Thoughts of John

What is on my mind.

Twenty Days of Prayer: Day 10

(Sins of Relationships)

Can you think of people you may have hurt or offended in some manner?

In Matthew 5.23-24, Jesus was emphatic about the importance of getting right with those you have offended. “Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

In other words, Christ was saying, “Don’t approach God until you first get right with those you have offended!” Take the next several moments to consider those you may have offended. When God reveals people you have hurt or slighted, resolve to go to them and ask their forgiveness. Do not go and try to defend yourself or get the battle started again. Just go in simple humility and love. Furthermore, do not think you have failed if they refuse to forgive you.

Are you bitter or holding grudges against people who have offended you?

In Matthew 6.14-15, Jesus made a statement of enormous importance. “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Many a prayer gets no higher than the ceiling because you are holding inner resentment and bitterness against another person. Many people hold secret bitterness against friends or family members. In other cases, it may be toward strangers who have wronged you. Especially today, believers need to be aware that we can develop bitterness toward godless politicians, social activists, and entertainers who attack our values. It is also possible to hold secret bitterness against God. Some people privately resent the fact that God allowed some personal tragedy or didn’t answer an urgent prayer. Others harbor bitterness because God blesses others in ways He has not blessed them.

Questions for Reflection:

Is there anyone or situation about which you harbor the slightest bitterness or resentment? Have you secretly resented God for allowing some painful situation in your life? Have you “cooled off” toward God because he disappointed you in some manner?

Are you involved in any improper relationships?

An improper relationship could be anything from adultery and fornication to simply being inappropriately close to someone. You may be involved with someone and while you say, “We’re just friends,” you know it has become more than friendship. Don’t try to rationalize or defend a relationship you know is improper.

Improper relationships involve many things besides physical immorality. Because it is so easy to rationalize, this sin has become prevalent among Christians. It is the soil from which adultery and fornication so often grow.

Do you neglect regular fellowship and meaningful service through the church?

According to Hebrews 10.25, it is a major sin to neglect regular fellowship and worship with the body of Christ.

Questions for Reflection:

Are you a spectator rather than a participant in God’s work? Do you consistently receive, but seldom give? Have you become a permanent visitor who never seems to plug in and serve God?

Are your family relationships consistent with God’s Word?

Improper family and church relationships are common places we lose the filling and power of God’s Spirit.

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October 22, 2009 - Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Christian, Christianity, family, God, Jesus, Life, marriage, New Testament, Old Testament, Prayer, relationship, Religon, Theology

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