Sunday, March 24, 2019

DAY 12 - New Friendship : Go And Be Reconciled (Please click here for English podcast)


1.   Put on your “brakes” and stop for a moment of silence
2.   Wait for God. Breathe deep for God's peace. Exhale your worries.

Praise and Thanksgiving

1.   Think through your day, all the times that made you smile
2.   Thank God for all those moments, and for all those people
3.   Open your heart to praise the Lord

        I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
                                in the night also my heart instructs me.
          I have set the Lord always before me;
      because he is at my right hand, 
           I shall not be shaken.     Psalm 16:7-8
Confession and repentance

1.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to work in you:

     “Dear Holy Spirit, shine your light into the places of darkness in my life. Show me my sins, everything that blocks me from encountering God. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

2.  Through the Holy Spirit, examine yourself for a short silence and then pray:

     "Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for our sins and being victorious over death and sin. I confess my sin to you(pause, to tell Jesus what the Holy Spirit has shown you). Forgive my sins by your blood and help me follow you. Holy Spirit, fill me that I may be able to receive your gift to love God and His people. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen."

The Word

 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny."  Matthew 5:21-26

Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage of scripture we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe"

My Listening
     To be able to enjoy the power of God's Kingdom we have to change a great deal of our previous lifestyle. There are lots of things for us to break in order to build a lifestyle of Christlikeness. Here in this passage Jesus gives us a very important thing to change: reconcile with your enemies.

     Actually this seems a mission impossible if you really have enemies or someone who did something bad to you and your family. How can you go and be reconciled?

Bishop N.T. Wright says :
     In this section of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus takes the commands of the law and shows how they provide a blueprint for a way of being fully, genuinely, gloriously human.  This new way, which Jesus had come to pioneer and make possible, goes deep down into the roots of personality and produces a different pattern of behaviour altogether.
     It begins with smouldering anger against someone very close to you.  All right, it may not result in murder; but the point of the commandment against murder was not that you should stop short of killing someone, but that you should never get near even the thought that you wish they were dead...Every time you decide to let your anger smoulder on inside you, you are becoming a little less than fully human.  You are deciding to belittle yourself...
     What's the alternative?  Jesus offers two remarkably specific and practical commands.  Be reconciled; make friends. How simple that is - and yet how hugely difficult and costly!
     In particular - and this is very striking - reconciliation takes precedence even over worship...You must live, day by day, in such a way that when you come to worship there is no anger between you and your neighbour, your sister, your brother.  Impossible? Jesus implies that it isn't, now that he is here to show the way...Make friends, not enemies. 

N.T. Wright. Matthew for Everyone, Part 1. Louisville,KY:Westminster         John Knox Press, 2004, p.22.

     What I received from Jesus today is "New Friendship: Go And Be Reconciled." It is a command for all of us to listen and obey. It is not a theory that you say to yourself, "Ah, I know it. OK." No, is not that. It is a command from Jesus to you. It is a command for us really to go and be reconciled.

     Do you have someone you need to say sorry to and ask for forgiveness? Do it now before it's too late. Jesus says that those who say to his brother "You fool" will be in danger of the fire of hell. The word for hell, gehenna, that is used in this passage refers to the place where they dumped all the garbage outside Jerusalem to be burnt to ashes. The garbage included dead animals. So, that place reeked with a bad odour and was always burning with fire. They named that place "hell".

     If we are not willing to go and be reconciled, we are in danger of becoming garbage that will be dumped and burnt! The fire of anger has eaten so many people alive! Don't let that happen to you.

    Go and be reconciled! 

Dear Lord Jesus,
Remove our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh that we can go and be reconciled. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Reflect on these questions:
1. Do you have enemies or struggle with anger in any conflicts?

2. Do you have someone you need to say sorry to and ask for forgiveness?

3. After reflecting on today’s theme, what is your plan to go and be reconciled with one of those enemies? Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal that person to you now that you can do it today, before it is too late!

Family Corner:
1. How do you deal with anger in your family? Is it hidden and put away deep down in your heart? Or, does anger burst out in explosive moments? Or, do you have practices for reconciliation?

2. Is there any reconciliation that needs to take place in your family now?

Praise and Thanksgiving
Let's give thanks for God with us. Let us praise Him:
10,000 Reasons

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