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Cast out! Killed off.

posted Feb 6, 2013, 5:38 PM by David Gerhart   [ updated Feb 6, 2013, 5:38 PM ]
A way of discerning an authentic walk is to watch the path unfold.  

An encounter with difficulty in the life of a brother or sister initially brings out a kind of support that is loving, time passes there are offers of accountability partners, suggestions that other actions be taken ... impatience emerges, if well disguised.  Exasperation!  There has been enough, we are done -- cast them back out into the world for the death of their flesh (see 1 Corinthians 5.)

Or the opposite.  Patience, kindness, forgiveness, long suffering.  The character and relationships between members is built up because the lost sheep is returned to the fold.  In a similar situation Peter asked:

"“Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times"  Mathew18:21-22

The key and critical factor is us: how can we forgive?  If we can't then it's time to trim some Tares.  Seriously?

"Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn." Matthew 13:30.

An expressed aspect of Pastors' work is to go out among the sheep.  What we find is that instead the sheep are gathered together to see the shepherd each Sunday and the really good ones come again on Wednesday.  This aspect of absentee Pastors is prevalent when, as earlier discussed, exasperation has begun to mount.  The sheep that wander are too much trouble!

The simple fact is that the work of shepherding is returning the sheep to the fold.  And this is what Christ explained to his disciples.

"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? Luke 15:4

"It takes what it takes." is an AA / Alanon truth that many have realized to be actual.

"If anyone loves me he will keep my word." John 14:23

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8

Since we are discussing the authentic truth, interpreting Christs words for those who suffer from chronic sinful issues means that we learn with each failing episode to regain our sense of what God has spoken into our lives: That drinking or drugging (for instance) isn't good, it's not right in His eyes.  But since we love Him, His promise is that as we "keep" His word (on our lips and in our hearts) it will begin to change us.

For some the change is immediate. For others, the suffering will linger on and on. Our inability to control our urges prevents us from grasping the lesson and moving on in our walk. But if we keep on keeping with that Word, the Lord is faithful and we will be changed.