Saturday, 8 November 2014

Take it seriously...

I've come to the part in Matthew 18 where Jesus emphasises that we should let nothing get in the way of God. He gives the 'extreme' image of cutting off the hand which does something sinful, or the foot which leads us astray. The graphic images of what he says are shocking. He is serious.

And then he says:“Watch that you don’t treat a single one of these childlike believers arrogantly. You realize, don’t you, that their personal angels are constantly in touch with my Father in heaven?"

This, straight after saying that we need to become like children ourselves.

Again, humility, submitting to others.

Jesus goes on to talk about how God is desperate that we should be saved from our lostness and sinfulness. He searches for each one of us, regardless of how many are already following him, in the story of the lost sheep: one out of a hundred. It is serious.

And to keep hearts soft towards God, we need to start with our fellows. We need to deal with issues, lovingly 'carefronting' those who hurt us, trying our best to work out the problem, involving others in the church to help us if necessary. We need to speak truth, so that others can rely on what we say, and there will be eternal consequences when we do so.

Not only that, but when we pray together, Jesus is there, guiding us in what we ask for and listening to our concerns. He takes it seriously.

And then Peter asks about forgiveness. And again Jesus shows how serious it is.

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