A Caring Community Matt. 18:6-7,
10-22 Nov. 04, 2007
Do most people in
your community think your church is a caring community of believers? In
many non-Christians have seen so many church disagreements they don't
want any part of the church. Everyone of
us must do what we can to establish A Caring Community
through our churches.
1. Caring Through . .
A. The . . Initiation Of Offensive
6 "But whoever causes
the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in Me --
The . . Incredible
Affect Of Offensive Influence. 18:6b
be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he
were drowned in
the depths of the sea!
C. The . . Inevitability Of Offensive
the world because of offenses. For offenses must come, but woe to that
man by whom
Children can be influenced for good, and all of us ought to use what
ever influence we control to initiate
that action. Jesus spoke about an incredible penalty on any who cause
the downfall of a young believer. What a
tragic pronouncement from our Lord for actions that hinder a child.
Realistically Jesus tells us offenses will
inevitably come, and it seems to me some even delight in being
offensive. A caring influence cannot be built
and broadened with that attitude.>
2. Caring Through . .
A. The . . Intentional Involvement. 18:10-11
that you don't look down on one of these little ones, because I
tell you that in heaven their angels
continually view the face of My Father in heaven." [ 11 For the Son of
Man has come to save the
The . . Illustration Of Involvement. 18:12-13
12 What do you think? If a man has 100 sheep, and
one of them goes astray, won't he leave the 99 on the
hillside and go and search for the stray? 13 And if he finds it, I
assure you: He rejoices over that sheep more
than over the 99 that did not go astray.
C. The . . Intelligent
14 In the same way, it is not the will of your
Father in heaven that one of these little ones perish.
God has angels intentionally involved as they watch over little
children, and so should we. The idea of
guardian angels is supported from this verse as it says; "their
angels." The Lord loves children and we need to
emulate His love. Jesus illustrated His concern for children by telling
of a shepherd's concern for one sheep
who went astray. Intelligent reasoning follows the Lord's illustration.
I heard a minister on television share he
was reached by a church that had a bus ministry, and how he led a man
who claimed to be an atheist to the Lord
who is now involved in a bus ministry. Our caring might become
3. Caring Through . . Interaction. 18:15-20
A. The . . Private Interaction. 18:15-16
a Brother "If your brother sins against you, go and rebuke him in
private. If he listens to
you have won your brother. 16 But if he won't listen, take one or two
more with you, so that by the testimony
of two or three witnesses every fact may be established.
B. The . . Public Interaction. 18:17
7 If he pays no attention to
them, tell the church. But if he doesn't pay attention even to the
be like an unbeliever and a tax collector to you.
C. The . . Pleasing Interaction.
assure you: Whatever you bind on earth is already bound in heaven, and
whatever you loose on earth
is already loosed in heaven. 19 Again, I assure you: If two of you on
earth agree about any matter that you
pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. 20 For where
two or three are gathered together
in My name, I am there among them."
Some caring must begin in a private interaction as we go and confront
another Christian who sinned
against us. We must demonstrate a caring attitude. If this person will
not pay attention then take two others with you from your church, if
that does not work we take it before the entire church. In my opinion
emphasizing the local church. People need to be involved in a caring
local church that will help them in their
spiritual concerns. A caring action that pleases the Lord occurs when
we agree with His leading in what is
bound or loosed. We can only know this through a meaningful walk with
the Lord. If we walk with the Lord
He will guide our wants, and we will not be asking for things for which
two Christians cannot agree.>
4. Caring Through .
. Indulgence. 18:21-22
A. The . . Bearing Of Indulgence. 8:21
Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how many times could my brother sin
against me and I forgive
him? As many as seven times?"
B. The . . Burden Of
22 "I tell you, not as many as
seven," Jesus said to him, "but 70 times seven. (HCSB)
Simon Peter wanted to be justified for his ideas of
indulgence related to forgiving others. The bearing of
a need to forgive must have been bothering him or a friend, and he
wanted a pleasing answer. I don't think he
thought forgiving 70 times seven was reasonable. Most of us would not
do well at forgiving 70 times seven. We are not that indulgent. Is the
Lord in this text teaching more about a principle than a number? Have
and I been forgiven by the Lord for similar sins more than 490 times?
We become A Caring Community as we
witness others being forgiving, and learning from them. Amen? Amen!