At the 4:54 mark of the stream the signal cut out while I was showing the “spirit rock” at the elementary school. The birthday message painted on the rock to a 12 year old child from his family read as such, “Work so hard that one day your signature will be called an autograph.”
Think of that sentiment and it’s implications. Is that a positive message to give a young mind?
Is game a virtue now? Why do we give our children the message that fame will save you and give happiness?
This is surely a false gospel that can only lead to disappointment. I know this because I lived by it most of my life. I was ignorant of the miracle of God’s grace and mercy. Now, I no longer live to glorify myself. Praise the Lord for His Holy Spirit.
Judgement and Witness
by Brad S. Ward
September 26, 2019
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” -Luke 6:37-38
A favorite pastime for many people is judging others. Teacher’s pet, employee of the month, or other favorite people, are common targets. Vicious tongues are typically the result of such a pastime. People of high social esteem are not the sole targets, oh no, we’re eager to judge EVERYONE. All people are subject to “bad mouthing” in this society. It is very easy to fall into this habit, especially when our prideful flesh informs us that there are some folks around us that do not measure up to our expectations.
When we pray the personal prayer of confession and invitation inviting Jesus Christ to come into our heart and life as our personal Savior, we become new creatures. According to:
2 Corinthians 5:17,
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
We may have a new life in the Lord Jesus Christ, but that does not mean that we have a holy life. The old ways of the flesh are still with us. We may try to deny them or assume they’re gone as if by magic, but every so often, even we are able to see what is so evident to others.
Bit by bit, step by step, we may begin to grow in God’s grace, and thus see old habits eliminated. However, there is one bad habit that seems to hang with us beyond all others – and that is certainly our bent toward having a critical spirit and being judgmental of other people. We like to imagine ourselves in the seat of Caesar in his box at the Coliseum looking down upon wretched souls and giving the fateful “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”.
Jesus instructs us to not judge others, nor are we to condemn others.
But then we feel a need to remind everyone of standards and what should be acceptable. But, sadly, those standards we are employing are our own and come from some personal perspective rather than Godly instruction. And we cast a quick, even reflexive, judgement on some other person’s life! Please remember, fellow follower of Jesus Christ, God does not our help in this, or any other department.
He has it under control – we are to follow Jesus and reflect His light. We are not to assume His position.
Jesus tells us that when we judge (that applies to us Christians as well as the unsaved), we will be judged. When we condemn, we will be condemned. He doesn’t stop there, but continues to reveal the blessing as well, His promise for heeding His Word, which is, when we forgive, we will be forgiven. When we give, we will receive. There are some that reach into this passage and pull out the bit about giving and teach a doctrine that is not in context. That would be the prosperity gospel and their false doctrine of “seeding” to grow personal blessings. If we seed anything, it better be the Gospel, if we grow anything, it better be new Christians and a stronger body of the church for Jesus Christ. Believe with your heart and confess with your mouth. That’s the only seed we are to plant.
Likewise, we do well NOT to stand in judgement of those prosperity preachers and congregations. We walk in the Spirit if God, His Holy Spirit and let Jesus light reflect off of ourselves to others and that will be the testimony that convicts hearts to repentance.
As believers we need to remind ourselves that we are always under a microscope in this society. We have a world of unbelievers who have seen others who made loud claims but showed little light during their walk. They talk more than they walk. We must be different. We need to have the love of Jesus so completely permeating our life, that it sincerely causes us to love other people as He does. We are not to doubt anyone’s heart because we cannot see their heart, and we are not to doubt anyone’s relationship with the Lord, BUT! we can and should always ask them about it. Reflect His light onto others. That is our witness.
Here is a question to determine if a person is truly a child of God:
“What were the steps that led you to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?” (Be silent and listen to the reply). If they say they have never accepted Him, ask if they would like to. Always have a supply of materials ready to use in presenting the plan of salvation. Tracts or Bible verses or books or anything you can place in their hand that they can take with them. The Gospel of John is a great resource to give. On the other hand, if they say that they have received the Lord, ask if they have ever doubted their salvation? Once again, listen. If they want to know for sure, share in the same way as you did with those who are first time seekers.
I hope this is helpful to someone out there who is feeling on the edge, taking on the duty of being judge, jury and executioner of the ungodly.
Always remember, Be loving, open and eager to listen before presenting God’s plan. LISTEN. LISTEN. LISTEN. And judge not. God does not need your help, but He is so very willing and happy to USE YOU FOR HIS WILL!
God bless every one of you, lost or found! I pray that God speaks to your heart today and opens up a new understanding for you and how you can best serve Him. In His service is the glory to be found.