祈祷:主耶稣，请为迷失的羊群给我你的爱心，这样你就可以用我来聚集你失去的羊。当那人使我厌烦的时候，求你赐我忍耐。又求你赐我胆量，将律法与福音都传给他们。给我一颗不要失去希望心，因你拯救的臂膀永远环绕我们 ! 阿们
Matthew 18： 15-17 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
Up to this point in the chapter, Jesus has been warning us not to cause one of these little ones to stumble in their faith. But what should we do if one of them has stumbled in their faith? Jesus shows us what to do to win them back. First, you speak to them just between the two of you to win them over from the sin that has captivated them and ruined their faith. You approach them as a brother or sister with all the love and compassion that Jesus teaches us in this chapter. If they don’t listen, take someone with you. Take another Christian friend or family member and speak with them and pray for them. If they still won’t listen, even after speaking to them on numerous occasions, you bring the matter to the church so that everyone in the Christian family can speak to them as well. Finally, if they refuse to listen, you treat them as a pagan or tax collector, in other words, as an unbeliever.
We call that excommunication, which is perhaps the most misunderstood word in the church today. Ask a hundred Christians what that word means, and 99 will tell you it means you “kick someone out of the church.” Satan has managed to turn an act of love into an act of meanness! Treating them as as an unbeliever means you tell them that their impenitence has destroyed their faith. It means that you treat them as a mission prospect. It means you don’t stop beating down their door or praying for them or treating them with kindness or witnessing to them. You treat them as that one lost sheep in Jesus’ flock, the one he’s using you to look for in his name.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me a heart for the lost so that you can use me to gather in your lost sheep. Give me patience when that person puts me off. Give me boldness to proclaim both law and gospel to them. Give me a heart that does not lose hope, because your arm is never too short to save! Amen.