A Person's Life Is Judged
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart (Luke 6:45 NLT).
How many people continually pull out God's Word when it's convenient for them to make a point, even though they don't truly understand the Scripture they are quoting?
People are quick to pull out a simple one-line verse like Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.” They fail to understand the full context of what Jesus is saying.
In Matthew 7:1, Jesus is making several points. We are not to judge someone’s salvation or their relationship with Him. We are also reminded that before we point fingers, we should look at our own transgressions.
Point 1 - Folks, we don't have a clue to a person's final destination. Their eternal soul is in God's hands. God can choose what He will do with their lives, it's not up to us, nor should we judge their fate.
Point 2 – We are all sinners who are broken and undeserving of God's grace. We need to take a hard look at our own hearts and see how we are failing God. It should not be an “I'm better than him/her” type discussion. We better concern ourselves with our own soul's needs.
All that said, Jesus does tell us specifically to examine the fruit of people that we associate with and determine whether they are living a life that is God-glorifying or one that supports evil, worldly ways. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:6, we are not to waste what is holy on those that are unholy. Thus, this is judging others by the way they live their lives.
We are to be “fruit inspectors.” A good tree produces good fruit, a bad tree does not.
So, how do we determine what is holy or unholy? By reading God's Word. It's the only pure truth that is available to us. God's Word is the guide for life, currently and eternally. We open God's Word to ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes, mind, and heart to what God is wanting us to learn. God will provide for our inability to understand His roadmap for life. He will give us what He wants us to focus on at that particular time. His Word is a living word and we can expect that the same passage will speak differently to us at different readings and times. Open our hearts to Him and study His Word.
Thank You, Lord, for loving us enough to give us a detailed guide for our lives. Let us seek You and Your truth through Your Word and through prayer. We pray and ask in the mighty and matchless name of Jesus Christ, amen.
He Laid the Foundation
The Lord will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me (Psalms 138:8 NLT).
Created by God; formed by God; saved only by God. He lives in each of us and gives us free will, which gives us the right to choose. Choice is not always a good thing for our human condition. He has a plan for each of us, and we have our plan. Are we going to choose our plan or His plan? If any of you choose your plan over His, let me know how that works out.
His love for each of us is far greater than we can comprehend on this side of heaven. Thanks be to God.
Dear Father, we praise Your mighty name. Thank You for all things. Thank You for being a righteous, just, and loving God. Without Your justice, all we would have is anarchy of the heart. Let us be thankful for Your correction and direction for our lives. May we live a life that is beneficial to ourselves and others. With Your love, we will never know being unloved or lonely. Lead the lost back to You, Father, so that they might have a good life and a secure eternity. Help us, Lord, to be bold and proclaim the truth of salvation. I pray this in the mighty and matchless name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.
It Is All About Jesus!
He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything (Colossians 1:17-18 NLT).
He is the first, the last and everything in between! Thank You, Jesus, for saving us from ourselves.
Dear Lord, lead us in Your glory and Your ways. It is in the name of Jesus that we ask and pray. Amen.
A Full-Time God
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31 NLT).
Sometimes, we get the news that we just don't want to hear. Sometimes, God's plan isn't what we want it to be. Sometimes, there is a loss that seems impossible to deal with. Sometimes, we have to understand that through trials and loss, God makes us stronger. Sometimes, our faith is rocked and we are tested to the brink of despair. Sometimes, after many years of diligent prayer, we see that God's will was not our will. Sometimes, we just have to cry. Sometimes, we must realize that we are humans and have no control over things that God is in control of. Sometimes, we just need to trust in our Creator. Sometimes, there aren't words. Sometimes...
But God is God all of the time. He is not a sometimes God.
Those who have trusted in Him will soar to new heights. Those who know Jesus will never taste the bitterness of death. Those who are walking with Christ on this earth will walk eternally with Him in heaven.
Dear heavenly Father, no matter what we go through, we can trust that You are in control and You will pull us through the fire. Help us to be strong and trust in You. Lord God, You have never failed us and will never fail us. We know that You are God and You love us. Give us the strength to remain faithful, even as You are always faithful to us. Thank You, Lord! We pray in the mighty name of Jesus, our Savior and King. Amen.
Jesus Tells It Straight Up
Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven. “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword. ‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Your enemies will be right in your own household!’ “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me. If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs. And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded. (Matthew 10:32-42 NLT).
I write and speak a lot about our choice and how critical it is, for life on this earth and for eternal life. There are multiple sermons in these ten verses from Jesus' instructions for His disciples (and for each of us). I can't even touch all that I would like to write about today. I ask that you please take the time to ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in the reading of this passage and ask Him to show you what He wants you to understand and see in this Scripture. May God bless your reading of His mighty Word.
Dear Lord, open the minds and hearts of Your children in the reading and understanding of Your Word. Help us to understand that in order to gain life, we must give up our life and our wants and follow Jesus. We pray in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
It Begins With Trust
The instructions of the Lord are perfect,
reviving the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The commandments of the Lord are right,
bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are clear,
giving insight for living (Psalm 19:7-8 NLT).
We must take one step at a time by:
Step 1 - Trusting God's instructions.
Step 2 – Trusting His decrees.
Step 3 – Trusting His commands.
Step 4 – Trusting His clarity.
Step 5 – Trusting in the truth of His Word.
With our trust in the fact that God is who He is, we now see how much we need Jesus. We see our inability to be in the presence of God without a mediator. We see how broken we are and how much we need Jesus to cover our brokenness. We see a God that lifts our Savior from death to life. We see our God as He is, Creator and Loving Father. We see our God as righteous. We see our God as sovereign. We see our God as just.
Thank You, Lord God for being who You are: God of all! Amen.
Living In Harmony
How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the LORD has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting (Psalms 133:1-3 NLT).
I am not content with what is going on in our nation and by the current events, I'm not the only one. We have strife and violence. We have political chaos and governmental failure. We have racism in may forms. We are in turmoil in our great nation. Why? I believe it's a lack of God in our lives.
In these times of discontent, it's important to remember that God desires us to live in harmony with each other. We are His children and we must remember that makes us all brothers and sisters.
Living in harmony doesn't mean we have to approve of each other's actions (sin) but it does require us to love each other and pray for each other.
We also must remember that disagreement is not hate. We can disagree and keep it civil. I know sometimes that's a tall order but we must work through those situations.
Sometimes we might even have to avoid those who we can't remain civil with, but we must love them and pray for them.
It's not easy but we are instructed by our Savior that this is His command. Love one another.
Dear Lord, help us to remember to love the sinner but hate the sin that destroys their lives. Let us remember that we each are sinners. We are all broken. We all sin, we just sin in different ways. Help us to not point fingers, but to show Your love. At the same time, help us to stand firm on Your truth and Your Word. Thank you, Lord, for Your perfect words of instruction. We pray this in Your mighty name. Amen.