Posts tagged ‘Matthew 18’

October 18, 2012

Me Me Me…

by pastortimfowler

Help Others

Mark 9:33-34 33 Then they came to Capernaum. While Jesus was at home, he asked the disciples, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 They were silent. On the road they had argued about who was the greatest.

Ministry is a beautiful thing. It allows the church to help those in need. It is a source of great joy. Unfortunately it can be a source of arguing and troubles. No, this did not start with my church or your church or even your grandparent’s church, it started with the very first people who were followers of Jesus. (see above)
The reason this happens is that we forget to put self aside and be more considerate of those in need. The Apostle Paul said that he died daily to himself so that he could live daily for Christ. Far to often Christians forget that this is needed in our lives. We forget that once we are saved, we become workers with Christ for God. We are to become like Christ to people. Christ died for people and lived for God’s will to be done.
The church is not a place to complain because someone else did something to help another. It is a place to rejoice because someone was helped by Jesus and Jesus happened to use one of His own. It is a place to find joy that others are ministering to those in need, even if we can’t or aren’t part of it. Jesus knows our hearts. He knows if we are doing things out of love or for self glory. I trust that and let Him worry about it. Meanwhile, if a person in need gets help and it is from a believer, I give God the glory.
When these disciples were arguing about who was the greatest, they were as far from being Christ-like as they could possibly be. Jesus goes on to tell them that they must be childlike, not childish, in order to become great. Children are obedient. He later tells them that if they want to be great they need to become servants. Servants don’t think that they are great, they too are obedient.
As we grow as Christians we must always be aware that not everything can be explained. Not everything can be communicated. And not everything is meant for us to do. I am sure that others who saw Peter walk on water were a bit jealous that it wasn’t them. I am sure that some may have wished it was them who received the vision of the book of Revelation. But the important thing to remember is that the people who God wanted involved were involved in the things that He wanted done. It just is not about us once we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.
We must also remember that others are watching how we handle adversity. Every Christian has someone watching how we handle things to see if they want to follow us or not. It is not about them following you or me, but are we following Jesus and therefore they should follow us. Some may see our attitude and be offended because they don’t understand why we are upset. It may involve a weaker person and our reaction causes them to fall away. So be careful how you react to things.

Remember that children and servants are to be obedient, not important. Jesus is the important one and so is that person who needs help. We don’t want to hurt someone who is a weaker and younger believer.

Matthew 18:6-7 6 “These little ones believe in me. It would be best for the person who causes one of them to lose faith to be drowned in the sea with a large stone hung around his neck.
7 How horrible it will be for the world because it causes people to lose their faith. Situations that cause people to lose their faith will arise. How horrible it will be for the person who causes someone to lose his faith!

November 1, 2011

Curses

by pastortimfowler

I hope that I cover all of the questions that I was asked for this blog about curses. This is an interesting subject that probably takes more than a blog to clear up all the questions, but at the same time, can be a simple answer to give. I like simple and believe that it is the best way to study the Bible and the it best way that allows my brain to work.
The first curse came from God, when He cursed the serpent, man, and the ground. When you look at the word curse from the original texts it means that God’s favor is removed. There is no greater curse than that.
One of the questions was, who or what does the cursing. Only God can remove His favor. He can give authority and has given authority to humans to speak a curse, but only when prompted by following God’s word or His leadership. In Matthew 18 Jesus says that whatever we bind on earth is bound in heaven. I think that this could be a curse on a believer who is not following God’s instructions for repentance. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:5 that the church should give a Christian who refuses to live a sexually pure life over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. I believe this too is a curse to Christians who refuse repentance.
Many believe that those who practice witchcraft can put curses on people. I do not know enough about this to speak with much authority, but I do know that dabbling in the supernatural world of the occult can lead to demon possession. But a person who is not living for God in already cursed by not having God’s favor. I don’t know that I would agree that casting a curse on someone in this sense of the word is truly putting a curse on someone or something.
As far as who or what can be cursed, God clearly shows us in His first 3 curses that it can be man, beast or an inanimate object. Jesus cursed the fig tree. God cursed the ground. In 1 Samuel 4, a child is named Ichabod, which means God’s glory has departed, as a sign to Israel that they were being cursed. I have heard of pastors pronouncing the curse of Ichabod on churches and cities who were not responsive to God’s word. Jesus even said to dust your feet off if someone was not responsive to His words.
I think it is a dangerous area for the average Christian to dwell in. I see nowhere in the Bible where anyone other than a spokesperson for God who was directly instructed by God to pronounce a curse, happens. Christians are far greater instructed to speak blessings into the lives of others. Jesus says in Luke 6:28, Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who insult you. I don’t think that these curses as spoken toward the believer, can remove God’s favor from your life, but the idea is that they will try to remove your trust in God’s favor.
The last question, is there an evil, good, or just curse. When God pronounces a curse it is just. He is a just God. Evil curses are like I spoke of earlier, in my opinion, are demonic and those who dabble there are already cursed. As far as a good curse goes, that would have to be in the same lines as the just curse, because God always wants repentance and if a curse drives someone to repentance, it is a good curse.
My favorite curse outside the Bible is the curse that Snoopy speaks to the Red Baron. I just thought you would want to know.