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Showing posts from March 18, 2012

The Will of My Father

Themes emerging from this chapter (Matthew 18)
Who is greatest. The kingdom of heaven. One of these little ones. Humility. Offenses. Saved and lost. My Father in heaven. Covenant bonds.
To be saved is synonymous with being humble, avoiding and resolving offenses, being child-like, and being in covenant bonds with those following the Shepherd.
To be lost is to not be child-like, not willing to be humble, to offend and take offense, refusing to resolve them and to separate from the covenant bonds of those who are being saved like a Gentile and the tax collector.
What are characteristics unique to Gentiles and tax-collectors that might give clues to important things in this passage?
Gentiles are not in covenant bonds with God and His chosen people. Tax-collectors are always focusing on removing value from people around them. Tax-collectors were the ultimate offenders to a Jew. The Jews were offended by Gentiles but they were incensed and furious about tax-collectors. Tax-collectors who were …

Knowledge and Love

To deliver this kind of message is very hazardous, for in doing so I indict myself maybe more than anyone else. It might be wise to plead the fifth at this point and simply keep my mouth shut (or my computer in this case) rather than incriminate myself by saying things that likely can and maybe should be used against me. But for the sake of honesty and to challenge myself at least as much as I desire others to challenge themselves to grow and break out of the rut, I will take the risk to express these thoughts.
One of the greatest inhibitors that prevents us from discerning the voice of God to our hearts and minds many times when studying the Word is the assumption that we already know what a passage means. This can be an increased problem for a person who may have had special insights already with some passage, for they can easily assume that they have already achieved the breakthroughs needed to understand a passage and now the only thing left is to spend their effort convincing ot…

Settling Accounts

Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" (Matthew 18:21)
For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, “Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.” And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, “Pay back what you owe.” So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, “Have patience with me and I …

The Thread of Seventy Sevens

I just realized another significant insight into this core concept of forgiveness that I am beginning to see is far more central to living as a true Christian than most are willing to believe. But these insights are also revealing the falsity of many of the methods and counsel that admired leaders in the church are promoting instead of leading people to experience real forgiveness.
It was pointed out in the devotional book Snapshots of God that very early on in the history of this world the idea of blood vengeance was taking deep root in the psyche of humanity. After killing Abel and then living in constant fear of someone taking revenge against him for that heartless murder, Cain was assured that if anyone killed him they would suffer seven times as much in retribution. A few verses later we find this number going exponential as Lamech declares that any vengeance against him would be returned seventy times worse than for Cain.
This way of evening the score continues yet to this day i…