astray so the man left the ninety nine to find the one sheep that was lost. The ones that aren't lost are in the fold. They are safe. When the lost sheep is found, the man rejoices! That's the way God is with us. He doesn't want any of us to be lost. He gives us the decision, however. 
 The next few verses deal with church authority. If someone did wrong, you should go to them privately and in love. Discuss the problem with the person. If he will not listen, come back with one or two others so there are witnesses to what is going on. If this does not help, the matter needs to be brought before the church. 
  Jesus said if two of you shall agree, then whatever you ask shall be given you. (v 19) Where two or three are gathered together, Jesus said he is there in the midst of them. (v 20)
  I have heard verse 20 misconstrued as a reason to miss worshiping with the saints (the church). While Jesus is there with them when they are in agreement with one another, wasn't he speaking of church authority and discipline? And in prayer, if you are in agreement, whatever is asked will be given?  Yup, I'm asking questions again. I think it could apply to all of the above actually, but in terms of deliberately missing worship with others (as in no one is sick, the weather hasn't prevented you, or some other reason) I can't help but think of things missed when you decide to stay home.
  You miss the fellowship of other Christians. I feel so much better when I am with others who know and love me. You miss being able to teach others. Even if you are not actively teaching a class , your presence teaches someone. We teach others through singing, talking, just being there because we all have things that we are going through. You miss the opportunity to ask for prayer and to pray for others.  And others miss you. 
  Take time to care for one another. If a brother or sister is missing, take the time to call, email, or drop a note in the mail. While ultimately it's up to them to make the decision to come back or not, it helps to know someone cared enough to come looking for them.

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