Thursday, February 1, 2018

Go After Them...

Matthew 18:12 What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.
15 “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.16 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.’17 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.
Sometimes we get so caught up in dissecting passages of scripture that we miss the flow of progression.  In the first passage above, Jesus talks about God's loving pursuit of lost sheep, and how He goes out of His way to draw them in. That leads to the second paragraph, where He calls upon us to pursue someone who has erred against us - not to beat them up or make them pay, but in order that we be reconciled.  How different from how we often treat other people, other believers, even family members. We just blow them off, rather than using every means possible to be reconciled to them. God's directive is simple by hard: go after them, or as Paul says in Ephesians 4: "Make every effort to keep the unity through the bond of peace." 

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