Summary: Jesus wants us to practice a ministry of reconciliation.
GO FOR IT: THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION!
How shall we handle discord and opposition? Where do we bend? Where do we stand? Is the hill worth dying for?
Noah needed to devise a system to tell if the waters were low enough to support life. Noah’s test was simple, let a dove fly out of the ark. If the dove returned there was still a waterlog? Do we have a system to test our hurt, offended, disappointed, broken hearts? Can a dove flying detect hatred, jealousy, pain, discouragement?
Psa. 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in anyway to do evil.
Psa. 14:17 He that is soon angry deals foolishly ...
Prov. 16:32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty ...
Prov. 19:11 The discretion of a man defers anger ...
Prov. 22:24 Make no friendship with an angry man ...
Ecc. 7:9 ... For anger rest in the bosom of fools ...
James 1:19 Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath ...
2 Cor. 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and HATH GIVEN TO US THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION.
1. BEING HURT AND OFFENDED IS A SIGN OF THE LAST DAYS. BEWARE!
We appear to be living in the LAST DAYS. Signs of the times are everywhere. Read the newspaper, listen to CNN. Study Israel and the current events. Read the Bible. Matthew 24: 10 warns us of an attitude or spirit that would thrive as the Second Coming nears. Mat. 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
Could we identify this as HOLY HATE? There is no holy hate of brethren, this is a distortion of the truth. 1 John 3: 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15. Whoso hateth his brother is a murder.
2. GOD HAS A PLAN FOR SPIRITUAL RENEWAL.
THERE IS A TERRIBLE ATTITUDE AND SPIRIT OF CONTROL, my way or the highway. There is even a worse spirit of the lack of submission, and yet still say I am right, even not though I am not submitted. See how authority is tested today, not by criminals but by Christians. Submission is a beautiful thing. We see a pushing of the limits, authority and submission starts in the home. An unsubmitted person at home will raise havoc in the church. We see the trouble in our schools birth in the homes with no respect of authory.
Life is 10% what happens to us, and 90% how we take what happens. Christians must arise, arise above reacting to problems and hurt, but we must arise to ACTION and forgiveness, we must let the Holy Spirit dictate to the situation. Just because you can out argue everyone does not make you right. Just because you push the limits and get away with it, does mean you are right.
God is calling all believers to a SPIRITUAL RENEWAL, we live not under the rule of a tooth for a tooth, get revenge and get even. Borned again individuals act on new principles, new rules, new ends, and a new attitude. If someone compels you to go ONE mile, go two. If someone slaps you, turn your cheek. Jesus said, not only is adultery wrong, but if a man looks with his eyes and lusts in his heart this is sin.
God does not just correct the old heart, He wants to give us a NEW HEART that goes beyond the eyes, and changes the desires of the new heart. God is not impressed by arguments, quarrels, and offenses. God can mend every heart at the foot of the Cross.
3. THE TEACHERS WERE CAUSING A BREACH.
Matthew 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill, and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of judgment. 22. But I tell you that if anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again any who says to his brother, RACA, is answerable to the council. But anyone that says, "THOU FOOL!" will be in danger of Hell fire. 23. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath an ought against thee. 24 Leave the gift before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25. Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art in the way with him, lest at any time, the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.