VIDEO Don’t judge……….

 

When you study to be an educator, you have to spend a certain number of hours as a student teacher, under the guidance of a veteran teacher. I remember my cooperating teacher telling me one of my strengths was that I took criticism well and was very open to it. I was shocked to hear this! I wanted to tell him he was crazy and that I hate criticism! But I was also well aware that he was the master, and I was the apprentice and that it was his responsibility to help me to be the best teacher I could be. So I needed his criticism. (And I received a lot of it!) Whenever he gave me feedback, positive or negative, it wasn’t intended to stroke my ego or hurt my feelings. It was so I can learn and improve, to keep doing the good and to change the bad.

The same goes for many other things, such as sports. Athletes have coaches that train and guide. But what about normal, everyday life? That’s when we want people to leave us alone. Don’t tell me how to live. Don’t judge me.

That’s the defense mechanism of our generation: “Don’t judge me!” But did you ever ask “Why not?” You may get the response: “Jesus says so” (from a defensive Christian, anyway). And they’re probably referring to Matthew 7:1, which begins: “Do not judge.” But that’s only the first three words of a complete thought:

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭1-6‬ NIV)

Jesus’ point is not not to judge (note the double negative). It’s “Don’t be a hypocrite!” Verse 5 commands us to clean up our own junk, then to help clean up your friends’. He’s stating the obvious, that when you criticize people, theywillturn around and criticize you back. So make sure your closet is clean first! And how do you know who the “dogs” and “pigs” are (v. 6)? Wouldn’t you have tojudge them?

And then there is John 7:24: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” Here Jesus is differentiating between proper and improper judgment. But he still commands to judge!

The reason for many of Paul’s letters is to correct some kind of nonsense going on in a church. In 1 Corinthians 5, he writes angrily that the church is not judging sin in their midst (and it’s quite the sin – go read it!). In verse 12, he rhetorically asks “Are you not to judge those inside [the church]?” And in the following verse, he plainly states to remove the “wicked person” from their midst. Here Paul is criticizing the church for not judging when they should have, even to the extent of excommunicating an unrepentant church member.

Maybe we just don’t like the word “judge.” It sounds so, well, judgmental. But there are plenty of similar words used throughout the Bible: discern, correct, rebuke, admonish, reprove, etc. Here are some examples:

  • Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid (Proverbs 12:1).
  • Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach andadmonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts (Colossians 3:16).
  • Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebukeand encourage—with great patience and careful instruction (2 Timothy 4:2).

It’s clear that one of the reasons why we have a community of believers is so we can help each other grow spiritually. Paul teaches us in Ephesians 4:11-16 that God has provided leaders whose responsibility is “building up the body of Christ” so we can achieve “mature manhood,” no longer thinking and acting like children (or worse – teenagers!). Our ultimate goal is to become like Christ. And this can only happen through instruction and correction by those wiser than we are.

More often than not, the ones who cry “Don’t judge me!” the loudest are the ones who need it the most, whether it’s due to insecurity, pride, or flat-out rebellion. But let us not forget that Jesus was full of truth and grace. We desperately need both in our dealings with our brothers and sisters in Christ, when we give correction as well as when we receive it. It’s never pleasant to hear some hard (but loving) truth, but remember the first half of Proverbs 27:6: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” Do we like it? Of course not. But we need it. And more than that, the Bible commands it.

By Timothy Fox

https://lifeministries.eu/2016/01/28/dont-judge/

Bible Couples: Jacob and Rachel – Building For Eternity

Bible Couples: Jacob and Rachel

Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept. Genesis 29:11

The biblical story of Jacob and Rachel is one of history’s great love stories, and it was love at first sight. When Jacob, who was a schemer and scoundrel at the time, arrived in Paddan Aram, he met Rachel when she came to water the sheep. She was “beautiful of form and appearance” (Genesis 29:17). Jacob kissed her, wept, and offered to work seven years for her hand. Their love story had more twists and turns than an Appalachian road, and it was marred by heartbreak, culminating in Rachel’s death during childbirth. If Shakespeare were writing their story, it would be among his tragedies.

But God was writing their story; and from the perspective of history we can see His providential overruling grace. Their sons, Benjamin and Joseph, are heroes of Jewish history. Their great descendant, Jesus Christ, is Savior of the world. And their love is eternal, for Jacob’s name is engraved on one of the gates of New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:12).

If your love story seems marred by hardship or tragedy, trust God with the outcome. Your life and love are overshadowed by His overruling grace.

A Single Thought: God’s providential care encompasses all His children—even during times of sorrow and loss.

Recommended Reading: Genesis 29:1-12


Building For Eternity

Which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it… —Luke 14:28

Our Lord was not referring here to a cost which we have to count, but to a cost which He has already counted. The cost was those thirty years in Nazareth, those three years of popularity, scandal, and hatred, the unfathomable agony He experienced in Gethsemane, and the assault upon Him at Calvary— the central point upon which all of time and eternity turn. Jesus Christ has counted the cost. In the final analysis, people are not going to laugh at Him and say, “This man began to build and was not able to finish” (Luke 14:30).

The conditions of discipleship given to us by our Lord in verses 26, 27, and 33 mean that the men and women He is going to use in His mighty building enterprises are those in whom He has done everything. “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple ” (Luke 14:26). This verse teaches us that the only men and women our Lord will use in His building enterprises are those who love Him personally, passionately, and with great devotion— those who have a love for Him that goes far beyond any of the closest relationships on earth. The conditions are strict, but they are glorious.

All that we build is going to be inspected by God. When God inspects us with His searching and refining fire, will He detect that we have built enterprises of our own on the foundation of Jesus? (see 1 Corinthians 3:10-15). We are living in a time of tremendous enterprises, a time when we are trying to work for God, and that is where the trap is. Profoundly speaking, we can never work for God. Jesus, as the Master Builder, takes us over so that He may direct and control us completely for His enterprises and His building plans; and no one has any right to demand where he will be put to work.

Both nations and individuals have tried Christianity and abandoned it, because it has been found too difficult; but no man has ever gone through the crisis of deliberately making Jesus Lord and found Him to be a failure. The Love of God—The Making of a Christian, 680 R

OSWALD CHAMBERS

Joseph: Forward By Faith

Genesis 39

As believers, we’ll all falter occasionally in our faith. When that happens, how can we keep doubts to a minimum? The key is to remain focused on the Father so that we can move forward in His will for our life.

Consider the Old Testament hero Joseph, who trusted in God during all the harrowing events of his early years. Faith sustained him through betrayal, slavery, and imprisonment. Resting on his confidence in the heavenly Father, Joseph didn’t allow his circumstances, environment, or the opinions of others to divert him from acting according to the Lord’s will. Joseph believed that every situation of his life was by God’s design.

Most people react to trials by complaining that the situation is unfair and undeserved. They are so focused on the misfortune of their circumstances that they miss opportunities to serve God.

Joseph chose a different approach. This young man who’d been sold into slavery by his brothers decided to do his work with excellence. His duties in Potiphar’s house were probably menial, but he performed them as if working for God. This kind of commitment earned Joseph the attention and respect of his master, and the Hebrew slave was rewarded with greater responsibility. Genesis 39:23 says, “And whatever he did, the Lord made to prosper.”

As Joseph moved through one hardship after another, he stayed focused on the Lord, who had promised to raise him to a position of leadership (Gen. 37:10). He had a practical approach to the downward turn in his fortunes: He kept thinking about God and serving Him instead of dwelling on his trials.

Atonement

“Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.” (Genesis 6:14)

It may be surprising to learn that God’s instructions to Noah concerning the Ark’s design contain the first reference in the Bible to the great doctrine of atonement. The Hebrew word used here for pitch (kaphar) is the same word translated “atonement” in many other places in the Old Testament.

While the New Testament word “atonement” implies reconciliation, the Old Testament “atonement” was merely a covering (with many applications). As the pitch was to make the Ark watertight, keeping the judgment waters of the Flood from reaching those inside, so, on the sacrificial altar, “it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11), keeping the fires of God’s wrath away from the sinner for whom the sacrifice was substituted and slain. The pitch was a covering for the Ark, and the blood was a covering for the soul, the first assuring physical deliverance, the second spiritual salvation.

However, not even the shed blood on the altar could really produce salvation. It could assure it through faith in God’s promises on the part of the sinner who offered it, but “the blood of bulls and of goats” could never “take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4).

Both the covering pitch and animal blood were mere symbols of the substituting death of Jesus Christ, “whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (Romans 3:25). Through faith in Christ, our sins are “covered” under the blood, forgiven by God, and replaced by His own perfect righteousness, by all of which we become finally and fully reconciled to God. HMM

God Is an Artist!

The children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses: so they pitched by their standards, and so they set forward, every one after their families, according to the house of their fathers. —Numbers 2:34

I remember as a young Christian when I got my first awful, wonderful, entrancing vision of God. I was in West Virginia in the woods sitting on a log reading the Scriptures along with an old Irish evangelist by the name of Robert J. Cunningham, now long in heaven. I got up and wandered away to have prayer by myself. I had been reading one of the driest passages imaginable from the Scriptures where Israel came out of Egypt and God arranged them into a diamond-shaped camp. He put Levi in the middle and Reuben out in front and Benjamin behind. It was a diamond-shaped moving city with a flame of fire in the middle giving light. Suddenly it broke over me; God is a geometrician, He’s an artist! When He laid out that city He laid it out skillfully, diamond-shaped with a plume in the middle, and it suddenly swept over me like a wave of the sea: how beautiful God is and how artistic and how poetic and how musical, and I worshiped God there under that tree all by myself.

Lord, You’ve displayed Your artistry and poetry throughout all of Your great creation. Help us not to miss the beauty around us and in doing so miss such an important aspect of Your person. Amen.

Questions We Might Ask

A living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)

I am convinced that anyone who brings up the question of consequences in the Christian life is only a mediocre and common Christian!

I have known some who were interested in the deeper life, but began asking questions: “What will it cost me—in terms of time, in money, in effort, in the matter of my friendships?” Others ask of the Lord when He calls them to move forward: “Will it be safe?” This question comes out of our constant bleating about security and our everlasting desire for safety above all else.

A third question that we want Him to answer is: “Will it be convenient?”

What must our Lord think of us if His work and His witness depend upon the security and the safety and the convenience of His people? No element of sacrifice, no bother, no disturbance—so we are not getting anywhere with God!

We have stopped and pitched our tent halfway between the swamp and the peak. We are mediocre Christians!

The choicest communications ever made

The choicest communications ever made of human minds are those which have come from the Great Father. Say, poor soul, what get you in Christ whenever you go to him? Can you not say, Oh! I get more love to him than I had before; I never approached near to him but I gained a large draught and ample fill of love of God. Out of his fullness we receive grace for grace, and love for love. In a word, by faith we behold the glory of the Lord as in a glass, and are changed into the same image—and the image of God is love. Live upon Christ, who is the daily manna, and you will live well.