|Luke 17:1-4 (CEV)|
| 1 Jesus said to his disciples: There will always be something that causes people to sin. But anyone who causes them to sin is in for trouble. A person who causes even one of my little followers to sin 2 would be better off thrown into the ocean with a heavy stone tied around their neck. 3 So be careful what you do.
Correct any followers of mine who sin, and forgive the ones who say they are sorry. 4 Even if one of them mistreats you seven times in one day and says, “I am sorry,” you should still forgive that person.
|Jesus knew that there were believers who looked down on others, and even in the case of other new believers they would do things to temp them, rather than offer a hand up, or an encouraging word to help them overcome. Additionally, Jesus knew that there were some who struggled with forgiveness, especially when being asked for forgiveness more than once. I bet if you hadn’t read the Scripture reference you may have thought that this was a sermon addressed to Christians today! Let’s look into the application.|
|I believe that as each of us read scriptures such as this one today, we quickly reflect on that relative that struggles with similar issues to those addressed by Jesus, or perhaps a neighbor or a friend. I’m sure there are folk who told us, or told the church, that they had given their hearts to the Lord, and we walked away thinking “right, I’ll have to see it to believe it”. Jesus wanted to make sure that He expects us to help lift that young Christian up, encourage them, love on them so that they may be assured of the fellowship of the saints – brothers and sisters of the same Father. Knowing that Jesus has perfect insight into a person’s heart, and that He died on the cross so that ALL might come to Him for salvation, He doesn’t expect us to understand or even analyze how Jesus could possibly accept this person or that person. For His ways are not our ways. We tend to look at how a change of heart might affect that person’s relationship with us, but Jesus looks at that person just as He looked at us when we came to Him for salvation. We all came to the cross in just the same condition – sinners. Jesus saved us and redeemed us of our sin, so that we are all equal at the foot of the cross. Who are we to look down our noses and think otherwise? Jesus gave a pretty serious warning for those who try to cause a young Christian to stumble – the consequence would be as serious as death, for He said that it would be just as if you were thrown overboard with a heavy rock around your neck. Jesus went on to warn us of another sin that could be very serious for us. I’ve heard fellow believers say that a Christian Brother or Sister hurt them and later sought forgiveness. They forgave them once, but they will never trust them again or get close to that person again. I believe verse 4 is telling us that it’s not our job to bring judgment on another believer. If they ask forgiveness, it is our Christian obligation to forgive them. In fact, if they don’t ask forgiveness, it is our Christian responsibility to approach them as a friend, a helper, a prayer warrior, a brother or sister, who will work with them and pray with them to overcome the thing that we see going on in their life. I’m afraid that we could teach this lesson at least once a day to ourselves and others who would acknowledge similar challenges in their lives. What about you friend? Will you be able to stand in front of our Father shoulder to shoulder with that brother or sister that you felt on earth was not the perfect Christian and handle the rebuke from the Father? I would much prefer hearing God say, ‘well done good and faithful servant, for you did what I commanded’.|
|Lord I humbly approach Your throne today, knowing that these very things taught in the Scriptures seem impossible to us, because our culture has led us in to a very selfish and judgmental lifestyle. Lord, we need more of You in more of us, so that our families, our churches, our towns, states and country will live more aligned with Your teachings and commands. My readers and I acknowledge that You are the only way, and in believing that we have an obligation to live according to Your commands. Lord, this is contrary to the ways of this world in which we live, so this becomes very challenging. Please work with us and guide us to all truth and give us wisdom and strength to be obedient to You in every way. All glory to You oh King eternal. AMEN!|
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|