Our country is divided. Our church is divided. Our families are divided. We like to look at ourselves and others in terms of “good” and “bad”. If you agree with me, you’re “good”. If you disagree, you are “bad”. I am “right”. You are “wrong”. Where is God???
Jesus was asked, “’Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)
Love! We are called to Love! Why do we stand in judgement of others, placing ourselves in the role of judge and jury? Only God can judge.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV)
Does this mean we ignore sin? Does this mean we pretend there is no sin? Not at all!
“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” Romans 6:15-23
But it is not our place to stand in judgment of others, determining their sin. We all sin: gluttony, gossip, adultery – including lust and divorce, judging others and oh, so many more! GOD will teach us how to live: If you believe another believer is guilty of sin, do you approach them with a spirit of love, wanting to help your brother or sister in Christ draw closer to God? Or do you stand in judgement wanting to show the other how they are “wrong”. Throughout it all, know that the Holy Spirit is the ultimate judge and will guide each believer along the righteous path.
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 14:26
Jesus is on our side, helping us to be the Christians He wants us to be. Serving Him in love towards Him and others.
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” 1 John 2:1
We are CHILDREN of God. We do not need to live in fear of disappointing Him or doing the wrong thing because He LOVES us!
“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’" Romans 8:15
Christ frees us from sin and gives us a fresh start to live by His Word. He offers us a real relationship not confined to rules and sacrifices but instead draws us to Him.
"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26-27
Praise be to God!