Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Encourage One Another
Equip His People, Ephesians 4:11-13
by Shawn Boreta
We are to love each other. Build relationships... and help one another by encouraging. In my opinion, that means getting to know one another. Not shaking their hand one minute then correcting them the next. Can we agree to "reserve the right to be smart and compassionate"? I am not here for debates or disputes, I am here to share the beautiful power that God has so graciously given to me.
Think about it, if we are constantly arguing and bickering and condemning, how does that attract someone who is not a believer? Before I grabbed onto God, I was holding on for dear life with the world. Hanging on to ever lie... and the enemy will use everything to feed that unbelief - know this, and envelope the wonderful gifts of each other, lift each other up, share and encourage. When there is question, Matthew 18...
So, in summary: Go to that person who you believe to be wrong, in sin, etc... IN PRIVATE.
Facebook is so weird, it's like we loose all sense of common decency... and I mean everyone. I know for me, if I post something that is off, or errored, I hope someone tells me. But not in a flogging sense through their words on my page.
Then, if no resolution, bring 2 others into the conversation.
Then, to the church officials/elders.
Facebook is the platform, the tool, not the blame. Re: public rebuking - I believe it is as bad as public flogging, calling an offense when a person has already been accused; and the damage has already been done, the public square is much larger, more eyes to the accused; and the sad part is, believer (new and old), as well as unbelievers get to watch as "Christians" throw stones at each other. We play the enemy's game, just like he likes it; disagreements and accusal and discourse.
In life, not on Facebook, we engage (interact, bind, absorb, engross, interest, involve) differently. We meet someone, build a relationship and permissions and formalities (known or not) are followed. I h
ave had people "friend" me here, and in the next contact (post), they have already told me what is wrong with what I am sharing. My first church, when I was a baby Christian spent more time telling me all the things that were wrong with me, and the rules to follow, that I didn't get the true Jesus until a couple years ago.... they did this publicly - so early on, I knew what didn't work for me.
The "world" is watching us... we are to attract people. Just a thought.
Rules of Engagement... easy.
We must never be the lone ranger out here - we should all have a group of friends who watch out for you, and vice versa. But we know this, don't we? Some believe that because the forum is Facebook, different than the "real" world, they can make up their own new rules and bypass manners or etiquette and especially common sense and common courtesy...
Since we are a wild kind of church here, all community, loving the Lord, serving the Lord, seeking and sharing truth, we can follow that example. We are God's community of His children. Wow, I am long winded today.
Did you know that you can totally blow a new Christian out of the water, by blurting corrections out?
Did you know that you can affect someone's walk by saying discouraging words when they are just learning how to read the Word and starting their walk?
Did you know that you can encourage someone and change their view of God with your words?
Did you know that God wants us to become more like Him and be full of forgiveness, grace and mercy?
Matthew 18 (NIV)
The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Causing to Stumble
6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! 8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
The Parable of the Wandering Sheep
10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.
Dealing With Sin in the Church
15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him.25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”