BSF Matthew Lesson 19 Day 3 ~ Study of Matthew 18:6-14
6. a. I like the way The Message puts it:
“But if you give them a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you’ll soon wish you hadn’t. You’d be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck. Doom to the world for giving these God-believing children a hard time! Hard times are inevitable, but you don’t have to make it worse—and it’s doomsday to you if you do.”
b. John relays an incident in which he and some other disciples stopped a believer from casting out a demon.
The man wasn’t one of them.
John stopped him because he hadn’t been endorsed or ordained. Nor had he been through the proper discipleship, membership, leadership and ministry classes.
It’s interesting that the renegade in question was getting results.
Sadly, this behavior is still rampant today. It has caused disillusionment in many a formerly zealous believer.
7. a. For those newer believers and those who learned the mixture of old covenant law and not grace,
we should not judge them, but rather judge ourselves. We should help them understand that God looks at our hearts and not just an outward obedience to endless rules. We don’t earn God’s love by our works.
If we find ourselves disciplining someone who was taught rules we that aren’t sinful, we should stop so that we don’t cause confusion for them in that area.
b. The worst thing parents can do is emphasize law over love and punishment over grace.
Many a child has rebelled due to a steady diet of judgment and condemnation. In other words, we shouldn’t focus on the outward trappings of our faith but rather the matters of the heart.
c. Distractions—the cares of the world are my greatest stumbling blocks.
8. God loves me even when I go astray.
He knows my nature just as a shepherd knows the nature of his sheep. He cares enough and loves me enough to come looking for me. He isn’t sitting on His front porch with His arms crossed, tapping His foot mumbling under His breath about how frustrated He is with me.
As Jesus said in a similar parable (Luke 15:7), “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”