The Scriptorium

Thinking of Others

The Kingdom - we're in it together. Matthew 18.1-35

Matthew 18: Others First (7)

Pray Psalm 146.1, 2.
Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD, O my soul!
While I live I will praise the LORD;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Sing Psalm 146.1, 2, 10.
(Hallelujah! What a Savior: Man of Sorrows)
Praise the Lord, my soul, give praise! While I live, His Name I’ll raise!
And exalt Him all my days – God forever reigns in Zion!

Read and meditate on Matthew 18.1-35.

Prepare.
1. What attitudes towards others does Jesus encourage in this chapter?

2. What should the Christian’s attitude be toward sin?

Meditate.
We do not live the Christian life alone, or even merely for ourselves. We are fellow-citizens with other believers, and we have a responsibility for one another, to help each other live as citizens of the Kingdom not of this world.

That means humility, honesty, consideration of others, caring and compassion, and a readiness to teach, encourage, and forgive. The more we cultivate and practice these attitudes and duties, the more the Spirit works within us to transform us into the image of Jesus, and to flow the grace of God’s living waters to others (Jn. 7.37-39).

It’s natural for us to think about ourselves first – our interests, our needs, our convenience, our desires. But in the Kingdom, where grace is the currency that we spend and invest in one another, we must be constantly thinking about others, so that we do not cause them to stumble, or wander around in sin and lostness, or fail to gain the binding and loosing benefits of the Word of God.

This is why the writer of Hebrews tells us to “consider” how to encourage one another to love and good works (Heb. 10.24). We have to think about one another, pray for one another, look for opportunities to serve and teach one another, and bear one another’s burdens. The mindset we need is the mindset of Jesus, Who did not look on His own interests, but took up our concerns and needs, and brought us to the glory and joy of eternal life (Phil. 2.1-11).

Reflect.
1. What is your approach to “considering” the people God sends you to each day, to serve them as Jesus would?

2. How can believers help one another to nurture the attitudes and encourage the practices that lead to serving others in Jesus’ Name?

3. How is God’s Word leading you to reach out to someone today with the grace and truth of Jesus?

The Lord teaches that we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven unless we revert to the nature of children, that is, we must recall into the simplicity of children the vices of the body and mind. He has called children all who believe through the faith of listening. For children follow their father, love their mother, do not know how to wish ill on their neighbor, show no concern for wealth, are not proud, do not hate, do not lie, believe what has been said and hold what they hear as truth. Hilary of Poitiers (315-367), On Matthew 18.1

Use me as Your child today, Lord, so that I…

Pray Psalm 146.3-10.
Pray that the Lord will use you today to extend His grace to others, to encourage, assist, edify, or instruct them in His lovingkindness.

Sing Psalm 146.3-10.
Psalm 146.3-10 (Hallelujah! What a Savior!: Man of Sorrows)
Trust we not in prince or man – no salvation’s in their hand;
Death shall take them, breath and plans – God forever reigns in Zion!

Blessed are they whose hope resides in the Lord, Christ at His side.
By Him heav’n and earth abide – God forever reigns in Zion!

He is faithful evermore; He gives justice to the poor,
feeds the hungry from His store – God forever reigns in Zion!

Jesus sets the pris’ner free, heals blind eyes that they may see,
lifts those burdened painfully – God forever reigns in Zion!

He the righteous loves the best; wand’rers in His grace are blessed;
needy ones in Him find rest – God forever reigns in Zion!

But the wicked who defame His eternal blessèd Name,
Them He brings to ruin and shame – God forever reigns in Zion!

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from
The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore