Join us today for an episode about how we are called to be a reconciling body as the church...
Today's episode is focused on Matthew 18: 15-20 and Exodus 12: 1-14...
In today’s Spiritual Foundation Episode, I talk about both Matthew 18: 15-20 and Exodus 12: 1-14. I talk about how we are called to be a reconciling body in church. I also talk about how that means that every act is an act of worship.
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Episode 1355: What is the Sign?
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining me on episode 1, 355 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:00:07] Marcus Hall: I'm Marcus Hall, author of Spiritual Wealth, A 40 Day Journey to Developing Stewardship Mindset. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence, and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your calling.
[00:00:22] Having the ability to steward your resources is key. And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this, the Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend, Scott Maderer.
[00:00:37] Scott Maderer: Because out of this function of reconciliation is an example of worshiping God. Reconciling with others is a way of worshiping God. Healing brokenness is a way of worshiping God. Putting people back together and inviting them into relationship with each [00:01:00] other, with us and with God is worship. Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:01:09] If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.
[00:01:35] In today's Spiritual Foundation episode, I talk about both Matthew chapter 18, verses 15 through 20, and Exodus chapter 12, verses 1 through 14. I talk about how we are called to be a reconciling body in church. And I also talk about how that means that every act is an act of worship. Matthew chapter 18 verses 15 through 20 says, If another member of [00:02:00] the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone.
[00:02:05] If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church, and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
[00:02:29] Truly, I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, I, truly, I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.
[00:02:49] Exodus chapter 12 verses 1 through 14 says, The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, This month shall mark for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the [00:03:00] year for you. Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month, they are to take a lamb for each family.
[00:03:07] A lamb for each household. If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one. The lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year old male. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.
[00:03:23] You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month. Then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lentil of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the lamb that same night, thou shalt eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
[00:03:45] Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roast it over the fire with its head, legs, and inner organs. You shall let none of it remain until the morning. Anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. This is how you shall eat it. Your loins [00:04:00] girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand, and you shall eat it hurriedly.
[00:04:04] It is the Passover of the Lord. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals. On all the gods of Egypt, I will execute judgment. I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live.
[00:04:23] Where I see blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance. As we come to this passage and these passages, the question comes to mind, are we called to look for signs of God's presence?
[00:04:52] Are we called to be a sign of God's presence? I think the answer to that question, [00:05:00] most of you would probably not be surprised, that my answer at least is, yes, we're supposed to be. Both of those. We are to be looking for God's presence and we also are to be the presence of God and point it out, show it, live it.
[00:05:20] Part of that, I think back to whenever I was growing up, I think there was a period where we often had different clothes for church and different clothes for the rest of the week. We put on, quote, church clothes. And I'll be honest, I don't really do that anymore. I dress relatively, quote, normal, like I do the rest of the week for church, but I still see people that put on church clothes for church.
[00:05:47] They weren't just fancy clothes. They're a little nicer looking. They're maybe worn a little less often. They have a little bit of extra polish or flair sometimes. But it really isn't about, quote, [00:06:00] the clothes. that we were putting on. In a way, the clothes were a reminder that we need to put on a certain attitude, a church attitude.
[00:06:12] Things are expected of you when you, quote, put on church clothes. You're maybe meant to keep it a little cleaner in thought and in word and attitude. You're maybe meant to treat each other a little better. Watch what you say, both to someone as well as behind someone's back. And in a way, when we moved away from church clothes, which again, by the way, I'm a fan of, we sometimes also seem to have moved away from the church attitude.
[00:06:45] We've had to explain to people what it means to put on church clothes, and sometimes we actually have to look at what we're doing to put on. Our church attitude. [00:07:00] We show up sometimes and we compartmentalize our lives into church and non-church, and yet we're really meant to live every day of our life as if we're in the presence of God because we are, we're supposed to live every day loving our neighbors as ourselves, and we sometimes need reminders of that.
[00:07:26] Sometimes we need a moment to take off the clothes of the world and the expectations that go with that and put on our church clothes again. And sometimes that is part of the reason, that reset, that refocus on our thinking and our acting is the answer to the question, why do we need the church? Matthew is the only example in a gospel of using that word church.
[00:07:53] It's only in two passages here and in chapter 16 when he tells Peter that Peter will be the [00:08:00] foundation of the church. So it probably is significant that word appears a couple of times. In the epistles, in the letters, church appears about 72 times. It occurs others. You can count it more depending on which books you look in and how you count it.
[00:08:18] But the point is during that period, the church was a big concern and there's a lot of focus in there, but here in the gospel, it appears that we're calling out the function of church and at first glance, it seems okay. Great. This passage in Matthew talks about Something that seems to call for being, pushing people out or separating people, but I would actually argue that this passage is about reconciliation.
[00:08:53] In fact, at least from the Gospels, this seems to be the only function that the church is called to. [00:09:00] Reconciling. We're in the business of putting things together, of healing breaches, of overcoming things that keep us apart, about making sure that no one feels like an outsider. Now, you're probably saying to yourself, but wait a minute, what about verse 17 in this passage?
[00:09:21] It says... Boot the people out, right? It says if they, you go to them yourself, if they don't reconcile, then go to them with witnesses. If they don't reconcile, bring it before the whole church. And if they still refuse, then treat the person as a Gentile or a tax collector. And at first glance, we think boo, hiss, toss them out, treat them badly, exile them, push them away.
[00:09:47] But think for a minute, how did Jesus treat the tax collectors? He actually put one on his team. One of the disciples is a tax collector. How did Jesus treat [00:10:00] Gentiles? He went to them. He preached to them. He invited them. Yeah, there are some incidences where maybe there's some harshness to Gentiles, but he then turns and welcomes them as well.
[00:10:16] Despite... Millions of examples and centuries of church history. I don't think these words are meant to give us permission to cut people off. Instead, it's to remind us that we should treat them, the sinner, the breaker of the covenant, the person that's messed up, we still should treat them with love and with invitation.
[00:10:40] We should always be trying to heal what is broken. We might be invited to change tactics or change our approach because Jesus does treat the disciples, those inside the community, differently from those outside. But the difference isn't one of love or loving [00:11:00] them less. In fact, instead, the difference is those that are on the inside are expected to work harder, to do more, to love more, to be more gentle, to be more forgiving.
[00:11:12] Jesus often calls out the insiders failings, but for the outsider, he's encouraged and invited and challenged, but challenged with love and with gentleness and with recognizing that we're not perfect on the inside either. I don't think Jesus is saying treat them like outsiders by turning your back on them.
[00:11:34] Instead, he's saying change tactics. Continue to reconcile with them, continue to invite them in, continue to spend time with them, continue to love them, continue to not judge them.
[00:11:53] Because out of this function of reconciliation is an example of worshiping God. [00:12:00] Reconciling with others is a way of worshiping God. Healing brokenness is a way of worshiping God. Putting people back together and inviting them into relationship with each other, with us, and with God is worship. Think about the communion liturgy that you probably have heard before.
[00:12:26] Christ invites to his table all who love him, who earnestly repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with one another. Loving Christ, repenting of sin, and living in peace are all part and purpose of worship and reconciliation. And we're to do that outwardly in an invitational way, not by telling everyone what they're getting wrong.
[00:12:55] People talk about we should live to the Bible. [00:13:00] Follow the Bible. I don't follow a book. I follow a God. I follow Christ. I try to follow those teachings. The Bible is a representation of that, but it is not the thing I worship. People need the church as a way of reminding that's the reconciling worship that we do.
[00:13:25] If you look at Exodus, there's a reference to clothes getting up and getting dressed, but it's also talks a lot about eating. It talks a lot about the etiquette of how to do this ritual in this ceremony. And that practice became Passover. If you notice, underneath that ritual is a calling to see our whole lives as answering and beholden to God.
[00:13:51] We're called to see everything we do as part of worship. How we eat, how we dress, how we do [00:14:00] everything is part of worshiping God. And we're called to do these things, to do ritual, to do liturgy, to behave in a certain way, to act in a certain way. so that we are aware of God's presence, but so that we also reflect God's presence into the world.
[00:14:18] We are doing it to both see the worship and act of God as well as to be the worship and acts of God. Thanks for listening.
[00:14:35] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, do me a favor, go over to facebook. com slash inspired [00:15:00] stewardship And like our Facebook page and mark it that you'd like to get notifications from us so that we can connect with you on Facebook and make sure that we're serving you to the best of our abilities with time and tips there.
[00:15:18] Until next time, invest your time. Your talent and your treasures develop your influence and impact the world.
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In today's episode, I talk with you about:
Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them." – Matthew 18: 19-20