Today's Word for Pastors...

The LORD will fulfill [his purpose] for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever-- do not abandon the works of your hands..
Psalms 138:8

Today's Preaching Insight...

Lawsuits among Believers

The issue is this: Can't we the redeemed of the Lord deal with our own problems within the family of God? It scandalizes a church not to be able to handle its own affairs. We are called to try to settle these issues as brothers and sisters.

Paul did not come up with this teaching on his own. It is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and it is in direct concurrence with the teachings of Jesus, who in Matthew 18 gives a pattern as to how we should deal with grievances between brothers and sisters. Jesus gives this very clear scenario in Matthew 18:15-17. He suggests that, if you have a grievance against a brother or sister in Christ, go to that person, share your thoughts. If the person listens, you've made a friend for life. If not, take one or two other witnesses along with you, so that your word will be confirmed. If that person still refuses to listen, then take it to the leadership of the church. If this person even then refuses to listen, if the leadership of the church concurs with your concern, treat that person as if he was a Gentile.

What I extrapolate from the teaching of Jesus is that, if the matter is not that significant to you, move on. Don't get uptight over it. But if it is a significant matter of justice, you are welcome to pursue the issue in the civil courts. For God's sake, your sake and the witness of the church, don't be dragging every petty concern, every squabble before the civil courts. It damages the church both internally and externally.

Then Paul introduces a most significant fact. He reminds us that we are actually better qualified to judge with equity than are nonbelievers. With a note of sarcasm, he writes, "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels - to say nothing of ordinary matters?" (1 Corinthians 6:2-3).

(To read the full article "Lawsuits among Believers" by John A. Huffman Jr. at Preaching.com, click here

Today's Extra...

Cross

The Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany. Alongside the German-Austrian border, it towers 9,718 feet high. You can go up the mountain by cog railway or cable car but not to the peak. The last few yards, you must walk or climb. On the top of the peak is a cross. Climbers believe it is worth the sacrifice to make it to the cross. We feel that way about Calvary. It is worth it to make it to the cross.

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