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Lesson # Matt. 5:23-26
Study Material - Matt. 5:23-26
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
23 'If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25 'Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, in order that your opponent may not deliver you to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 'Truly I say to you, you shall not come out of there, until you have paid up the last cent.
You have heard the saying, 'never go to bed angry'. You know, make up with your spouse, your problems, etc. You'll rest easier at night certainly, and your marriage will be far better if both parties make an agreement that they'll never end the day at odds with each other. Life is to short for disagreements and especially in a marriage. If both husband and wife are engaged in a current Bible study, then their self discipline of soul should be greater and a help in their relationship. But that only makes sense. When sin is reduced in the life, then confrontation is reduced as well.
Going to the alter, is the act of worship. We do not take cattle to the alter these days, but we do worship through Bible study. Our Bible class is our alter. And just as we are expected to study and learn daily, to think of what we have learned, to apply what we have learned to our lives, and most important, be in fellowship with God as much as possible, so too, those peoples of ancient times had the same requirements of them.
Just as we have problems in our current day, so too, people throughout history had problems of one type or another. Conflict in the life, whether it be against a family member, a neighbor, an employer, a company, or anyone, then conflict is a distraction to ones spiritual life. If you are upset, then you are out of fellowship. Being angry, worried, etc. are sins of course, and they need to be reconciled in ones life.
It is easy to confess sins to God. You just name it in your fellowship prayer. But the problem probably still exists. Problems just do not turn on and off like a light switch. Often times they hang around for a long time. In this case you need to reconcile the problem within your continuing life. By doing this you are able to regain your focus, your concentration, your self control and composure, and continue your Bible study. And the problem will fix its self in due course. Depending on what you have done to correct it.
If the problem is a legal issue, then you hire a lawyer and let him handle it. You get familiar with the ins and outs of the legal process and then you know what to expect. If the other side will settle somewhere in the middle then better for all. If they do not wish to settle, then you go to a judge and let him settle it. You appeal if that is appropriate, or accept the outcome. You learn from the experience and try to avoid similar situations in the future. If you are overwhelmed in the process, can't afford the resources you really need, then you do what you can, and pray to God for His help.
Jesus Christ gives us a couple of examples. The first being a civil conflict and the second being a criminal matter (perhaps debtors prison). Regardless of your problem, whether civil or criminal, the solution is the same for both with respect to your peace of soul. Stabilize your life by being proactive toward the solution of your problem, then get back to your Bible study.
No, this doesn't mean that you can take a couple of years off from Bible study in order to fix your problems. You'll never get back to Gods Word. You need to learn to stabilize your life on an ongoing basis so that you can continue your Bible study.
It is far better and easier to learn Bible doctrine while there is relative peace and freedom in your life. If your mind is wound up in conflict, then you can't concentrate, you are restless, you are worthless to yourself and everyone else.
You must be in fellowship in order to gain the spiritual benefit available in your Bible study. So just as we have seen in these last several verses, do not start unprovoked conflict. 'Raca' was the word used for an arrogant attitude toward others. Settle all civil issues in your life. Begin the process that will lead to a remedy, and avoid future situations if possible. Take steps to defend yourself and negotiate a punishment for your wrong doings that may have taken your life away from you (hopefully temporarily), so that you can get back on track with your life. If, however, you have crossed the legal line and are going to be a guest of the state for a long time, then be grateful that you are still alive. Even in the big house, Bible study is possible. Your body can be locked away, but your mind cannot.
In the spiritual life, there is equal opportunity and equal privilege for all who are positive toward God. No matter what your problem is in life, whether you burned your toast or burned you bridges, if you are still alive, then God has a plan for your life. That plan begins with spiritual growth to maturity, and that can be accomplished regardless of who, or where, or what you are.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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