Devin Lerwick - Montana Gospel Meetings - January 18, 2015

Hymn #34 (Teach Us, Lord)

Matthew 18:7-9:

“Woe unto the world because of offenses!  For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh!  Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.  And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.”

Dennis mentioned different words and meaning behind them.  Offense means to stumble or a snare something that causes us to stumble.  It says to not offend or being made an offense, this is spiritual.  He was talking about things that could cause us to stumble in our walk, or something we might see or handle spiritually speaking.  Things we would do, see or walk.  Jesus wasn't asking us to physically cut off our hand.  Stumbling is a dangerous thing.  If you keep stumbling, eventually you will fall. That is how things get broken.  It would be wonderful to remove things that cause us to stumble.

There was a man in Wyoming that has cancer in his leg. It is fast growing cancer. The doctor looked at it and said, "We’ll try and remove it and get it all out."  He said, "I’m into saving lives first and limbs second."  I am thankful that is the same spirit God has and He cares more about our soul than anything else.

It says if there are things that offend thee, cast it from thee.  Don't keep them around as it will cause you to fall but get them out of sight and mind.

I’ll read in the 2nd verse through the 4th of this same chapter, “And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, 'Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as a little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'”  Jesus went from speaking about this to things that offend. The best way to face offense is as a little child, with a tender heart.  Children don’t cause offense or take offense.

I was thinking of the eye and things we might look at and desire.  There are times I wish I could go back to being a little boy.  Maybe you have had that wish.  A wish to be blind so that I do not find things appealing to my eye…thinking if I get things right there would not be that struggle.  It would be wonderful if we could have a childlike eye and not desire flesh and the world.  We are born with an earthly perspective on life.  We tend to see just this earth and natural things.  Hopefully we’ll see with the eye of faith and have a heavenly perspective.  To see the earth is just dust and see with a heavenly perspective.  That’s the way Jesus saw.  He looked through God’s eyes.  He saw the people and looked upon them with compassion and as sheep without a shepherd.  He had the right heart, eye, and perspective.  We are thankful that we can see as Jesus saw and not be critical and have a good heart.

Next I was thinking about our hands, what we might be grasping onto.  Little children when they are born they come out with a fist, with their hands clenched. That is how we came into the world. We want to grab onto and keep things but we die with our hands open.  Whatever we have gathered here on earth we will not take with us.  It would be wonderful if the things we have gathered won't get in the way of our spiritual goal and we don’t get too busy for the things of God.

In I John 1:1, it says, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.”  He’s speaking here about heaven.  When Jesus was resurrected, He had them touch him and do wonderful things.  Spiritually speaking when we get to know Jesus, we get to handle precious stones where before we were handing temporary things like hay, rubble, and earthly things.  Jesus’ hands healed, He broke bread and drew them near and comforted people.  I am thankful for the kindness in His hands.

At my cousin’s wedding, there was a little boy who was the ring bearer.  The ring didn't mean as much to him as it did to the people getting married.  He was playing with it and he dropped it.  So he picked it up and continued to play with it. He dropped it two more times and the final time it rolled into a crack and it as gone!  What to do?  There was someone nearby took off his ring and gave the little boy the ring and he held onto so tight as to not lose it ever again.  When he realized it could be gone, he wasn't going to let it go.  It is wonderful if we could have that desire.

Sometimes we do not know the worth of what we have…the worth of the Bible, fellowship with the children of God and with God.  We want to handle these things with love and treasure them and realize how precious it is.  We don’t want to let it go.  So often we let go of precious things and grab onto the baser things in life; if we would only hold onto these precious things tighter.

I then thought of the feet.  What is wrote of Jesus in Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation that saith unto Zion, 'Thy God reigneth!'”

It is a wonderful picture of Jesus coming.  "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet."  Also His footsteps led to heaven.  I am so thankful His feet have brought good tidings and showed us where and how to walk.

Isaiah 11, is speaking of Jesus’ coming; “and there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him.”  In verse 6, it tells us of the effects of the spirit - “the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.”  I like that. I am thankful for the leading of Jesus.  He had the spirit of a child.  Where a child can go, anyone can follow.  Any soul can follow Jesus, if they are willing to be a child.

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet."  We attempted the highest peak in Wyoming and one thing I found up high was the steps can be very dangerous. Every step following Jesus we want to be very sure.  To stumble or fall could mean your life.  Spiritually it could cost our life if things get in the way.

In the workshop, if I trip over something it gets put out of the way immediately.  I’d like to be that way spiritually to get it out of the way.  I am thankful He knows our hearts, our eyes, our feet, and our hands.  He was willing to have a nature like ours.  He’s gone before us and He can help us follow and cast out those things that harm.

 I hope we all would be sensitive to His leading.

Hymn #372 (May the Lord Depend on You?)