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It Starts With Me -

Kingdom Man   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction:

Love begins with me, when it comes to showing love as a church it starts with each one of us doing our part to show love in the most holy way. Verse one of chapter 18 the disciples ask Jesus a question, “who is the greatest”. When we lose sight of serving one another and begin to measure ourselves up against each other covetousness rises up as well as resentment. It all begins with us individually.
If YOU cause someone to stumble
Will YOU leave the 99 and search for the one
If YOUR brother or sister sins against you go to them and them alone.
The reason why we refuse to handle problems and issues in a healthy way is because is not at the forefront of what we are trying to do. Jesus explains the blueprint of restoring and building healthy relationships within the church. It begins with love but is sustained with listening to each other.

What is the Blueprint?

When someone sins against you, point it out between you and the person only.
What is the goal? The goal should be listening…
We take listening for granted, primarily because we want people to change on our time frame rather than seeing the blessing in listening to each other.
Listening has to happen before the change can commence. Listening opens up the door for dialogue.
The word “listen” in this text or akouó where we get the word acoustics. Think about listening to a live band. The band could be on key but if the acoustics in the room are not up to par the band may not sound as pleasant as we would like.
If we do not set the conversation up in effort to listen we cannot expect the results we desire.
A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed. If a malicious witness rises up against a man to accuse him of wrongdoing.
God gives us the benefit of the doubt, there are people out there that want to sabotage your good will, we have to love them anyway. Nonetheless we have to be willing to listen and listen to our brothers and sisters.
If your brother “sins” or hamartanó this term is used for an archer missing the mark. Typically the only way I hit the mark is practice or listening to someone who consistently hits the mark.

Love is a Heart Issue

Can we have enough love to count the blessing of those who will actually listen?
If I love my brother or sister I am going to go to them to ensure I get to the root first. What if they do not listen?
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.
The fool is self conceited, the fool does not see what is right unless it comes from his or her point of view. Nonetheless God says love them anyway.
A fool does not delight in understanding but only in revealing his own mind.
The stubborn only take pride in their own paradigm, God says love them anyway.
And He was saying to them, Take care what you listen to.
There are dual implications on both sides of the coin, but both viewpoints matter.
If they will not listen take two more, the goal is to ensure that the testimony of two more with strengthen the stubborn. When I worked in sales and I could not close out the sale, sometimes it took the testimony of my manager, someone of more experience to really see what the concern was about purchasing the product. Sometimes people have to hear it from more people than yourself.
Nonetheless every word should be a word of strength. We bring additional minds to build up not to tear down.
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
When it comes to the body of Christ what do you treasure?
What do you invest in?
Relationship Building
Love
Forgiveness
for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also
What do you value the most? Your perspective or restoring a fallen a brother? Do you want to be right or understanding?
So what happens when they do not respond positively to the spiritual intervention? An unloving church cannot expect to restore anyone!
God says contain the problem until there is a refusal to listen. How can we unify the offender with the church unless we be of the same mind.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
We have to be careful with this text. This is not credence to disassociate with people but to change the approach.
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners! Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.
The approach changes, but the treatment does not! Think about it, do you love nonbelievers? YES! Do you love your brothers and sisters in Christ! YES! Love is the catalyst but the approach is different on how you handle each party.
Remember the things you sow or forbid on earth, the same will happen at judgment.
“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst”.
This text is not a crutch for poor attendance on Sunday morning, This passage is not about attendance, it is the reassurance that Jesus is the judge between quarrels and disagreements.
How would our conversation change if we realize Jesus is in the midst. Jesus is in the midst searching the readiness of our hearts to love and forgive each other.
We have to be ready to forgive whether I am right or wrong. This text prompts us to make a choice either we will work together and grow with each other or remain separate and die.
Jesus died to unify us, not to separate us.
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.
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