“The Wednesday Word” Podcast & Devotional
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.
“Do Not Judge Others”
Scripture: Matthew 7:1-2
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 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.
In my sermon last Sunday, I talked about Jesus’ teaching on judging other people. We all judge people, and sometimes for good reason. The judgement Jesus was talking about was not the judgement that is a part of living a responsible life, it is the kind of judgement born out of the sin of spiritual arrogance. We call this kind of judging Judgmentalism. It is the kind of judgement that brings people down, making them feel inferior in some way. Many of us have been victim to someone else’s judgmentalism. Maybe you can remember a time when someone unfairly judged you. How did that make you feel?
The sin of judgementalism is an easy one to give into. We look around at the world and all the horrible things that are happening, and it is easy to start to think that we (though not perfect) we are a whole lot better than many of the people around us. A sense of self-righteousness follows, and soon we are dividing people into categories: there are good folks and bad folks, folks who are right and folks who are wrong, folks who know the truth about life and folks who do not know the truth. Of course, we count ourselves and people like us as those who are good folks who are right about life and know the truth. The result is divisiveness as walls of enmity are built. We know judgmentalism is a big problem today because divisiveness and walls of enmity describe the time in which we live.
During my sermon on Sunday, I talked about practices that can help keep us from giving into the temptation to judge others. Recognizing that everyone has a story, I encouraged us to take time to listen to people’s stories. As we listen to people’s stories, we discover our common humanity. So, lets practice today. Share part of your story. How did you come to faith in Jesus Christ? What blessings have come from your faith? What hardships has faith helped you through? And if you want someone to know your story, what is one thing that is very important for them to know? Why?
Another practice I talked about was recognizing that a person’s worst moment is not the person’s whole story. People are more than their worst mistakes. I am not perfect, so I give thanks to God for this truth. I have experienced this truth in the lives of others many times as well. About 20 years ago, I knew a man who was mentally abusive to his wife. His abuse led to their divorce. After the divorce, the man started taking a good hard look at his life. After many hours of counseling, he became a Christian. He took responsibility for the pain he had caused, and by the grace of God made changes to his life. A changed man, he eventually remarried, started a family, and became a leader in his church. He became an example of the power of the Gospel to change a person’s life. I look at him now and know he is more than his worst moments. Do you know someone who, by the grace of God, has become more than his or her worst moments?
Of course, we are not perfect. Our faith in Jesus Christ has brought changes to our lives too. What kinds of changes has Christ brought to your life?
Soon after Jesus talked about not judging he said: “Not everyone who cries Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but those who do the will of my Father will.” What do these words mean to you?
Throughout Jesus sermon on the Mount, Jesus was teaching us about God’s will for our lives. He taught us God’s will is that we do not judge others. Do you find this teaching easy or difficult to live out? He also taught us to forgive others as we have been forgiven. Do you find this teaching easy or difficult to live out? Why? And he taught us not to worry about tomorrow, but rather to trust in God. Is this an easy or difficult teaching to live out? Are there spiritual practices that help you worry less and trust God more?
Jesus Sermon on the Mount teaches us about God’s will and Kingdom living. Living a faithful life is not always easy, but by the grace of God we do not live it alone. God is with us, and we have each other to help encourage us along the way. Make certain to encourage a brother or sister in Christ this week.
God bless you and I will see you in church!