August 6, 2014

Judge others as you would have them judge you

John 7:24 "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."

 So, contrary to the "judge not lest you be judged" that gets thrown around out of context, believers are actually commanded to judge. They are also commanded to not judge based on appearance as well. So how can we judge righteously, effectively, powerfully, gentle, in love, and still be faithful to obey God?..

 Well, first lets talk about how to do it in love..

 So, really meditate about yourself and how you would want to be judged by your actions and what you would want you to hear, Would you like to keep being thrown, "you're going to hell if you don't repent!!" over and over and over? I bet not. So don't be doing that to other people.. Love others as you love yourself. This is a cornerstone on how judging should be done. Would you withhold the truth about where you are heading from yourself, or would you like to know the reality? Would you like to be told in a way that's gentle, or sharp? The consequence isn't going to go away. That consequence being told already has enough there, you don't need to add "sharpness" to it by being rude, or mean. His word is already sharper than a two-edged sword. Hebrews 4:12 12 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. 

So, tell them the consequence in a gentle way. God is just, and if they don't turn and be forgiven then there is payment to pay, and God will get justice. If they don't turn to Christ, and believe in their heart, they will pay that payment. So, death, the second death, is what one will pay if they aren't forgiven. Just lay the truth out in front of them with love like how i write this to you. It's not that we don't want them to be forgiven or God is somehow holding the forgiveness away from them on a "just because" basis. He is willing to forgive, but it comes down to confessing and forsaking, walking away from, sin, and turning to Christ.. So, what would you like to know? What would you need? Mercy? Forgiveness? Grace? Salvation? What would you like to know? If you would like to know how to receive mercy, forgiveness, grace, salvation, then learn how to receive those things, according to God's word, so that you can help others..

 Proverbs 28:13 says Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. That's how one receives mercy, and the mercy of God is new each morning! Lamentations 3:23 It "never!" runs out, and neither does His love.. Psalm 107

So, take note of that verse, and have it ready for people. If you get to talking with people, and witnessing, it can be apart of your heart, and if it's in the core you don't even have to "remember" it.. This is apart of "repentance"..

 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 Notice it says "purify from all unrighteousness". So that means if they confess their sins to God that they have a "clean slate!" from their past sins. That's awesome news! All means all. Unrighteousness is anything and everything that one does that goes against God's law. Here it is in 1 John 1:9 saying if they confess their sins He is "faithful" and will forgive them from their sins. He is quick to forgive. What a person must do is forsake and confess their sin.

 Grace is unmerited favor. There's not a, " go and attend church for x amount of days and then you receive grace" thing..

 Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

 Grace is received through faith. Through faith in Christ is how one receives grace to be saved.

 Some believers act as "messengers", or plant a seed of truth and move on. Pray for them, that God may send another to water and for it to grow. We are not people who hand out "free tickets to Heaven", though. So don't paint a picture in your head that it's up to you to save them. You are not the "saver". God is the one who brings a person to salvation. John 6:44 So find some rest in knowing that you are not called nor commanded to save anyone. When you approach it's about sharing the gospel. Sharing God's word in love. Planting seeds of truth. Each person could benefit from counting the cost of what they want, and that's something that's done in their heart/mind, when no one is there, and that's where praying comes in..

 Pray for the people that you share the gospel with. Even if the person is angry, or doesn't seem responsive to the things that you tell them. God knows the core hearts of man. You don't...... So think about what you would need if you were in their position, peace, truth, help, a miracle, God's power, etc. and then pray. Pray like you would for your own wife, girlfriend, kid, best friend, dad, brother, make sure that you make them mean something to your heart.. Maybe imagine you being them, and then pray for them as you would have someone else pray for you.. It's not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What's important is that God makes the seed grow.. 1 Corinthians 3:7.. Be praying for God's will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Pray that God would cause the seed to grow in their heart. Pray God's will into accord..

So, what about Matthew 7? Well let's get into it so that when you get it quoted to you, by an unbeliever or a professing christian,  you can know the context..

 So, this was talking about hypocritical judging. As Jesus says, "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". Notice Jesus already made a "judgement" about someone. He says "Hypocrite!". So, He didn't sin there since Jesus is without sin. 2 Corinthians 5:21 But don't just "judge" without trying to help them..

 As a doctor gives a diagnosis of their patient's problem so that they may know and be helped, if they want help, is how this "judging" can work. They may not desire help because the cost is too much. They could like the sound of help or the ideal of help but don't want to pay the cost. Just like a patient in the real word, people like help but are they willing to pay the cost to receive it? The cost in order to have help, in order to be forgiven and set free from their sin, is to forsake and confess sin. If they don't want to pay that cost then mercy isn't going to be obtained.. If the diagnosis is already known by the patient then they don't need the doctor to keep bashing them with their problem. How tiring do you think that would be to you if you had someone bashing you with your problem that makes you feel bad and dirty, and don't receive any help but strictly bashing? So "love others as you love yourself". Find a way to bring the truth in love. Find a way to do it in a gentle, and humble spirit. Delicately going at what "needs" to be done first as the Spirit leads one so..

 If they already know that it's bad and that it's going to lead them to hell then the next step may be to treat it. I say "may" because they may be in denial and they need it to be penetrated more but that doesn't mean sharpen up your swords and machetes and go after them. Even in this you ought to "love others as you love yourself". So if someone goes like, "well i know that but i'm a good enough person. So i think God will overlook it", then approach them with the God is just. Don't be talking in caps, or screaming. The words that one speaks can have enough power. You don't have to add drama. Talk to them about how God is just and that He can't "overlook it" because to do so would not be just. And God is not going to commit sin for them, or for anyone else..

 If they aren't in denial then the next step is to treat it, or help them find help. This is where the scripture in Proverbs 28, and 1 John 1:9 comes in.

31 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 If you need to, then go back up to where i talked about that verse, and get a new freshness about it. When you share this verse, or verses, with someone that's where the help is. Next for you is to pray for them. Because after that, it's between their heart and God. So the next time you hear "judge not lest you be judged" don't think you've sinned by simply saying, "x action is sin and if not repented from you will not inherit the kingdom".. So, remember to pray for the people that you witness to. The time that they have alone is the time they have alone with themselves, and that includes the guilt, the shame, the "unworthiness" to be forgiven by God, may be felt. So be praying for them! Be praying that they make Jesus their Lord. Lord is another word for King. When someone is King over someone they are to follow His commands. In this case it's commands, and in the same love that He acted in.

1 John 4:15 All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God.

Romans 10:9-10 9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 

 So.. 16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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