Confess Jesus as Lord
Matthew 18:6-20: Jesus tells his disciples and followers that there will always be temptations in life, they are inevitable, but it is not right for a person to be a temptation or cause failed faith or sin in another believer, and especially in young children. He talks about conquering the temptation to sin, compares his followers to sheep and the heavenly Father to a shepherd who searches for the stray and returns them to the fold. He also discusses how to respond to another follower who sins.
Today's Scripture: Matthew 18:19, 20
“And I tell you more: whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them.”
6 If anyone should cause one of these little ones to lose his faith in me, it would be better for that person to have a large millstone tied around his neck and be drowned in the deep sea. 7 How terrible for the world that there are things that make people lose their faith! Such things will always happen—but how terrible for the one who causes them! 8 If your hand or your foot makes you lose your faith, cut it off and throw it away! It is better for you to enter life without a hand or a foot than to keep both hands and both feet and be thrown into the eternal fire. 9 And if your eye makes you lose your faith, take it out and throw it away! It is better for you to enter life with only one eye than to keep both eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. 10 See that you don't despise any of these little ones. Their angels in heaven, I tell you, are always in the presence of my Father in heaven. 12 What do you think a man does who has one hundred sheep and one of them gets lost? He will leave the other ninety-nine grazing on the hillside and go and look for the lost sheep. 13 When he finds it, I tell you, he feels far happier over this one sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not get lost. 14 In just the same way your Father in heaven does not want any of these little ones to be lost. 15 If your brother sins against you, go to him and show him his fault. But do it privately, just between yourselves. If he listens to you, you have won your brother back. 16 But if he will not listen to you, take one or two other persons with you, so that “every accusation may be upheld by the testimony of two or more witnesses,” as the scripture says. 17 And if he will not listen to them, then tell the whole thing to the church. Finally, if he will not listen to the church, treat him as though he were a pagan or a tax collector. 18 And so I tell all of you: what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven. 19 And I tell you more: whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them. ”
Today’s reading contain some of Jesus’ “hard sayings.” Which of these teachings do you find difficult to follow? Why? Which ones do you find most comforting? How would following these teachings build up the church and strengthen people’s faith?
Loving God, thank you for the ways in which you welcome all people into your fold. Bless all who are outcast and afraid. Help them to know how much you love them, that they may open themselves to your grace. Amen.
Those struggling with addiction