GOD's ARMY, CONTENDING for the FAITH
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murjahel

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If you want to feed spiritual milk, pablum, and meat appropriately, there is a process of running that 'restaurant' (church)...

1. GO TO THE TROUBLED

Matthew 18:15

"Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between he and thee alone..."

When the waiting for one to come and confess the fault is unfruitful, the exhorter needs to approach the one with the fault. The fault is not always a sin, but a scar, a wound, from a sin of another. They are not to just gossip about the problem. Gossip is a sign of the absence of proper church discipline. (Gossip also shows the need for corrective discipline itself.) Nothing so poisons a congregational fellowship as gossip. Sometimes gossip is not malicious, but that does not make it appropriate.

Some people are "prayer gossiped". This is the type of prayer request where the whole sin is revealed to a congregation with the excuse at the end of asking for prayer.

Some people are "prayer judged." These people are attacked and condemned within the public prayer in the congregation. They are not truly asking for the mercy and help of the Lord, they are trying through their prayer to get the congregation to feel anger and desire judgment for the one mentioned in prayer.

These are not following the method prescribed by the Lord. The Lord wants us to approach the one in the fault on a private basis first. Go to them with a heart of love, a promise of forgiveness, a hope of restoration and healing.



2. SPEAK ABOUT THE PROBLEM


Go to God in prayer first before approaching the wounded one. When you come to them, admit your concern to them. Remember, that you may have a distorted picture of the real situation, so listen. But don't let the person distract you from the real problem. Don't let them beat around the bush, get them to the point. Be sure that real reconciliation is your main goal.


Discernment - Wisdom - and Knowledge are needed. These three gifts of the Spirit need to be operating in the life of the exhorter. Every exhorter should desperately ask for the operation of these gifts as they set out to be an exhorter. There is a great need to distinguish between irritation, personality quirks, cultural differences, wounds from the past, and sin. Sometimes the problem is the beam in the accuser's eye, and not the mote in the accused's eye.


The art of listening is crucial. Resist the desire to win arguments. Show sympathy. Be a friend, not a foe. An understanding listener is usually all that is needed. Don't rush, many loving, and exhorting visits may be necessary.



3. KEEP A FORGIVING ATTITUDE


Two things happen if we fail to be forgiving. First, we cease to be a channel of forgiveness for God. Secondly, we cease to experience the release of God's forgiveness toward us personally.

Matthew 6:14-15

"But if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."


We are expected to be forgiving. We do not forgive them because they deserve it; rather, we forgive them because God has been merciful to us. When we don't forgive, we grow guilt-burdened and hard-hearted. We cease to feel God's forgiveness in our own lives. Since none of us are perfect, we cannot afford to squander the mercy of God.


Tell them about the Lord’s forgiveness for them, and for the ones that have hurt them. This forgiveness from God is broadly given, and God wants to heal the victim, and the victimizer.



4. GIVE SPIRITUAL TRAINING AS DIRECTED BY THE SPIRIT


Training in holiness must include:

healing for wounds of past sins,
healing for feelings of inferiority,
healing for feelings of unworthiness,
healing for guilt of wrongs done,
and healing the wounds inflicted by others.



Training is an on-going work. Jesus spent three years with His disciples. He loved them, and taught them. Yet, when the test came, they failed. We should not expect that the one we have exhorted for a short time will now go out and be perfect. One encouragement and prayer time is just the start of a whole process of spiritual training. The Holy Spirit is the head teacher in the process. We are simply allowing the Spirit to direct us in some of the lessons. Humbly allow the Spirit to give you the right words, the right Scriptures, and the right attitudes. Give the guidance, offer the reconciliation.

5. REMEMBER TO INTERCEDE


After the training and exhorting is done, the ministry does not cease. Since more training is necessary, and it is obvious that we are now being used by the Holy Spirit in the process of His training, the key is to intercede and stay informed of the Lord on what more is to be said to the person. God will use us more, and our prayers will effect much. The prayers will keep us involved in the ministry of the Spirit to the one we exhorted. Healing is a progressive work on the soul, its wounds become scars, healed but still present. The healing continues.

If the congregations of today, restore the ministry of exhortation as directed by the Lord, the congregations will be an agent of healing to this world.


Jeremiah spoke to the religious of his time and said:

Jeremiah 3:2-3

"... thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms, and with thy wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain."



In our day also, the healing work of the church cannot come to its epitome until we deal righteously with the sin of the religious people. The showers of blessing, and the latter rain downpours are being withholden from us until the ministry of exhortation is again installed within the congregations.

 

That is the proper approach to the customers of the Spiritual restaurant (church), and when done as above, the feeding can commence, the menu can be determined, the digestion of the food will be enabled, and growth will commence in the souls of the restaurant's patrons.


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murjahel
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