Q & A: Restoring Relationships for Him

This is a suggested consideration for the “Message Based Discussion Quesions” that go with the message “Restoring Relationships for Him” posted February 25, 2013 and given on February 24, 2013.  The first part of this includes the full insert information.  The last portion provides considerations for suggested answers.  There may be many answers that can be given, but these will provide you some thoughts on starting your thinking process.

Relationships: Restoring Relationships for Him

Matthew 5:23-24

Why do you need to restore relationships?

1)      God reconciled the world to Himself as our pattern

2 Cor. 5:18-19

·         Eph. 2:16; Col. 1:19-21; Rom. 5:6-11

·         Forgiveness is God’s nature Neh. 9:16-17

·         When God forgives, it’s complete Ps. 103:10-12; Is. 38:17; Heb. 10:14-18

·         God forgives me when I was His enemy Rom. 5:8-10

·         God’s infinite forgiveness costs me nothing 2 Cor. 5:21 

2)      Restoring relationships is more important than worship

 Matt. 5:23-24

·         Eph. 4:31-32

·         Forgive –nasah to lift up; salah- ready to forgive; aphiemi – send away.

·         God wants you to forgive as He does Matt. 18:21-35

o    Forgiveness is designed for all people Matt. 18:1-5 

o    Forgiveness means taking sin seriously Matt. 18:6-9 

o    Forgiveness in the kingdom means going after the lost Matt. 18:10-14

o    Forgiveness must be processed orderly in mercy Matt. 18:15-21; 22-35

3)      Restoring relationships is my responsibility to Him

Luke 17:1-10

 

Restore relationships for Jesus’ sake,
 because He has restored you!

·         Forgiveness is a vertical choice Mark 11:25, so that you can love.

·         Forgiveness starts vertical, the horizontal depends upon the offender accepting responsibility and asking for forgiveness Luke 17:1-4.

·         Forgiveness is not forgetting. Jer. 31:34. 

 

·         How do I know when I’ve forgiven?  Some say, “ I love God,” I just can’t deal with a few of His people.   What about 1 John 4:20-21?

·         When you forgive, do not demand restitution (sometimes it cannot be retrieved or repaid), but instead you demonstrate mercy and love toward him with a goal of reconciliation.   Restitution is part of the process of restoration and should lovingly be pointed out to the offender.

Message Based Discussion Questions

1)      What bothers you most about religious fanatics?

Digging Deeper:

2)      How many steps does Jesus give in Matthew 18 for restoration? ___________          How would you describe the restoration process to a child?  What are danger points in the process? 

3)      What are at least five descriptions of love in 1 Cor. 13.?  _______; __________; ___________; ____________; _______________.

How does 1 Corinthians 13 influence the practical aspect of forgiveness?

4)      To whom are you to offer your body a living sacrifice in Romans 12:1? ______________      What are other principles regarding forgiveness that we can learn from Romans 12?

Implementing the message to your life:

5)      In what relationship situations is restoration difficult?  What do you do?  What counsel would you give another on what to do?

 How do you know when you are restoring for Jesus sake?

 

Message Based Discussion Questions

 1)      What bothers you most about religious fanatics?

a)      They don’t want to listen to other people, but if they’re fanatical about Jesus, I can’t argue with that.

b)      They have a one track mind.

c)      They don’t care what others think or say, so they often don’t build bridges to help others understand.

d)     They are not very balanced in life.

e)      They come across very opinionated.  But if they are opinionated for Jesus, then who can argue with that!?

Digging Deeper:

2)      How many steps does Jesus give in Matthew 18 for restoration? ___three_____          How would you describe the restoration process to a child?  What are danger points in the process? 

a)      Considering a child, it has to be concrete and use a brother or sister example.  Let’s say a brother took his Xbox and threw it or stepped on it.  Most children don’t have the patience or self-discipline to carefront the brother in love. He’ll just throw a tantrum, start yelling, or cause harm against his brother. So help the child consider the character of God, and that God is still in control.  Help him remember that all things belong to God.  Help him learn that his relationship with his brother is more important than having the toy that was destroyed and there is a way to seek help from God – through the parents.  Then go to the brother and say in a confident, but calm and patient way, “Brother, you broke my toy.”  If your brother hears you and changes his thinking to say, “I’m sorry,” or even “Will you forgive me,” then you’ve restored your relationship and won your brother.  But if he doesn’t listen, then go get your parents, or an older brother or sister if your parents aren’t home and do the same thing in a confident, but patient and calm way, “Brother, you broke my toy.”  If he hears and changes his thinking to say, “I’m sorry,” or even “Will you forgive me,” then you’ve restored your relationship and won your brother.  If he doesn’t listen to you, then let your parents decide what to do.  Trust your parents to do what is right.

—The child may be in school, so help him see similar steps, but in this case, get counsel from your parents.  The friend whom you get or your teacher may not understand biblical truth or procedures and you can create greater problems. 

b)      Danger points include:

i)        Thinking you know exactly what happened.  You may have misunderstood or not seen all the details.  So use Gal. 6:1 and look to yourself to try to understand the matter from the offender’s perspective, then discern God’s leading.

ii)      Approaching the person impatiently or with self-righteousness or anger (Jam. 1:20).  The person will likely dig his heels in and resist.

iii)    Expecting the person to respond immediately.  He may be resisting the Holy Spirit already and it may take a few hours for the person to be convicted.

iv)    Talking about the situation with someone who is not a part of the solution before talking to the offender.  We talk to others out of the name of trying to get information or sharing our problem or trying to get prayer support.  Just as “Loose lips sink ships,” so loose lips create havoc in a church and between relationships.

v)      Not following the order of Matt. 18:5-17.  If you bring others in too quickly it may create problems.  However, a girl should never approach an older man by herself.  She should have a protector with her or even have the protector do the talking depending on the circumstances.  God does not expect a bruised reed to approach a walled city.  Keep the situation in context with all of Scripture.  Seek discernment from God’s Word (Heb. 5:12-14).

vi)    Not confronting and just hoping “time will heal.”  That’s the approach too many of us take and that’s why relationships continue to crumble.  That’s why the world doesn’t see the miracle of God’s restoration process.

vii)  Bringing up other issues and blaming the person.  It’s like someone who asks for forgiveness and says, “Please forgive me for yelling at you, WHEN you slammed the door in my face.”  That’s not taking responsibility.  First, ask for forgiveness of what you did wrong, then seek restoration of the relationship.  Then when the relationship is restored, carefront the person, or disciple them to the truth.

 

3)      What are at least five descriptions of love in 1 Cor. 13.?  _patient_; _kind__; __not rude__; _bears all things_; __never fails__.   How does 1 Corinthians 13 influence the practical aspect of forgiveness?

a)      When I approach an offender, I must have all these expressions of love present and visible to the offender.

b)      I must be patient, because the person may resist at first.

c)      I must use kind words, because I’m seeking to restore, not for my purposes, but for Jesus’ sake.

d)     I must not be rude or sarcastic, because that is not love and that will often be misinterpreted by the offender.

e)      I must not keep a record of wrongs suffered and become hysterical or historical.

f)       I must “bear all things,” in that I put up and bear with the sins of others as I rise above the adversities and disciple them to the truth. 

g)      I must “believe the best about all things,” in that I trust God is at work in both of our lives and I believe that God will work in both of our hearts to restore the relationship.  So I keep doing the right thing rather than getting even or expecting right actions.

h)      I must “hope for the best about all things,” in that I have my hope in God, not the other person to change.

i)        I must endure all things, in that I may have to go through suffering in the relationship for awhile, until God moves in his life.   And I must not fail.  I can’t do this unless I’m trusting in Jesus and depending on the power of the Holy Spirit.

4)      To whom are you to offer your body a living sacrifice in Romans 12:1? _to God___      What are other principles regarding forgiveness that we can learn from Romans 12?

a)      If I’m going to be effective in restoring someone, I need to commit my life to God as a holy sacrifice.  I can’t enter into restoration processes without God’s blessing (12:1)

b)      I need to keep on renewing my mind to understand how God is using the circumstance to help me grow up, because God is able to use every situation to help me be conformed to the image of Jesus (12:2; 8:28-29)

c)      I need to think not highly of myself, that is be arrogance, or I will approach in self-righteousness rather than humility (12:3)

d)     I need to recognize that the offender may be a part of the body of Christ and I need to treat the body of Christ with respect, care and humility.  Even if wronged and a firm rebuke is required, I need to look for the best interests of the other person, not at my own pain or hurt (12:4)

e)      I need to recognize I may not be very good at this and others may be better.  Maybe I could learn from others without mentioning the circumstances or names, so I could be more biblical (12:6-8)

f)       I need to approach without hypocrisy (12:9), in other words, I’m not doing it to fix the person, but to help us both draw closer to Jesus.

g)      I need to approach with kind affection, even if he’s wrong, given preference to his preferences instead of my own.  That is, if I’m hurt over style or preference, I may need to recognize that his action is not sin, but just another way of doing things.  If my feelings are hurt, I may need to grow up (12:10)

h)      I need to be diligent to seek restoration of the relationship (12:11)

i)        I need to be patient in approach and steadfast in prayer (12:12)

j)        Dot, dot, dot… I need to live peaceably as far as it depends on me (12:18)

Implementing the message to your life:

5)      In what relationship situations is restoration difficult?  What do you do?  What counsel would you give another on what to do?

a)      Marriage relationships are likely the most difficult, because of the intimacy and love that is shared.  The expectations are hard to control.  It’s easy to be greatly hurt by the one from whom you expect love (Eph. 5:22-33).

b)      Children relationships can be difficult if we don’t follow Deut 6:6-9.

c)      Church relationships can be difficult because we’re supposed to be worshiping God and some don’t understand the division that they may cause by their preferences or antagonistic actions (Acts 20:29-30)

d)     Business relationships can be tough, because it’s a dog eat dog world and the bottom line is always the dollar.  People pursue that so strongly that the principles of God’s Word go out the window (Pro. 3:10-15)

e)      Neighbor relationships can be challenging, because you’re living right there and you want to witness the gospel, but agreements, plans, preferences can get in the way (Pro. 3:26-31)

f)       The counsel would be to move slow, but deliberately.

i)        Be prayed up and confessed up.

ii)      To follow Gal. 6:1-5

iii)    To make sure your eyes are on Jesus (Heb. 12:2)

iv)    Accept this as an opportunity to grow (2 Pet. 3:18)

v)      Do the right thing (Jam. 1:22)

 

6)      How do you know when you are restoring for Jesus sake?

a)      That is often hard, because our hearts are desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9-10)

b)      Sin is deceitful and we don’t realize what our motives are (Heb. 3:13)

c)      I know when, I have forgiven and sense love toward the person (Mark 11:25)

d)     When I realize that the incident is one in which God is teaching me how to become more godly (Rom. 8:28-29)

e)      When I am thankful in the situation, because I trust God is at work and will use it to glorify Himself (1 Thes. 5:18; John 17:1-3)

f)       When I am more concerned with his welfare, than my own harm (1 John 4:20-21; John 13:31-35)

g)      When I am patient and calm in my approach (Gal. 6:1)

h)      When I go to the person, I accept that he may not respond, that is I don’t expect the person to just do the right thing immediately and I don’t react if he doesn’t (John 13:1-35)

i)        When I am willing to serve the person (John 13:4-5)

j)        When I am willing to disciple to the truth (John 13:6-17)

k)      When I am willing to rise above the circumstances (John 13:18-30)

l)        When I am willing to overcome and love exactly as Jesus does (John 13:31-35)

m)    When it’s for Jesus and not for me (1 Cor. 10:31)

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