Unchanging Law of Judgment

With what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. —Matthew 7:2

This statement is not some haphazard theory, but it is an eternal law of God. Whatever judgment you give will be the very way you are judged. There is a difference between retaliation and retribution. Jesus said that the basis of life is retribution— “with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” If you have been shrewd in finding out the shortcomings of others, remember that will be exactly how you will be measured. The way you pay is the way life will pay you back. This eternal law works from God’s throne down to us (see Psalm 18:25-26).

Romans 2:1 applies it in even a more definite way by saying that the one who criticizes another is guilty of the very same thing. God looks not only at the act itself, but also at the possibility of committing it, which He sees by looking at our hearts. To begin with, we do not believe the statements of the Bible. For instance, do we really believe the statement that says we criticize in others the very things we are guilty of ourselves? The reason we see hypocrisy, deceit, and a lack of genuineness in others is that they are all in our own hearts. The greatest characteristic of a saint is humility, as evidenced by being able to say honestly and humbly, “Yes, all those, as well as other evils, would have been exhibited in me if it were not for the grace of God. Therefore, I have no right to judge.”

Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). He went on to say, in effect, “If you do judge, you will be judged in exactly the same way.” Who of us would dare to stand before God and say, “My God, judge me as I have judged others”? We have judged others as sinners— if God should judge us in the same way, we would be condemned to hell. Yet God judges us on the basis of the miraculous atonement by the Cross of Christ.

God does not further our spiritual life in spite of our circumstances, but in and by our circumstances. Not Knowing Whither, 900 L

OSWALD CHAMBERS

Waiting for Answers to Prayer

Psalms 33:20-22

Scripture makes it clear that our heavenly Father hears and answers prayer. Yet, though we pray for the Lord to act right away, we’ve all known times when we’ve had to wait. What are some reasons for the delay?

The Father sees when our attention is misdirected. Our relationship with Him should have priority over any earthly matter (Mark 12:30), yet minds and prayers can become so fixed upon a need that our gaze shifts away from God. Then He may delay answering until we refocus on Him. In other situations, He waits because the timing isn’t right for granting our request. Perhaps certain events must happen first, or people’s thinking needs to be changed.

There are also seasons when the Lord wants to stretch and grow our faith. One of the ways He accomplishes that is by having us watch for His response. In these times of waiting, the Holy Spirit will work to mature us and bring forth righteous fruit (Gal. 5:22-23).

Other reasons are a wrong motive for our request (James 4:3) and the practice of habitual sin. We all fall short when it comes to God’s standard of holiness, but some of us persist in a lifestyle of disobedience. The Lord may delay His answer so He can prompt us to confess our sin and turn back to Him.

Waiting on the Lord isn’t easy—faith and trust are needed (Heb. 11:1). If His answer is delayed, check that your focus is on Him, your motive for asking is God-honoring, and you aren’t practicing habitual sin. Then believe that His response will be for your good and His glory.

Immediate Results

“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:22)

Sometimes we don’t get to see the results of our work or choices soon enough to suit us. But on one occasion, a man’s choice and resulting action were given immediate attention, and the effects of that attention even now rule the universe.

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Genesis 3:6).

The result of Adam’s deliberate sin—“Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Timothy 2:14)—was immediate and total punishment upon Adam and Eve, and through them on all humanity (Genesis 3:14-19). “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). “For the creature [or ‘creation’] was made subject to vanity [that is, ‘futility’], not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope” (8:20).

This “bondage of corruption” (v. 21) placed upon the entire creation, now known to science as the Second Law of Thermodynamics, is known to all of us as the basic tendency of life. Everything is in the process of death and decay. This law will one day be removed; but until then, we, like the groaning, travailing creation of our text, “groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (v. 23).

Although we recognize now that “the wages of sin is death,” we can be very thankful that the story doesn’t end there, for “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). JDM

Comprehending the Incomprehensible

He hath loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. —1 John 4:8

The love of God is the hardest of all His attributes to speak about. You may not understand God’s love for us. I don’t know that I do myself. We are trying to comprehend the incomprehensible. It is like trying to take the ocean in your arms, or embrace the atmosphere, or rise to the stars. No one can do it, so I suppose I must do the best I can and trust the Holy Spirit to make up for human lack….

When it says, “God is love,” it means that love is an essential attribute of God’s being. It means that in God is the summation of all love, so that all love comes from God. And it means that God’s love, we might say, conditions all of His other attributes, so that God can do nothing except He does it in love….

What we mean when we say, “God is love,” is what we mean when we say of a man, “He is kindness itself.” We don’t mean that kindness and the man are equated and identical, but we mean the man is so kind that kindness is all over him and conditions everything he does. So when we say, “God is love,” we mean that God’s love is such that it permeates His essential being and conditions all that He does. Nothing God ever does, or ever did, or ever will do, is done separate from the love of God.

Loving Father, I can’t comprehend Your love, but I revel in it. I fall to my knees in worship. Amen.

The Sovereign Lord

The most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands… Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool. (Acts 7:48-49)

How can you be a Christian and not be aware of the sovereignty of the God who has loved us to the death?

To be sovereign, God must be the absolute, infinite, unqualified ruler in all realms in heaven and earth and sea. To be Lord over all the creation, He must be omnipotent. He must be omniscient. He must be omnipresent.

With all that is within me, I believe that the crucified and risen and glorified Savior, Jesus Christ, is the sovereign Lord. He takes no orders from anyone. He has no counselors and no advisers. He has no secretary to the throne. He knows in the one effortless act all that can be known and He has already lived out our tomorrows and holds the world in the palm of His hand.

That is the Lord I serve! I gladly own that I am His; glory to God! The Christ we know and serve is infinitely beyond all men and all angels and all archangels; above all principalities and powers and dominions, visible and invisible—for He is the origin of them all!

What we are taught to seek or shun in prayer

What we are taught to seek or shun in prayer, we should equally pursue or avoid in action. Very earnestly, therefore, should we avoid temptation, seeking to walk guardedly in the path of obedience. We are not to enter the thicket in search of the lion. This lion may cross our path, or leap upon us from the thicket; but we have nothing to do with hunting him. He that meeteth with him, even though he winneth the day, will find it a stern struggle. Let the Christian pray that he may be spared the encounter. Our Saviour, who had experience cf what temptation meant, thus earnestly admonished his disciples: “Pray that ye enter not into temptation.”