- Matthew 7:1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
- Matthew 7:2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
- Luke 6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
- Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
- Romans 14:10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.
- 1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
- James 4:11 Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
- James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! Romans5:1-5
Why blame me? Great question. We aren’t doing God any favors by continuing to miss the mark when it comes to His plan. It doesn’t give God any glory to not walk in the good news of His plan and continue to fall short of His goal for us.
God wants us to follow His way. It is that simple.
It’s simply perverse to say, “If my lies serve to show off God’s truth all the more gloriously, why blame me? I’m doing God a favor.” Some people are actually trying to put such words in our mouths, claiming that we go around saying, “The more evil we do, the more good God does, so let’s just do it!” That’s pure slander, as I’m sure you’ll agree. Romans 3:7-8
You know, if you really think about it, we should all be terrified of God. Anybody that can create the Universe with a word, light up the stars by the millions and breathe life into mankind is simply awe-striking. The sheer power of our God should have us all on our knees trembling in fear, shouldn’t it?
But, Love has been added to the equation. While we are on our knees, it is God’s Love that lets us feel His hands on our cheeks. And He is turning our face upward to Him. He is telling us that He loves us and He is saying that He even knew us before we were born. And we can hear Him. And there is no need at all to be afraid.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Romans 8:35
Paul knew how to plan. Fortunately, he listened to God and so sometimes was unwilling to follow what he planned so he could do what God wanted. It would have given him personal pleasure to do what he wanted. It didn’t mean that God didn’t want him to see his plans through at some point. It just had to be in God’s good timing and not Paul’s.
The thing to pursue is what God wants on any given day. He has ultimate goals for us and tasks to accomplish every day. That is all that really counts at any given point in time.
Please don’t misinterpret my failure to visit you, friends. You have no idea how many times I’ve made plans for Rome. I’ve been determined to get some personal enjoyment out of God’s work among you, as I have in so many other non-Jewish towns and communities. But something has always come up and prevented it. Romans 1:13-15
Here is what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy on himself by avoiding anything. Particularly when it came to people and relationships. He waded right in and He helped out. So am I strong in the faith? Do I lend a hand to those who are struggling? Or do I just look for the “easy way”?
My approach and attitude should always be, “How can I help?”
May I find how our Father wants me to help!!!
Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?” Romans 15:1-4
That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled,” is the way Scripture puts it. Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it’s written for us. God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever he will do next. May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we’ll be a choir—not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!
Oh how we all love excuses. God doesn’t and we don’t have any. The Apostle Paul knew that at his core. We should as well.
And if anyone thought he had some, Paul probably did. He was raised as a very good religous person. He did all the right things. But one day Jesus confronted him. None of it mattered. Jesus brilliance blinded him. Why was Paul persecuting Jesus? That was the question. Silence. No EXCUSE. And then God healed him.
No excuses. Period. End of story.
So nobody has a good excuse. Romans 1:19
There is a time to think long and hard. That of course would be about what God has created. Just think about it. Think about it long and hard. It is amazing. The raw power of it all. Imagine, then think, about what it took to create all that we enjoy and take for granted everyday. Come on, think about it. NOW, think about it some more.
And, how mysterious is it that God could do all of this. We can’t imagine it. It is beyond us. And, that God, lives in side of us. He can do anything in His Country. He is the President of it all.
By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. Romans 1
Am I sure? Do I know it for a fact? God’s enabling Spirit is in us and lets us know that God is good and He loves us. Every detail is being worked into something good. That is just the way it is.
That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. Romans 8:28
May I be sure of God’s love and the details He is working out for me.
Someone has to be put in charge of capturing what God is saying. He is revealing so much to us. It needs care because His words stand out (are Holy). “Religion” and religious people create some interesting challenges. “Religious” people can abandon the mission they have been given. If we have put our faith in them and not in Him, who can we trust? Well, God always keeps His word. That is that and that is all there is to that.
He can’t be rejected because He is always faithful. If He has said it, we can count on it.
First, there’s the matter of being put in charge of writing down and caring for God’s revelation, these Holy words of His. So, what if, in the course of doing that, some religious people have abandoned their post? God didn’t abandon them. Do you think their faithlessness cancels out his faithfulness? Not on your life! Depend on it: God keeps his word even when the whole world is lying through its teeth. His word says the same: Your words stand fast and true; Rejection doesn’t faze you. Romans 3:2-6
My oh my, there is some misguided thinking going on in this world. God has a goal for us. We are to tap into His power. Why? To serve. That is all there is to it.
It is not about what is convenient. It is not about what is comfortable. It is not about me. It is not about status. It is all about Him.
It is all about service. That is it.
“Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?” – Romans 15:2
Having a passion for the things of God is a huge thing. It is easy to get burnt out. So much to do, so little time. So many that need God’s touch, through us. I must keep myself passionate for His world. I have to keep gas in the car.
Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Romans 12:11
May I be cheerfully expectant that God can keep my gas tank full and passionate about life.
We have been given an assigment. God has things he wants us to do. Some of that got started with the prophets. That was all preliminary to what we need to focus on right now to achieve His goals for the world. We received the gift and we need, urgently so, to pass it on to those God has called to be a part of His mission.
And so, we must devote ourself as someone who is completely owned by our Master. He is our Master. We must do all that He asks of us. And we must be urgent about. There is not time to sit around eating bon bons. Souls are at stake.
May I trust Him every step of the way. May I get on with it urgently.
I, Paul, am a devoted slave of Jesus Christ on assignment, authorized as an apostle to proclaim God’s words and acts. I write this letter to all the believers in Rome, God’s friends. The sacred writings contain preliminary reports by the prophets on God’s Son. His descent from David roots him in history; his unique identity as Son of God was shown by the Spirit when Jesus was raised from the dead, setting him apart as the Messiah, our Master. Through him we received both the generous gift of his life and the urgent task of passing it on to others who receive it by entering into obedient trust in Jesus. You are who you are through this gift and call of Jesus Christ! And I greet you now with all the generosity of God our Father and our Master Jesus, the Messiah. Romans 1:1-7
This is pretty straightforward. If we have a gift, we should just “do it”. And, I think gifts have to be cultivated and used. How? By doing it. Here is a great story that illustrates this very well.
In the blink of an eye, Pastor Dennis was placing his hand on this man’s shoulder and saying, “Sir, I don’t believe I’ve had the opportunity to meet you. My name is Sam Dennis. This is the fourth time I’ve been here, and I want to tell you how impressed I am with how you treat everyone who walks in your doors. You always greet them with a smile and a word of kindness. I think the owner of this place should give you a big raise, and if he’s here, I’ll tell him so myself.”
“The first time I met the pastor of Parkway Hills Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, as at a prearranged lunch discussion. I soon realized that this man had a magnetic personality that made people just want to be around him. As we entered the restaurant together, we were greeted by the maitre d’, a man who spoke with a heavy foreign accent.
Talk about making someone’s day! The maitre d’ was smiling like he’d just won the lottery. I was completely dumbfounded as I watched this unfold.”And by the way,” Sam added, “I’m the pastor of a church down the street, and we’d love to have you be our special guest. If you’ll come, I’d be honored to have you and your family sit with me and my family.”
—Greg Vaughn in Letters from Dad
I don’t want to be condemned. No way, no how. I want to live in freedom. I don’t want that guilt in my life.
And so, God says over and over in His message of good news to us. We are free from all the things we have done that miss His goal for us. We need to reflect His love and freedom to others and eliminate criticism and judgement from our ways.
Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done. Romans 2:1-2
May I live free from judgemental criticism.
Our attitude about others should be one of thanks. He has blessed us with such rich relationships with our brothers and sisters. This should be something we do all the time. When we think of someone, we should thank God for them. This brings us closer to God in understanding how to pray for others.
I thank God through Jesus for every one of you. That’s first. People everywhere keep telling me about your lives of faith, and every time I hear them, I thank him. And God, whom I so love to worship and serve by spreading the good news of his Son—the Message!—knows that every time I think of you in my prayers, which is practically all the time, I ask him to clear the way for me to come and see you. The longer this waiting goes on, the deeper the ache. I so want to be there to deliver God’s gift in person and watch you grow stronger right before my eyes! But don’t think I’m not expecting to get something out of this, too! You have as much to give me as I do to you. Romans 8:8-12
What does His love look like? He is in there sticking up for me. When I am accused of something, fair or not, he sticks up for me. He is loyal to the core. For me!! With me!!! Nothing can seperate me from that loyal love and His courage for me.
No one can drive a wedge between Him and me. No matter what comes our way, it doesn’t faze us. No matter what I do or bad I am, the worst sin, nothing can seperate me from Him. He is sticking up for me!!!
The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. Romans 8:35-39
Sometimes there is just that funk. But we have good news. We don’t have to live under the black cloud. No need to be in a funk. Jesus has arrived. He is the Messiah.
He is always here for us.
“With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being–here–for–us no longer have to live under a continuous, low–lying black cloud. ” Romans 8:1 (MSG)