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Sabbath: More Lessons from the Master Teacher — 10 Comments

  1. My daughter, Toni, had a supersensitive guilt streak when she was in primary school. I remember one night, when we were all sound asleep, she woke us up with her uncontrolled sobbing. We could not work out what was wrong until we finally quieted her down enough to talk. Amid the sobs we found out that at school that day she had done some class work that pleased the teacher and she had been told that she could go to the teachers desk and choose a special merit stamp to mark her work. The teacher, being busy marking other students work, was not at her desk, so our daughter went to the desk and looked at the pretty stamps. She liked two of them and could not make up her mind and eventually stamped her work with both stamps before returning to her desk. Somewhere in the middle of the night she worked out that she had effectively stolen one of the stamps and the guilt had kept her away and hence the tears. Fortunately it was not a weekend when all this happened and Toni went off to school the next day, asked the teacher for forgiveness, was freely forgiven, and came home that night guilt free, light-hearted, and as happy as a normal six year old kid.

    Guilt about our sinfulness can be a debilitating influence in our lives if we hide from God. While guilt is there for a purpose, so is God's forgiveness. Our tendency to not admit our guilt, or worse, to brazen it out so that we lose our sensitivity is what separates us from God. Jesus treatment of those guilty of sin should encourage us to seek forgiveness and live in freedom from guilt.

    As always, such a message is meaningful to those of us who accept Jesus, but how do we transmit the message to those who do not have an understanding of living in a relationship with Jesus? Most of us have been in situations where we have or should forgive others for what they have done to us. Our action of forgiveness has the potential to be a window into the forgiveness of God to those folk. Do we use one kind of forgiveness for those who claim to be Christian, and a different kind for those who do not know Christ?

    Then Peter came to Jesus and 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. Matt 18:21,22 KJV

    • Nice story! It's nice to hear that other parents of my mother's generation were naming their daughters "Toni", even in other countries. I got teased a lot about about my name when I was a child(that's a boy's name, and such). One time, after being teased so bad, I dreamed that my name was "Deborah", and the next morning when my mother called me to wake up for school, "Toni, Toni, wake up, it's time to get ready to go to school, Toni, Toni." When I did not respond after several times of being called because I was still in my dreamland where my name was "Deborah", my mother came into my bedroom and yelled "Toni, you better wake up now". Needless to say, I hurried up out of my sleep; my mind heard my mother the first time. Your story just brought that memory back to me. Anyway, I grew to love my name, I really do love my name. I will especially love my New Name that Jesus will give me, when we All stand on the sea of glass in Heaven. Thank you for sharing your story about your daughter Toni.

      Your sister in Christ, Toni!!

  2. In working along with people struggling under ‘brokeness’ (which most of us can relate to), I find that two things of critical importance:

    * treating others with genuine compassion
    * providing appropriate ‘guidance/education’ delivered with compassion

    BOTH are vital. ‘Education’ doesn’t work until compassion has been established and unless compassion is maintained.

    And I find I need to ‘bathe’ daily in Jesus/God/Holy Spirit compassion (via time with God in His Word and in prayer) in order to have my capacity for compassion reinstated for the day.

  3. Someone once says: don’t judge me because I sin differently than you. We are all sinners in need of God’s grace. In Romans 3:23 “all have sinned and have come short of the glory of God.” Because we are all sinners, how do we treat someone whose sins have become public? Do we treat them with love or with anger? We have kicked some of these people out of the church and they have never come back.
    I am not against church disciple but the way that we treat our backsliding members. As a pastor, I have been thinking how I have treated my erring members. The woman caught in adultery taught us an important lesson. I’d rather be shamed in public and repent than to live a life full of sins hidden from the public. The adulterer woman was forgiven while most of the religious leaders were lost. They seemed to be holy in human eyes while they were wicked. Let us stop looking at people's appearance. Our job is to love and pray for those who are erring. If it comes to a point to take a decision to safeguard the reputation of the church, let us do it with love. This should be our daily prayer found in Psalms 139: 23 - 24, “search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
    V. 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Happy sabbath and stay blessed.

    • Jude, it is encouraging to read that as a pastor you see the importance of how 'erring' members are treated. I always find the reference to 'the woman caught in adultery' very worrying and confronting. Surely she was not committing adultery on her own, so we never hear about the other side. This is concerning to me as it makes the woman the guilty party, as she was, but not alone. Feeling guilt for adultery can be overwhelming, but as a victim of child rape, even though I know now it was not my fault, I was only 7 years old, the memory keeps coming back and as a woman it is still difficult to see that it is usually the woman who is blamed.

      • I think God that He gave you the courage to speak about that bad experience. You are a hero for those who have been struggling with past pain. I will keep you in my prayers and continue to be strong.

  4. Maurice's story reminded me of something that took place eight decades ago, when I was eight year old. My parents were poor and could not afford to buy toys for me, the only toys I had were those I had made. One day, I noticed a beautiful toy truck siting on the curb next to a house. I thought to myself: "finders keepers." I grabbed it, took it home, and played with it for a long time, but I knew that something was not right. The thought of the rightful owner of the toy truck looking for his missing toy bothered me. The next day, I took the stolen toy and left it where I had originally found it. I never regretted having done the right thing.

  5. “Whatever our differences, surely one thing unites us: our general sinfulness”. I am happy to find that this week’s lesson moves us into establishing the other thing that unites us: ‘Faith in the solution which has been provided to all who believe!’

    KJV Rom.3:23 – “For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.”
    KJV John1:14 – “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (we beheld his Glory, the Glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
    1Tim.3:16 –“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into Glory.
    Jesus Christ our Savior, the Way, the Truth and the Life/Light accompanies the citizens of the Kingdom of God on their journey toward the Promised Land.

    KJV Rom.12:1,2 - I am not surprised that the world’s aim is directed toward dismissing all efforts to define ‘godly behavior’. The Christian’s conscience, empowered through the Holy Spirit is the only device alerting us to ‘dangers’ inherent in our actions. If we allow our conscience to become desensitized, we open the door wide to all kinds of behavior that is deemed right in the eyes of the world, but are not right in the eyes of the Lord.

    The more sensitive our conscience is, the saver we are when living in a world that does not support Christian standards. Dedicated to pleasing God, He will even take away our interest to find ways around His standard for righteous living. He changes our heart and mind to the point where we are no longer tempted to engage in sinful behavior; sinful behavior becomes repulsive to us.

    There are different sins – overt and covert! Those sins that are hid in the heart count as much as those committed – 1Samuel16:7; Psalms 119:11; Gal.5:24-26; Matt.5:8; Matt.5:27-30.

  6. Sinners need Christ. There is no hope without the Lamb of God, and only as we exercise faith in Him can we find peace with God. Jesus, our Master Teacher, has given hope to any who believe His teaching, and as we become His followers, we will find that "perfect peace" which the promise of His blood and righteousness gives.


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