Seeking God's guidance in resolving conflicts, the importance of reconciliation, and the power of prayer.
Good morning, church family! Today, we're going to dive deep into a message about seeking God's guidance in conflict, the process of reconciliation, and the power of prayer. You see, conflicts are an unavoidable part of life. However, as followers of Christ, we're called to handle them in a way that glorifies God and promotes peace.
As we open our Bibles today to Matthew 18:15-20, we'll learn about Jesus' instructions for resolving disagreements among believers.
As we explore this scripture, we'll strive to follow the advice of Corrie ten Boom, a godly woman who once said, "Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?" Indicating the importance of seeking God's guidance not just in times of crisis, but in all aspects of our lives.
Let's read the passage together:
"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. 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.' 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. 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. 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. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."
Seeking God's guidance in conflict is a crucial aspect of our Christian walk, as it is through seeking God's wisdom and guidance that we can navigate the choppy waters of conflict with grace, love, and understanding.
What’s natural: When we encounter conflict, our natural human instinct is often to react impulsively, to let our emotions take the driver's seat. However, as followers of Christ, we are called to a higher standard. We are called to seek God's guidance before we act, to pause and pray for wisdom and discernment. This is not always easy, especially when we are hurt or angry. Yet, it is in these moments of tension that seeking God's guidance becomes even more critical.
Jesus provides us with a clear process for handling conflict: The first step is to go to the person privately and discuss the issue. This step alone requires a significant amount of wisdom and discernment from God. It requires us to approach the person with humility and love, rather than anger and accusation. It requires us to listen, to understand, and to seek reconciliation rather than victory.
What if the person does not listen: Jesus instructs us to take one or two others along, to establish the matter by the testimony of two or three witnesses. This step again requires us to seek God's guidance. Who should we take along? How should we present the issue? These are questions that we can only answer through prayer and seeking God's wisdom.
Last resort step: If the person still refuses to listen, we are to tell it to the church. This is the most severe step, and it should not be taken lightly. It requires a deep understanding of God's heart for reconciliation and a commitment to follow His guidance, even when it's difficult.
Our goal is not to win an argument: It’s to seek reconciliation. This requires us to constantly seek God's guidance, to pray for wisdom and discernment, and to act in love and humility.
Not a one-time event: It is a continuous process that requires us to stay connected with God, to constantly seek His wisdom and guidance, and to be open to His leading.
Understand and apply God's Word: The Bible is filled with wisdom and guidance on how to handle conflict. It teaches us to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. It teaches us to speak the truth in love, to forgive as we have been forgiven, and to seek peace and pursue it.
The process of reconciliation, as outlined in Matthew 18:15-20, is a beautiful illustration of God's heart for unity among His people ... View this full PRO sermon free with PRO