“The Wednesday Word” Devotional & Podcast
We thought it would be a great idea to have a mid-week recap & refresh of Pastor David’s Sunday sermon. Let’s make sure that we are learning all we can from them!
Pastor David’s Wednesday devotional will be related to the Sunday sermon in some way. It could be an expansion on a theme, a different twist, or some kind of content related to Sunday’s sermon. Various staff members and parishioners will gather to discuss the devotional and how it relates to our lives and maybe give some practical application of the word.
You can listen to the audio version in your car, while doing housework, during your workout, or whenever is most convenient for you. We want you to be able to access it at any time that is the right time for you to have a few minutes to read and reflect on it.
Pastor David’s devotional for March 9, 2022
“Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged.”
Last Sunday I began a series of sermons on the Book of Romans. I began the sermon by talking about the reason Paul wrote the letter. In chapter 14:10 Paul asked the church why they judged one another and why they despised one another. The reason for the judgementalism and even contempt within the church was change. The church had changed and not everyone liked the changes.
When it comes to church life, some changes are welcome, and some are not. In your experience, what are some positive changes you have experienced in church? Have there been unwanted (by you) changes in a church you attended? As you think about the future of the church, what is one (or two) thing you hope will change? What is one (or two) thing you hope never changes?
Change is not always easy. The changes that took place in the house churches in Rome were very challenging due to the circumstances of the change. Jewish Christians had been kicked out of Rome for 5 years. When they returned to Rome, Gentile Christians had significantly changed church practices, in a way that felt unfaithful to the Jewish Christians. Tensions grew into a division and then contempt for one another. Paul addressed the growing division as he reminded them not to judge one another.
One of the problems with judging others is how it allows us to deflect attention away from ourselves. We can point at others flaws without having to give consideration to our own. Have you been on the receiving end of someone pointing out the flaws of others with no consideration for their own? How do you help someone recognize their judgmental behaviors?
Jesus said: “how can you say to your brother or sister ‘let me take the splinter out of your eye’ when there is a plank in your own.” Rather than focusing our attention on what is wrong with other people, Jesus wants us to focus upon our own lives, our own sinfulness, and our own need for grace. That is not to say that we are to be tolerant of bad behavior. We are not. Christians are called to stand up against sin!
Back to where we began, it can be easy for us to confuse unwanted change with sin: “I didn’t want the change therefore it is wrong!” That is what was happening in the church in Rome! So how can we know when something is truly sinful rather than just something we don’t like or want? And when we do encounter sin, and the changes it can bring, how do we stand up against sin without being judgmental?
In Kingdom living we are to always strive to humbly discern truth, including the truth about ourselves, to confess, to forgive, even as we go about the work of bringing change to a sinful world. Remember, we make the world no better by simply pointing out other peoples’ flaws. We do make the world better by addressing our own. Maybe humility and a forgiving heart is the key to not giving into being judgmental? Maybe? This I know: Arrogance doesn’t change hearts. Kingdom living, including humility and forgiveness does.
God bless you and stay well!
Podcast & Sermon Video Links
Stream The Wednesday Word Season 2 Episode 9 by Desert Spring United Methodist Church – Las Vegas | Listen online for free on SoundCloud
“Introduction to Romans” Sermon Video