Teacher, It appears clear to us that turning away from potential sinful temptation and practicing accountability to ourselves, our community of believers and our Triune God goes hand in hand. Is there a procedure that we may follow to stay on the path of righteousness?
This is a well phrased issue that addresses the ever present temptation we experience in our daily lives as sinners!
We define righteousness as allowing the Holy Spirit to inspire us, coming to scriptural knowledge, accepting scripture as the true Word of God, believing in Jesus as Savior and receiving the gift of salvation that He freely gives us. Rom. 14, Matt. 16.
Accountability to one another is an aspiration we strive for in daily practice of our faith, belief in Scripture as the true Word of The Lord, and is a tenet of the LCMC. Accountability requires commitment and community interaction, bilaterally, one to all and all to one. Accountability is an essential redeeming life skill.
Research discovers these effective accountability methods and practices:
We find the presentation of accountability to one another and The Lord in Scripture, Paul. Galatians 1, 2.
First, Paul rebukes the Galatians for their desertion of the Gospel; next, he blames the confusion on those who perverted the Gospel; and then he pronounces a solemn condemnation of all who tamper with the truth of the Gospel.
Finally Free, Dr. Heath Lambert, Professor of Biblical Counseling, SBTS. 2013.
1. Effective accountability does not rely exclusively on accountability alone. Accountability is one tool in the tool bag to assure productive Christian Faith based behavior.
2. Effective accountability is involved early rather than late. It is a best practice to call out to others for help before you sin.
3. Effective accountability involves someone with maturity. Connect with someone that has an established record of victory over sin.
4) Effective accountability involves someone with authority. Heb. 13. Responsibility is key.
5) Effective accountability should avoid explicit details. Eph. 5. This practice allows your accountability person to help you best.
6) Effective accountability places the responsibility for confession on the person with the problem. This realization practice requires a voluntary “Full and Free Confession” without pushing.
7) Effective accountability must actually hold people accountable. Let us engage in Open Dialogue.
We should actively practice and experience satisfactory multi-directional accountability by following these steps. We can meet and discuss expectation and practice further as we engage prayer and fellowship.
Almighty God, you sent your Holy Spirit to be the life and light of your church. Open our hearts to the riches of your grace, that we may be ready to receive you wherever you may appear, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Teacher, How do we navigate through the complex emotion and procedure dealing with the combination sin and grief?
Grief may visit us during life events in classic fashion, such as death of a loved one or some significant loss, but we may also experience grief when someone has sinned against us in a fashion that results in actual or perceived loss or emotional harm, whether this result is intended or not.
We may encounter this even when we are the type of person that may shrug off those more trivial “sins of little consequence” that we experience from time to time.
In Scripture, Matthew 18 gives us a framework to follow in social interaction with the sinner. We must first pray for guidance, then approach this person, in the spirit of brotherly love, and clearly state our concerns about this person’s harmful behavior toward us or others. Hopefully this will result in dialogue and a heartfelt confession from the person responsible for the harm. (Rite of Confession. Small Catechism. Martin Luther.) Of course Forgiveness (Reconciliation, Absolution) should follow as this person has made a formal decision to seek forgiveness and come back into grace. Should this person choose to ignore or respond inappropriately to the invitation to dialogue, Scripture states that we should bring others with us to visit with the person to discuss the harmful interaction. This allows the person another opportunity to come into dialogue, confession and a state of grace and peaceful resolution with the individual and community.
Should this person ignore this opportunity to engage resolution with the community, then he or she should be “treated as a Gentile or tax collector.” This is serious stuff! Furthermore, we are told that what is “bound on earth will be bound in heaven.” Jesus goes on to explain, “If two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Matt. 18.
As a community of believers, we can come to understand the process of sin, confession, forgiveness, grace, the grief process and support our fellow believer transition from denial to acceptance and / or from sin to forgiveness and grace!
We pray for all to “come to the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, that will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4.
Five Stages of Grief
On Death and Dying The Kübler-Ross model, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. 1969.
Denial and Isolation – A normal reaction to acknowledging grief.
Anger – Recognition that denial no longer works.
Bargaining – Hope for “undoing” or avoidance of grief.
Depression – We become “tuned into reality.” The ability to deal with harsh reality is muted.
Acceptance – “Coming to terms” with the focus of the grief. This is not necessarily approval nor gratitude, but merely assent to the reality one faces.
“Feelings come and feelings go,
And feelings are deceiving;
My warrant is the Word of God,
Naught else is worth believing.
Though all my heart should feel condemned
For want of some sweet token,
There is One greater than my heart
Whose Word cannot be broken.
I’ll trust in God’s unchanging Word
Till soul and body sever,
For, though all things shall pass away,
HIS WORD SHALL STAND FOREVER!” Amen. Martin Luther.
Teacher, Although we make an effort to pray throughout our day, Speaking with Jesus through the Joy and the pain, sometimes it works better than others. What can we do so that we may experience more meaningful prayer more often?
Jesus wants us to pray. Jesus invites us to talk to Him. He has time for all our prayers and thoughts – none are too small or unimportant – all are significant to the One who became man, showed us the way, died for our sins and gifted everyone of us who believe the gift of Salvation.
We may choose to borrow “Ancient Practices” from LifeTreeCafe.com.
Ancient Practices to adopt in prayer to Jesus …
Drawing Closer to God
Lectio Divina – Meditation engaging Scripture as the living Word of God.
Embrace community – Find comfort in relationships that promote Honesty.
Embrace solitude – Time to be alone to Listen to God speaking to you.
Practice mindfulness – Engage physical activity while Meditating.
Seek the sight of God at work – Look for signs that God is acting in your life.
Respect rest and renewal – Daily reflection promotes Spiritual growth.
Embrace forgiveness – Giving and accepting forgiveness allows understanding.
Serve others – Give yourself cheerfully.
Reach out to God – Allow God every Opportunity to reshape you.
Shelve cynicism – Attentiveness allows greater positive experiences.
Read Bible with an open mind – Grow in your relationship with God.
Spirit of Peace Church is Partnering with Academy Science to Bring an Enjoyable Family Experience to the Community.
Academy Science is a youth group led by adult volunteers that engages science exploration year round. We participate in competitions and community demonstrations throughout the year. We do Rockets, FLL, CEENBoT, River City Robotics, 4-H County and State Fairs, camps, and other activities we find interesting. We have FUN!
We are meeting the community on the weekend of August 16th in Valley, Nebraska.
Everyone is invited to visit and participate!
Valley Nebraska Sesquicentennial Celebration events hosted by Academy Science
Questions? Please email: Hanus.Academy@gmail.com
Saturday, August 16
Sponsored by Academy Science
Valley Vets Club
Robotics and Disaster Preparedness Demonstration
LEGO and CEENBot robotics
Learn how to prepare for a disaster!
DC West High School Cafeteria (During open house)
Making and Shooting Air Rockets
All ages welcome!
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Drinks and dessert
(Available until sold out)
Sponsored by Spirit of Peace
8:30 pm and later
DC West High School Field
See the stars (bring your own telescope or use ours)
Sunday, August 17
Valley City Park Large Pavillion
All are welcome!
Potluck and Fellowship
All are welcome with or without a dish!
Get Your FREE Tickets Here:
Aug 16 & 17 Spirit of Peace Participates in Hosting Valley Sesquicentennial Celebration Events