Lesson 81—September 13, 2015
Audio Commentary by David Daniel
A Heart Totally Surrendered
Scripture: Matthew 5:25-26
Lesson Goal: To apply Jesus’ instructions to our personal lives concerning reconciliation with others.
Before we begin today’s Life Focus lesson, I would like to remind you of some wonderful opportunities for worship and discipleship. This evening at 5:00 pm, we begin our fall semester of “Launching Out Discipleship and Worship.” We will have classes for every age. I am especially excited about the classes being offered for our teens and parents of teens. I think we would all be in agreement concerning the tremendous temptations and pressures that our teens face in today’s world and culture. Under the leadership of Youth Pastor Ben Emerson and his teaching team, there will be great opportunities for teens and parents alike. Let me encourage all parents of teens to dedicate and surrender nine Sunday evenings this fall to learn, grow and prepare to be the best parent you can be. You will be shown biblical truth and given spiritual insight into helping your teens live and stand for Christ. You will also learn about today’s culture and how it infiltrates teen’s lives and influences them.
Brother Billy and Brother Robin have again worked together to provide wonderful opportunities for children of all ages. From our nursery, yes our nursery, to our children in the sixth grade, we have made it our ministry goal to provide an atmosphere of learning, praise, and worship. We are blessed with the greatest children’s leaders, teachers and workers. There is a special place for all children on Sunday evenings.
God has brought together a great team of teachers offering many wonderful learning opportunities for adults also. Every true believer is called to be a disciple, which means “learner.” Some of these classes will be in a traditional classroom, with sound traditional teaching. Some classes will be set in the kitchen or even outdoors. Following Launching Out Discipleship, we will all come together in the sanctuary at 6:00 pm for a time of praise and celebration, as God’s people testify to His greatness. Please pray for, and come be a part of, Launching Out Discipleship and Worship.
Introduction: In last week’s lesson, Jesus gave us, His followers, instructions concerning our responsibility in making reconciliation to an offended brother or sister. In today’s lesson, Jesus speaks words of instruction on seeking to make things right with an “adversary” (V25).
John Stott gives this explanation:
The pictures are different: one is taken from church, the other from the law court. One concerns a brother (V23), and the other an enemy (V25). But in both cases, the basic situation is the same (the necessity of immediate, urgent action). In the very act of worship, if we remember the grievance, we are to break off our worship and go and put it right. In the very act of going to court, on our way there, we are to settle our debt.
The lesson to be learned, from the two sets of instructions, is that at the point and time when we become aware and conscious of a broken or hindered relationship, we must not delay in making it right. As a follower of Jesus Christ, we must have a genuine desire, pure motive and the willingness to make it right. The time for reconciliation is the present. It is now. It should not be delayed or put off.
Jesus instructs us to seek to make it right—right now.
In the beatitudes, Jesus offers us the true character of the heart of those who follow Him. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit do we find the strength and ability to live out Jesus’ words. As His followers we are not given the option to allow anger, bitterness, hatred, pride or any other sin to rule in our hearts. When we allow sin to keep us from making things right in relationships of life, that sin hinders our fellowship with God.
The lesson found in Jesus’ words (verses 25-26) is that when we are wrong, we should be quick to admit it and just as quick to resolve it. We should seek to make things right. Jesus is using the picture of the court of law to help us understand that if we do not make things right we will suffer penalties which exceed our restitution. Again, the point is that we do not want to stand before the judge guilty of wrongdoing. We should make it right and get it settled before it becomes a matter of the court and the judge.
• In the past two weeks, has the Holy Spirit brought anyone to your mind and heart that you need to make things right with? This may be something that happened very recently or something that happened years ago, but it remains unsettled in your life. Has God revealed to you that it is time to make it right? Please answer honestly.
• What kind of strength does it take to make things right with another? Please answer prayerfully and honestly.
Have you allowed any barriers to be placed in your heart toward someone else? Those barriers become hindrances to worship, fellowship and joy with God and relationships with others. If we are not very careful, those barriers we have allowed in our hearts will grow into grudges. There is no place for grudges in the heart of a follower of Jesus Christ.
Jesus helps us understand that life is a very precious gift and we should not waste one valuable second holding grudges and letting resentment, anger, and bitterness rule in our hearts.
As you read this lesson, or as you study in the class today, would you take just a moment and honestly ask God to search your heart? As the Holy Spirit ministers in your heart, does He call to your attention someone who you need to seek and initiate reconciliation with?
One last thought—Remember true reconciliation is not about score keeping or who was right and who was wrong. It’s really not about the details of the offensive or the wrong of the offender. However, it is about the heart of the follower of Jesus Christ—a heart that is truly willing to surrender to the His Lordship, a heart that is willing to abandon all grudges, anger, and resentment toward all others.
Again I ask, “What would today’s worship be like if every true believer asked God to help him/her to live out the truth of Jesus’ instructions of Matthew 5:23-26?”