Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Matthew 5:21-26 "United"

Read Matthew 5:21-26.
Here Jesus begins to talk about some of the laws he was referring to in 5:17-20. We all would agree that murder is a sin, but do we think about our attitudes that we have toward one another that come short of murder? I have seen believers chew each other up and spit each other out with their words. We, as believers, can be some of our worst enemies. How many times have you seen one Christian turn on another Christian and usually over petty issues? It's not only wrong; Jesus is saying it's a sin.

Jesus did not sacrifice His life so we can argue over the color of the new carpet, programs, church discipline, or even doctrine. We should all be on the same page and that is Jesus Christ's message of love and forgiveness. Yet we can still be some of the worse forgivers out there. Which brings us right back to living as the Pharisees in their legalism and hypocrisy for which Jesus said will bring us to a point that we will not enter the kingdom of heaven. In other words, we will be in the same boat as the worst sinners on the planet -- both of us missing out on heaven and eternity with the Lord. The fact is black and white as much as many hate to admit it. Either you are following Christ and living and working united together as believers or you are not. Do you really want to risk your eternal destination on petty differences or live as a united army marching to the beat of the same drummer? I choose the latter.

Lord, help me to keep my focus on You and not on my petty agenda. You made it very simple, share Jesus and His love and walk as Jesus walked. Keep me busy enough working on how I live my own life that I don't have time to be picking at others. I want to remain in harmony with my fellow believers. We have a tough job, and I, for one, don't want to do it alone. Thank You for my brothers and sisters around the world. Bless them, Lord.

Further Thoughts:
  1. Look up verses on "anger" and "reconciliation."
  2. See how many times you can find in the Bible the phrase, "slow to anger and abounding in love." I think God's trying to tell us something.
  3. Jacob and Esau had to deal with reconciliation. Read their story in Genesis 32:1 - 33:17.
  4. So according to this passage, is it possible to be reconciled to God and not to your fellow believers? See also 2 Corinthians 5:11-21.
  5. Is there someone you are angry with or they are angry with you? How are you going to reconcile with them? Begin by praying for them.

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