Matthew 7: 3-5 (NLT)
And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
Christianity is not a spectator’s sport. It’s almost like we treat it as a way to justify watching and pointing at people and their sins.
Now, I’m not saying we should have a blind eye to sin. As Christians, we are to speak the truth in love and recognize sin for what it is, sin. The issue lies in my blind eye to my own sin. If I’m so busy telling you what you do wrong, it doesn’t leave much time for me to see my own faults.
In doing so, I’ve lessened my sins and focused on yours. Instead of seeing you as a brother/sister in need of truth and love, I’ve turned you into a spectacle.
The more I maximize your speck, the more likely I am to increase my log. So, what would cause all of this? Pride. And I believe we don’t need any more people who sit around and pridefully watch wrongs. And we certainly don’t need any more that refuse to see their own wrongs.
In essence, pride see what you’ve done as worse than what I’ve done. It seeks to compare and to judge. Pride is the very log that sees the speck as being the problem.
In fact, pride refuses to realize that it’s easier to remove a speck than it is to remove a log. Pride is the spectator that makes a spectacle of your sin.
There are some scriptures that have concepts that overwhelm me. It’s just that they’re so good and promising, I can’t even fully grasp the perfection of them.
Jude 24 (NLT) Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.
- God is holy. I am not.
- God is glorious. I am not.
- God is sinless. I am not.
However, in spite of all that I am not, this verse tells me that God is going to bring me into His presence as if I were. In the end, I will be in the presence of my Savior, sinless, and joy-filled, with Christ.
There are no words pure enough to describe that moment. How can a person express the moment that they will be faultless before a perfect God? The only word that comes to mind would be: Heavenly.
I don’t think we could ever overdo the conversation of obedience. Obedience is love. It’s such a big deal that God compares disobedience to witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23). So, since we’re talking about obedience, let’s talk about Abraham.
Most people know the story of Abraham and Isaac. And the test he went through to prove his love and obedience to God. This test ended with Abraham not having to sacrifice his own son, as was the original command from God.
What I believe, is that Abraham’s obedience saved Isaac’s life. Let’s think about it.
Abraham didn’t know which mountain he was supposed to go to. “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you” (Genesis 22:2). God told him to take his son, go to Moriah and then he would show him the mountain. And of course, as the story goes, once Abraham was there a ram was stuck in the bushes which in turn became Abraham’s sacrifice instead of Isaac. But, what if?
What if Abraham wasn’t obedient? What if Abraham didn’t go to Moriah? Even simpler, what if he didn’t go to the mountain God showed him? He would have only partially obeyed God’s command and partial obedience is still disobedience.
You see, I understand the foreshadowing details of this story. I understand the parallels. I understand the test. But what I’ve recently learned is that it was complete obedience to God that kept Isaac alive. Not the ram, not perfect timing, and certainly not coincidence. Obedience.
In essence, what I believe is that God will always provide a ram in the bush, it’s just that we keep on going to the wrong mountain.
Why do we get upset with God for questioning us when He knows us better than we know ourselves? When He knows our past, present, and future, how do we find room to get testy with Him?
A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
I find it interesting that Peter was hurt that Jesus asked him the question three times. Coming from a guy that denied Jesus three times, you would think he would understand the need for the repetitive questioning. But, we do this too. We get impatient with God and quickly forget the eternal patience He has had with us. We get bothered when we have to receive the same lesson, but neglect to mention that we’ve refused to learn from it. Yet, when God asks us do we love Him, we have the nerve to get offended. As if the offenses we’ve committed against Him wouldn’t be reason to ask.
God sees our hearts. So it’s not like He doesn’t know if we truly love Him. I just think that God likes to reveal our hearts to us. So sometimes He has to ask. Sometimes you have to retest. Sometimes you have to repeat. As my friend says, you have to revisit and revise. And it’s what you find on the retest that reveals what you are. It’s in those moments that you get the answers to the questions God asked you.
Every now and then, the third time really is the charm. You just don’t know it yet.
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!
God told the Israelites that He had a command for them.
This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you, and it is not beyond your reach. – Deuteronomy 30:11
It wasn’t difficult, it wasn’t out of reach; it was the ability to choose Him, to choose a better life. He said if you choose me, you choose prosperity.
Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. – Deuteronomy 30:15
It’s pretty plain and simple.
Everyday, most of us choose to believe that we have no say in what happens to us. While some of that may be true, we do have a say in how we handle what happens. The world would have us believe there is no right or wrong choice for our life. Newsflash, there is. And we get to pick one or the other.
There’s no need to roll the dice. No Magic 8 Ball necessary. No tarot cards or horoscopes are needed. You pick.
God has given us the ability to choose. Right or wrong? Life or death? Heaven or Hell? It’s your pick. So what’s it going to be?
Hebrews 4:12 New Living Translation (NLT)
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
The Word of God is alive. That might be strange to think of, but it is. Jesus is the Word, and we know He was alive, so it shouldn’t be hard to believe that the Word of God is alive and powerful. Isn’t Jesus powerful?
It’s sharp. It’s meaningful. It’s to the point. It’s defining. It cuts into our hidden places and exposes all of us. I believe that’s why so many of us don’t read the Bible, because when we read it, we see the things in us that are less than pleasing. We see that stuff that we don’t want to see, much less have anyone else see. We are exposed for what we truly are by the Word of God.
But we need it. We need the Word of God. We need our Sword as a part of our Armor of God. So read it. Let it expose you, and use it to expose God’s truth about you as well. I can’t use a sword without practice. I can’t wield a sword that I don’t know how to use. I can’t use the Word if I don’t know it.
See, the Word of God really does cut. But when you know it, and you live it, you can wield it. We must be careful how we wield our double-edged swords. But even better news, is that the Word is my weapon against the Enemy. And when I wield the Word properly, it always wins. Let’s not neglect the “word” in “sword.”
Do you ever think about how extreme and foolish the people who wanted Jesus crucified were? They seemed pretty bloodthirsty, and they didn’t seem to mind.
23 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?” But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!” 24 Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!”
25 And all the people yelled back, “We will take responsibility for his death—we and our children!”
Wow, right? We want him dead. We want it to be our fault. And we want our children to be held responsible too. We want all the “credit” for this. But I think we all know the funny thing about credit. It’s really debt.
Which of them realized that their charge against Christ was the debt that He was on His way to pay for them? Do you?