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Author Topic: My brother has returned!
Itty-Bitty Girl
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Member # 4579

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Yo, that letter was cold! I couldn't stop reading it, and I don't even like to read!

My favorite part was the breakdown of them verses in Matthew about the brothers in the church! That was fire, yo! It gave me a better understanding of it all. You a beast for that one.

Well anyways, I believe your brother is truly God's child... the proof of this is continuing to be manifest through his behavior. I believe others will continue to see his fruit for the lord.

And thank you Aaron, for listening to the Spirit of God, and continuing to pray! Don't you see how God works?

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Aaron
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I wrote this some time ago. Some in my family were treating my brother's sin as simply bad behavior not worthy of discipline."After all," they reasoned, "he is an adult."

This letter caused quite a rift. Many were encouraged. Others thought it was "high and mighty". I though it was both encouraging and high and mighty, for such are the things of the Lord. [Smile]

May it bless you to know that the Lord has restored my brother.

5/20/05

To my family,

My neighbor has children. I have children. When my neighbor’s children act up I do not correct them, their father corrects them. When my children act up I do not send them to the neighbor’s house to be corrected. I correct them. As their father I am responsible for the guidance my children receive. If they need to be corrected I correct them. My neighbor has a responsibility to correct his own children.

Now, if my neighbor should die and I should adopt his children as my own then I would care for them as their father. Since they are now under my care they should expect to receive the same care and guidance I give to my biological children.

It is highly probable that I will correct my children harshly, at times. Usually, the more severe the disobedience the harsher the correction. If, say, my daughter would not sit up straight at the dinner table I may simply remind her with words, “Honey, sit up straight.” If she were rude to a guest and belligerent toward them I would correct her much more harshly, perhaps even spank her. The issue is not about being more serious, I am just as serious when I tell her to sit up as when I spank her for being rude to a guest.

Also, as her father, I can simply forgive her if she should offend me. If she were to call me stupid, for instance, I could say, “I forgive you for that.” Yet, if she were to offend her mother (my wife) I could not simply say, “I forgive you”. Why? Because, as the one with authority in our family, I am obligated to protect both my daughter AND my wife. If I should dismiss my daughter’s rudeness toward her mother, her mother would rightfully feel as if the issue was never handled correctly…she was not supported properly by me, her husband.

And why do I correct my daughters? Because I love them and I want the best for them. I do not want them to suffer needlessly. I turn them away from belligerence because rude people are despised. Also, I correct them because they share my name and the name of my father. My daughter carries my name with her wherever she goes, and also the name of her grandfather. And, since our wives willingly took our last name in marriage they, too, suffer loss if my daughter should be rude. If I should let my daughter be rude my whole extended family suffers loss. This is one reason why marriage cannot be taken lightly.

These things above all deal with the issue of authority. Notice, they also deal with love…love within a family.

Now, I want to talk about Kory.

I was there when Kory accepted Christ as his personal Savior. He confessed that Christ took away his sins on the cross. At that moment Kory became “saved”…a born-again believer. Because of his current behavior I labored over this issue for many, many months. But I believe with all my heart that Kory is saved. Unlike some Christians I do not believe you can lose your eternal life once you obtain it. I will not go into the explanation here except for one thought: God wanted sons. He chose men to be His sons. All who accept Jesus become God’s sons. If it were up to man to fulfill God’s want for sons then God could not have the sons he wanted. Having sons is completely up to God.

So, Kory is son to God. God is his Father. When Kory disobeys God he should expect God to correct Him. Now, this happens even if, when Kory is disobedient, he does not think God is his Father. Ignorance does not absolve one from the law. Gravity would still operate upon your body even if you did not believe in gravity. The law of Life states that all believers are born from above with God as their Father. This is always true for the believer.

Kory left his family. He decided to be with another woman. This is sin. God corrects sin in His children because God knows that sin can ruin a person’s life. Although God’s children cannot die eternally they can loose their reward in Heaven and suffer much loss on earth. Also, God corrects them because His name goes with them: “Christ-ian”. His children carry the name of His Son where ever they go.

Because God is not on earth in the flesh He charges His children with the work that He does…believers are empowered by God to do the work that needs done. So, for all who believe in Jesus and who know and love Kory, we can expect God to give us something to do concerning Kory’s sin. I believe a passage in Matthew will help us understand what God wants us to do:

Matt. 18:15-17 ".. if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established’. And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”

Let me break it down:

".. if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.”

Here we have the word “brother”. Jesus is speaking to his disciples. Their “brothers” are all believers since all believers are God’s sons. Jesus is speaking of the eternal family not our family on earth. Again, God only disciplines His children.

Has Kory sinned against me…has he done something that caused offense to me? Certainly! What should I do? I should go to him and tell him so that he can repent of his sin. Do I do this because we are biological brothers? No, I do this because I am his spiritual brother…we have the same Father in Heaven.

“If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established’.”

Notice that if our brother heads the correction we gain our brother. In the Kingdom of Heaven God values people, souls. Unlike the world wherein value is about wealth and gold God values souls above all else. People are His focus. Why? Because He has chosen them to be His sons and everyone who accepts Jesus as their Savior becomes a son. God’s family is at stake. So “people” is the focus here.

I went to Kory’s apartment long before he divorced Melissa. I arrived uninvited. The conversation started calmly then he insisted we go outside to talk. There he became angry. I warned him that what he was doing would ultimately put a rift between himself and his children and that his children and his family would suffer. I admit I was angry at his coy attitude as he tried to justify what he was doing.

When I was leaving I noticed his mistress was on the computer in the bedroom. I stopped, looked at Kory and said, “Brother, don’t do this.” I left. I am convinced he did not “hear” anything I said.

Later I called him. He made it clear that he did not want to talk about his sin. I told him that that issue was what I wanted to talk about because it was the most important issue in his life. He hung up on me.

Later, I approached him in the court house. I was there supporting Melissa as she went through her divorce. I approached Kory and said, “Brother, I want you to know that when you admit you are wrong and ask for forgiveness Jennifer and I will forgive you, no questions asked.” He didn’t say a word. That is where Kory and I currently stand.

Let’s continue:

“And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”

Here the issue is told to the church. “Church” means “those who have been called by God”. This is not an institution. “Church” means believers. God’s children. Tell it to God’s children. Why? God ultimately desires that the disobedient brother be restored…that he turn from his sin so that he can be “gained”. God loves all His children…even when they are disobedient.

Furthermore we read that if the brother does not turn from his ways, if he refuses to hear the church, then he is to be treated as a tax collector and a heathen. (Notice that he doesn’t “become” a heathen but, rather, he is to be treated as one.) Heathens and tax collectors were selfish individuals. They were enemies of the church, people who 1) robbed the church or 2) opposed the church. They had no place among the children of God. Here, the unrepentant brother is to be treated as one.

Does that seem harsh? I think so. Why does God tell us to do it? So that the brother grieves the loss of his family and turns from his sin. The pain from being separated from one’s family is intense. Here, God desires that the disobedient child feel the loss of their family so that they learn to despise their sin, repent, and turn back to the ones who love them. Why does He do this? Remember, He only disciplines His children. He does this because 1) God is responsible for His children’s care and 2) His name goes with them wherever they go. Ultimately, He does this because He loves them for He knows how sin corrupts, how it tears at lives. He saves them from themselves.

As far as I know all of you profess to be Christians. Therefore we have a responsibility toward each other as Christians that goes beyond simple flesh and blood ties. Because we share the same Heavenly Father our actions toward one another mean so much more…they have eternal consequences. And God has given us the power to do the work that must be done…even the work among each other….even if we see the need of discipline.


To date, Kory has not repented of his sin. In fact, I have heard that he has told some of you that he is happy. There is no repentance in these words. Perhaps he has not offended you directly but he has offended your family. If you’re not sure talk to my mother and father, talk to Melissa, talk to Nicki and the children. You will find that what he has done has hurt all of us. Some more deeply than others.

I love my brother. I miss him. At times I cry about him. Jennifer, too. Sarah cries. It is not unusual to find us praying about him. Sarah often asks about him. Like God we want to see him return. We want to gain him back. As long as my heart aches for him I am certain God desires to see him restored too. God doesn’t waste space in my heart; nor does He in yours.

There, I have told the “church”. I know all of you have known of Kory’s sin but few of you have heard why I regard Kory as someone to be avoided. I do so, so that he may feel the pain of loss, turn from his sin, and receive forgiveness from God. I believe with all my heart his life depends upon it.

I ask, do your actions toward Kory make him feel comfortable about his sin or do they move him toward repentance? If you think “more comfortable” then will you stand with me and my family against what Kory has done? Can you find the strength to treat him as a heathen (i.e. not invite him to family functions, etc) so that he can be restored? God will restore him, but we all, as the church, have a part in God’s discipline of Kory.

Kory is God’s child. He loves him. So do I. Please, help me gain my brother. His life depends upon it.

God bless you,
Aaron

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Aaron
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**Rose asked about my brother. I decided to put my response he, too. Bless you sister Rose.**

He's battered and bruised. The Lord really humbled him. I spoke to him last night...he said he had been crying for two days straight with tears of joy.

He walked out of his family's life 3 years ago. Left a wife, two children, and one step-daughter behind. I went to him and warned him what would happen (I knew that, to protect the children, the Lord would begin to dissolve the connection he had with them as their father) he basically told me to "kiss off".

I saw him one more time in court. I went to support my sister (his x-wife) through the process. I put my hand on him and said "I want you to know that when you repent Jenny (my wife) and I will not hold a grudge against you. We will accept you back with no questions asked. That was two years ago.

Our hearts hurt for him. I wrestled with the Lord about His timing. I wanted Him to hurry it up, humble my brother, and restore Him. How long? I asked. The Lord said "I don't waste my children's time. As long as your heart aches for him know that I am working in his life."

So, 3 and 1/2 years later... He showed up at my door around 10:00 p.m. I told him I know why you are here. You are welcome. We had some tears, some laughs. It was late so I could only make popcorn. I told my wife that I wished I could roast a fatted calf for the "prodigal son". We are having a celebration on Sunday with the family. I'm making fajitas. I guess some fatted chickens will do nicely.

I've learned the Lord does not waste our time or emotions. He puts joy AND grief in our hearts to remind us that He is working.

In the words of my 8 year old daughter "It's a miracle!". Praise the Lord!

Bless you,
Aaron

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Eduardo Grequi
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Amen, what a great morning praise! The angels in heaven are rejoicing [clap2] [clap2] [clap2] [clap2] [clap2]
Posts: 771 | From: Belvidere, IL | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Aaron
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I tried to find the post in which I shared about my brother and his abandoning of his family. I could not. But for those of you who know the story I have the following praise!

My brother returned! After three and a half long years he has returned! He's beaten and broken but also humbled and repentant. What a celebration!

He has lost much. Much of it he will regain. Some of it he will never regain. But I have gained my brother and he, his family. We have much to be thankful for!

Bless you,
Aaron

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