Luke 17:3-4 Be Willing To Forgive

So watch yourselves. If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them. Luke 17:3-4

Many people in the world look for ways to get revenge against someone who did them wrong. They do not seek reasons to forgive, but to punish.

People feel as if they have the right to get vengeance for things done wrong. The more the punishment, the more pleased they are.

Jesus tells the people to be willing to forgive someone. If a person sins, he is to be rebuked, then if he repents, he is to be forgiven, regardless of how many times he sins in a day.

Forgiving someone is something many people in the church struggle with doing. They will act as the world does in wanting a person punished rather than forgiven.

It begins when a person sins or hurts one and that person does not reach out to point out what occurred. The one who did wrong is not given a chance to repent, and then when he does repent, he is often not forgiven. Just like the world, many seek vengeance rather than forgiveness.

Every believer must remember how many times Jesus has already forgiven them for all their sins against Him. God never turns away or rebukes someone who has repented, He forgives immediately.

If Jesus is willing to forgive, every believer must be willing to forgive those who repent of doing something wrong. Only if a person does not repent, does a believer not have to forgive.

Forgiving someone shows God’s love to that person and to others watching. It is revealing who God and what He is like.

Just like Jesus was sinned against, there have been people who have sinned against you. Be willing to go to that person and point out what was done wrong. Give the person a chance to repent, just as God gives you opportunities to repent.

If the person repents, then be willing to forgive them, just as Jesus has forgiven you. Do not hold on to bitterness, anger and vengeance against someone, but release it to God.

Remember how many times God has already forgiven you and will continue to forgive you when you repent. Do the same to others.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will give you strength to confront those who have harmed you; that you will have God’s love to forgive those who repent; and that you will be a testimony of God’s love and forgiveness to others.

Matthew 16:23 Don’t Be A Stumbling Block

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Matthew 16:23

In every business or organization there are leaders at the top that see the bigger, long-term picture of the organization. They are able to see what steps are needed in order to accomplish their task or goal.

With every goal there are some steps that will be difficult and may even appear to be ridiculous to have to take. Yet, though steps are required to reach the goal. In the organization there will be some who will try to keep from having to take those difficult steps.

Jesus had just told the disciples that He would have to be killed. Peter rebuked Him. Jesus rebukes Peter because he was being a stumbling block, not do what God wants, but what self wants.

Walking with God will require that one gets all of his instructions from God as to what to do and where to walk. In the process of moving forward with God, there will be times when God has a person walk through an extremely difficult situation. It may be one that could risk one’s life or even take it.

It is easy for people to want to back down and not follow God through it, but that is keeping the world’s ways of living, not God’s. To walk with God will require that one lay’s down his own life to be concerned with what God is concerned about. It is sacrificing self’s desires for those of God.

In this life, a believer may lose his life following God, but in the end he will have eternal life, just as Jesus did.

There may be times when God will call you to do a extremely difficult task. Instead of being like Peter and trying to do it a different way, becoming a stumbling block, be willing to do what God says.

The desires of self and the things of this world are all temporary and will pass away. What God does is always with eternity in mind, lasting forever.

Be careful that you do not allow yourself to become a stumbling block to others or to God, but following God’s ways of living. Do the work and walk the path God calls you to do and walk. Don’t be a stumbling block and have God rebuke you.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know what God calls you to do; that you will walk the path God calls you to walk; and that you will be concerned about what God is concerned about.

Proverbs 9:8 Wise And Foolish Rebukes

Sign on road

Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Proverbs 9:8 

Rebuke is standing on a position and pointing out that someone else is doing something wrong. It is pointing out a fault in another person with the goal to help them become better.

Bosses will rebuke an employee in the workplace in order to get him to perform better or to make needed changes in his work habits. It is common to hear of a child being rebuked for doing something wrong or making a bad choice.

The challenge for most people is how they see a rebuke. Most people see it is as someone putting them down and telling them that they are wrong. They do not see it as a path to growth or change for the better.

Solomon gives warning to not rebuke those who are mockers, because they will not take it well. Those who are wise will accept it and grow from it.

Mockers are those who will scoff at the idea of living a righteous and holy life. They do not want to be told what to do or how to do it. When someone points out some needed change, they will fight it.

The wise person will hear a rebuke out and grow from it. He will take time to find out what is right and strive to do what is right. The wise want to grow, rather than keep making the wrong choices.

There are some in the church who get very angry when they are rebuked for a sin in their life. They are quick to point out about love and grace, refusing to accept that they must change.

Others will embrace the rebuke and see it as a challenge to become more like Jesus, rather than take offense to it.

Throughout your life there will be times when someone may rebuke you. Before you take offense to it, stop and think about what was said. Is it true? Then embrace it and change. If it is false, ignore it and move on.

Do not be angry at a rebuke, but see it as a chance for growth. God loves you, but will rebuke when you are making poor choices or stray from the path. God can and will use people to rebuke you and bring you on to His path for your life.

Be wise and grow, instead of offended and die.

I pray today that God will open your eyes to wise rebukes; that you will strive to live for God at all times; that God will give you strength to continue to grow in Jesus; and that God will give you wisdom in rebuking others. 

Luke 9:54-55 No Time For Condemnation

Lightning

When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them. Luke 9:54-55

Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem and He had sent some disciples ahead into a Samaritan village to get it ready for Him. After the people rejected Him, James and John wanted to destroy the people. Jesus rebuked John and James for wanting to do that.

People are very quick to judge and want to destroy other people. This is very true when the other people do not act or think in the same way. This explains why there are so many different wars and battles going on around the world. People do not agree, so they choose to fight.

Just as John and James were quick to want to destroy the people, so are many believers. Sometimes they are quick to want to destroy another believer, but it is very common for them to want to destroy non-believers.

The world will act a certain way or promote a sinful action because that is who they are. Many believers are very quick to condemn them and want God to destroy them. This has been seen with abortion clinic doctors or terrorists.

Jesus said that the world would reject believers because it rejected Him. Jesus did not go out and start condemning the world because they rejected Him. He still showed love and compassion.

Condemning someone who is doing what they do because of who they are is not showing love. It is not giving the person a chance to change. If Jesus would have destroyed that village, the people would never have had another chance to believe in Him.

Believers can condemn the action, but must be careful not to condemn the person. That is the job Jesus is to do.

When people are not acting correctly or are working against you, know that you are going through what Jesus had gone through. You are not above Him. He went through rejection and still loved the people, so will you.

Take time to pray for the person. Be a shining light of who Jesus is and how He would react. Do not be like the world and condemn right away and be willing to have the other person destroyed. Show God’s love and compassion.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that God will give you strength when people reject you; that you will not be quick to condemn others; and that you will show God’s love to all people.