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Posts Tagged ‘judgement’

Speaking Of...

Recently, I’ve encountered a lot of talk on “relationships and love” with people – and it got me thinking about God’s love. How his love sets us apart (as well as himself) from all the other people and their religions/beliefs. This also made me think of how even when we fall into chaos and unknown territory – he is there; he’s always there, for us. And he’s never mad, even when we fumble big-time, or turn out backs on him, or even commit a serious wrong or hold a grudge against someone that we need to let go of – he’s always there calling to us. And when we find him – his bright and ever-lasting light in the darkness of our lives, he opens his arms wide and embraces us, crying or laughing, or smiling with us.

There’s a verse my youth past told us and taught about to us on Sunday (11/3). This is about God’s love and relates to all the things I’ve said. Luke 6:27-33:

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do no withhold you tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.”

Now, I want to first point out that the first phrase of the verse says “to you who hear.” Why do I point this out first and foremost? Because Jesus is calling people to really listen, as what he’s about to say hasn’t been said before. He knows – as well as you and I, that some people just zone things out or do that “half-listening” thing when people preach/teach on a topic that’s been heard before. He wants to get everyone’s attention, letting them know that this is a new topic, it’s a topic that people really need to whole-heartedly pay attention. Make sense, right? I hope so.

Okay, with that covered, let’s talk about the rest of the verse. This verse is obviously about loving our enemies and treating others how we want to be treated, right? In fact, one of the verses (vs 3) – “do to others as you would have them do to you” as many know it by – is a very well-known verse to many people (not just Christians). And at a first glance of the verse, people get the obvious theme (which I pointed out at the beginning of this paragraph) – be kind to people I don’t like/are considered my enemies, treat others fairly, and take care of the needy. Easy right? No. Is there more to the verse? Of course. Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t tend to those who need help or turn the other cheek, or treat others wrongly – their all great and wonderful things to be practiced, but I want to focus on the last bit of the verse plus a few in-depth details about the first part verse.

I’m going to start at the end – with verses 32-33 (the last paragraph of the given verse). Jesus is saying that when we love and treat those who are good to us and love us – what’s the point? What do you truly gain? Yes, it’s crucial for those who love you to love you and for you to love them back, but what about that kid who bullied or you really bad once – maybe more? It’s easy to hold a grudge against them, hoping something bad will happen to them, just as something bad happened to you, or if they try to apologize, you want them down on their knees begging for mercy while you have your arms crossed, foot tapping, and your head angled enough to look down on them making a disgusted face and refusing – until they collapse – to forgive (Jesus even points out that when we love those who love us – even murderers, prostitutes, etc. love those who love them – that’s what he’s referring to when he says “sinners.”) Why is it easy to hold a grudge and not “love our enemies” as we’re instructed? Let me tell you a secret – it’s called flesh; sin. We want to have revenge; satisfaction, making whoever made us feel unloved, unwanted, and not good enough… we those who weren’t good to us, have the same feelings, if not worse.

See, if we only love and do good to those who love us and do good to us, then we do not truly treat those how we want to be treated, we don’t understand truly what it is like to love our enemies. We don’t know what it’s really like to show them God’s love, and we don’t try to understand how to act or reply in a Godly way to those who wrong us. Just like in school, teachers teach and have the students practice the concept they teach – for without practice how can we truly learn and know the material?

Rewinding to the first section of the verse (vs. 27-31)… try applying what I just said about verses 32-33 to these verses. Have a different perspective now? What about a new plan or way to approach situations in relation to these?

Now, in verse 27, isn’t just loving loving your enemies that “Oh, that wasn’t nice – but all well” attitude, it’s about coming along side them, helping them; showing God’s true love, and forgiving them even if they haven’t asked forgiveness. As a Christian, we should always strive to go that extra step. And – or more – but, when these situations come up, we need to check ourselves – giving/praying (to) our hearts to hearts to God and letting him take those grudges and put them away – destroy them. We also need to make sure our actions are for self-glorifying reasons.

You know that sarcastic phrase that people (you) often mutter when in or towards a situation that comes up and is hurtful, benigning, etc.? The one that goes: “Well, that was a slap in the face.” Literally, it could of been – but that’s also when you show grace and turn the other cheek. Don’t lash out, don’t retaliate. Humbly offer the other side of your face. Either they will “hit” you again or be in shock from your actions. And even if it seems that your actions had no effect – let me assure you, they did. God is planting that seed in their heart through you. Some may often even come back asking questions, because their so dumb-founded, of “Why?” and “How?”. That is your opportunity to tell of the “why” and “how.” The same application can go for the second half of verse 29 – where it talks about offering someone your “tunic.” When someone begs – have a compassionate heart. Give to them – and don’t demand repayment or ask for what you gave to be given back to you. Whether is was simply loaning a money to a friend who forgot their lunch at school to food to someone needy… don’t ask for repayment. These actions and showing love sets us Christians apart (and God), as I said before.

You do need to be careful though, of people who have a false claim, do show them God’s love, but be wary, going to God and seeking counsel on the situation you’re in. It’s sad, but there are people who imitate and act in ways that are deceiving to gain things they are have and don’t need.

Referring back to the first paragraph – where I was talking about how we oh-so-often struggle, I want to conclude partially in reference to Tammy Maltby’s book, Confessions of a Good Christian Girl. In the book, she talks and tells of women who struggled – these were good Christian women, leading Christ-like lives and living well, or that’s what it appeared. Yes, they loved God, but these women were conflicted with suicide, cutting, addictions (drugs, alcohol, pornography), self-image and confidence. The book tells countless testimonies of how in the deep dark, these women found the light, the love. One of the quotes Maltby put in her book, which is by Angela Thomas, goes:

“Jesus wants you to know that when you are broken, shivering, alone, or afraid, with nothing left and nowhere to go, then you can turn in His direction and lay yourself at the foot of his love…. God wants you to know that when everything is gone, that makes more room for Him, and every time there is more room for Him, you are blessed.”

(pg 5, Maltby)

In this we can take an apply the concept of that when we hold on to grudges, hate, and hurt (etc.) when you give them up and lay “yourself at the foot of His love” we are revived with his love and forgiveness. This helps us make that step to forgiving those who may have hurt us or even ourselves. Because just as other people may be our enemies and slap us in the face, we can do just as much damage, if not more to ourselves; we can easily become our own enemy. We must learn to have compassion on ourselves and others and to have respect for ourselves and others.

I wish I could write on about this topic, but time is such an enemy to me lately, so short and demanding. Before I part, until next time, here’s some verses in parting. Don’t just go, “Oh cool, verses to look at!” and ignore them or think I’ll look at them later. Look at them now. It won’t take much time.

Psalm 36:5, 1 Corinthians 13:4-13, 1 John 3:1-2, 1 John 4:7-12, 16-18

Some questions for reflection:

  1. Are you able and confident that in times when people wrong you, you can stand up, humbly, forgive, and give your burden to God, even though it’s not easy?
  2. Even when you mess up, or others, are you able to go the extra mile for God’s sake?
  3. Loving your enemy will be hard, but will you be able to rise above the offense and “offer the other cheek?”
  4. In times of distress it’s easy to forget about God – it’s easy to blame him, and in times when you want something badly, and it may not be his will – are you able to accept him and trust him to lead you 100% through?
  5. Sometimes it’s our very selves that get in the way of seeing truly what’s right – having a personal conflict is hard to accept, confess, and be able to reason and respect yourself, but sometimes that’s the first step to forgiveness. If some of these questions were hard to answer, maybe start deep in your heart and soul. Really think about it.
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How Following Christ Transforms Everything (Part 1)

“Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy, our brother,

To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from you love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.”

– Philemon 1:1-7 (ESV)

In this verse, Paul is writing to fellow believers. His topic is on trusting God. In verses 1 to 3, he talks about how it causes us to trust God in our own broken circumstances.

Helpful Note: In many circumstances, take family relationships for example, when someone hurts someone, they apologize; they mend that bond that was broken and they take care of it tenderly, making sure they are more careful.

What Paul is talking about is when we are in broken circumstances – or situations the first relationship that must be mended is ours and God’s. A forgiven heart will seek forgiveness and reign in the heart. So if one person apologizes and the person who was hurt forgives, the person who apologized will be forgiving and more lenient themselves.

In our broken circumstances when we mend our bond or create one with God, our situation doesn’t magically get all better and our lives become easy and perfect. God does not immediately release us from our circumstances when we become followers. This is important to remember, because many people who convert or who are skeptical look around and pick out people whose lives do not seem changed. People are aware of the wonderful and mysterious things God does, and they want that to happen to them. God does provide and miracles happen, but they are often small, yet important, or they will happen in time. God is not predictable.

In the last remaining lines of the verse, verses 4 to 7, the apostle explains that even when we are struggling, it causes us to love and appreciate others even if they are in broken relationships.

Life changes when you meet Jesus Christ.

It just does, when you first meet Him, there may be a noticeable change in your life, a small change, or a feeling of fulness. It depends on the person.

When the light of the gospel break through on your own struggles, it shines in other place, too. These other places can be the darkest depths of your heart, or in areas of your life that you weren’t open to changing. It is different for everyone.

There are those people who only see the part of your life where God has not worked yet or is working on, and it can be hard as they will judge you. But we have to live a higher standard – not judge them or pity them – but show mercy. In Matthew, Jesus says, “Judge no, that you be not judged. For with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you,” (Matthew 7:1-2 ESV). Pretty straight forward, huh? But also, as a Christian you are a representative of Christ. You need to be an image of Christ – just like a child looks up to his/her father and tries to do as he does, we need to look up to our Heavenly Father and try to match and follow his example.

All of us have residual sin and we can see it through the products of our culture.

Those who truly seek to follow Christ understand that God has control of our situations, and he has control of our lives and brokenness. Of all human qualities, forgiveness is the closest thing to God. The God who is forgiving, and all abounding in love, as well as slow to anger and fair in judgement.

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mirrored sunset

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.

– Ephesians 6:10-20 (NIV)

We live in a time of war, not just physically like with the Iraq or Afghanistan war, but also spiritually. So many Christians lose faith because the Devil is able to creep his way in and take out, we must, in order to fight him off, put on the armor of God. There are four points in these ten verses. The first being the armor of God (10-12). The “full armor of God” is referring to the Psalm and Isaiah soldier; Ps. 59:17. It is only with the armor of God that we can defend against the Devil. When we try to do it ourselves it doesn’t work out so well and we end up losing the battle and seriously wounded. In verse twelve it says: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” It’s true. We are not fighting beings with flesh-and-blood, we are fighting dark forces; dark spirits that would love to ruin our lives and make sure we never see the light of Christ. In this day and age our modern war technology is amazing and deathly accurate, but it’s useless when fighting a war that one cannot see physically. We must turn to “old-world technology” and less advanced ways; we must put on the armor of God and arm ourselves with his word and prayer.

In the second point, the passage talks about the specific parts of the armor of God (13-17). Each part of the armor blocks major places we are vulnerable and replaces those weaknesses with God’s strength. There’s the belt of truth – for flesh loves to deceive and lie. The body armor of righteousness, to protect our hearts and keep them pure with good morals, for flesh likes to corrupt the good. The shoes of peace, so that we may be swift and well in sharing with others about God’s love and spiritual peace. The shield of faith is there to stop the arrows of the dark side (Devil) and keep them from burning our souls and turning them to ashes. The helmet of salvation, to protect our head so that we can make right choices and acknowledge our salvation and surrender in Christ. Finally, there’s the sword of the Spirit, which we use to cut down and vanquish the enemy and turn others to God, for the sword of the Spirit is God’s word; the Bible.

In the third point, I want to emphasize of blocking and extinguishing the Devil’s fire (16-17). When we block his fire, we don’t want to just bounce it off and let it burn elsewhere, when we block it, we need to them charge and suffocate it so that it cannot burn in the place it seeks to wreak havoc and destruction. To put that fire out we need to use God’s word, as well as prayer,  and speak the words of truth and justice. God’s word is like rain to the Devil’s fire – it rains till it’s out. Arming ourselves with verses for every occasion will prove us well, even if it seems like a waste of time at first, it’s not. At all. You’ll be thankful one day that you sat down, or while on a business trip, or on the school bus you looked at one verse and memorized it, adding it to your permanent memory bank, for you’ll be able to think and treasure each verse.

In the final point, it’s using prayer and the word of God in this spiritual battlefield – warfare if you will. We are told to pray at all times and on every occasion. At first it seems absurd, but once one does it enough, it becomes a part of life and we grow in our faith; stronger in it. Prayer is one of the biggest connections we have to our heavenly Father – it’s our way of communication to Him. When our connection isn’t strong, then our relationship with Him isn’t as strong as it could be. It’s like if you didn’t talk to your father often, your relationship would be poor and you wouldn’t trust him as much, and when you needed help, he wouldn’t understand well, because your communication was lacking. Of course God knows your every thought and feeling, but he loves when we talk to him and let out our frustration and troubles. We need to pray, too for each other. We are all in the battlefield – at school, our homes, or out on the mission field. We need to ask God to give us the wisdom and the words to speak to share and spread His word and the good news about Him. Even when we’re in chains (spiritually or literally), we need to still be bold and share. His word is like a wild fire – once it catches it spreads fast.

In conclusion, we need to though, understand that faith does not protect us, but it seeks to find a protector – God. To me, my faith is like a privilege. Jesus did not have to die to save us from certain spiritual death. He did not have to create us. He did not have to share about His wonders and amazing love and forgiveness. I am so glad that He did do those things… and more, much more. We cannot thank him enough. Reason alone will never figure out this world. We need the word of God to discern things in this world for us.

Some corresponding passages are Ephesians 4:1, which is one of the main points in this passage – it’s part of its context. Ephesians 4:44 also corresponds to this passage – it talks about putting on a new self, putting on these new weapons, and bracing to go out and share the Faith. In Psalm 88 it talks about wrestling with God, which is and can be a part of the spiritual warfare we endeavor and have to conquer with putting up a white flag and surrendering ourselves to God. Hebrews 12:1-3  talks about God and how He promises to bring differentiation to our lives because he loves us. Psalm 18 is about how we need to be trusting in God at all times, it talks of how there are perils, it seems, and how God is our solid foundation – a foundation that is never shaken or broken. Romans 13:8-12 is a great parallel to this passage, vs. 8 talks how we own no one anything, except loving each other, 10b talks how love is fulfilling, and vs. 12 talks about casting off darkness and putting on armor of light.

A Few Reflection Questions:

    1. How does this fit in with everyday life?
    2. Verse 10 is a continuation of verse 9, it is about family, work, etc. How does spiritual warfare play out in these places?
    3. In one of the corresponding passages, Romans 13:8-12, verse 8 and 10b talk about how we owe no one anything, except loving each other and how love is fulfilling. How do you think you could apply these to your lifestyle and seeing how true love is fulfilling?

Love moves towards people – it does not pull away.

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Christians: What People Think of Us

Disclaimer: This is a written as personal essay, as in meaning this is written in my opinion and what I believe to be true and what I’ve heard people say.

You are welcome to agree with it or not. Please no hateful comments. You are welcome to stop reading if you don’t like it.

“Christians as a whole are the most pretentious people ever to walk the earth. And as a whole, they show no contempt for anyone who doesn’t follow their beliefs. As a whole, they find no fault in pointing fingers, pulling out others flaws, condemning those who aren’t like them,” (Anonymous).

“You think you’re so perfect, is that right? And we are all just lowly losers compared to you, hm?” This is what people usually say or think about my religion. “You all are screwed,” is what some people put out there – while everyone is shooting darts at each other as well as shouting accusations back and forth. There are people who have issues. There are also people out there with issues plus more. Everyone has certain issues though – it’s just how mankind is, how flesh is. There are so many stereotypes, but they only exist because there are actual people who act in that certain manner to cause them to arise.

So many Christians are persecuted. Some are hung on a log and burned alive in the forests of Asia on missions. Others are teased for being clean and not drinking or “going all the way” with their girl/boy friend in their own school. Christians are often thought of as being pretentious, as said above, hating homosexual people, and call the people who aren’t of their religion condemned idiots and fools, not to mention being racist. Personally, this hurts. It’s humiliating to the rest of the Christians who aren’t like that. It hurts, though, to know that this is what people think of us as.

I will not deny that there are pious, racist snobs who call themselves Christians. Honestly, I loathe people who are like that – it’s ridiculous. As Christians we are supposed to think of ourselves lowly; be humble, not judging, but reaching out to people. As Christians, we as a people are supposed to be the least racist, in the Bible Jesus tells his disciples in The Great Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,” (Matthew 28:19 ESV). All nations, in which means or refers to people of every race, gender or skin color. People –Christians– often forget this and though there are few words for this passage, each word has a deeper meaning contained within it. As Christians we shouldn’t go around condemning and cursing whoever the hell we feel like condemning on any given day or on any day, instead we are supposed to “turn the other cheek” and be gracious and gentle.

I am not a perfect image of a Christian kid. I yell at people, sometimes swear when agitated enough, and in regards to my patience and tolerance for select kids, it isn’t the best (I constantly have to remind myself: What would Jesus do?). I am not perfect, though I may try to be kind and good, I fail many times more than when I succeed. But it comforts me that when I fall down, He is there to pick me up, dust the dirt of, forgive, and help me move on and to make amends wherever needed and however hard it may be. Some may, and do, laugh at my faith, but it’s what has kept me alive… literally.

When talking to people at school, when I usually say, “Christian,” people make a face that is indescribable, and whether it is just from reaction or on purpose, I don’t know, but it is often funny to see, they make a simple comment of: “Oh.” And sometimes it’s “Oh…me too, but I am not really religious.” This indicates they are just saying that because they honestly don’t know what else to say, for me, but I find it absolutely hilarious, catching people off guard and seeing their reaction. It’s almost like a game. But after discovering my faith, people will most often turn to someone else and start a new conversation and ignore me. Makes me feel a little rejected, but that’s life, and I usually am smiling a few minutes later. Though, there are those occasions where people engage in a debate and I am sent running around in my head looking for the knowledge on such a topic and be able to respond with a reasonable response.

People have blamed me and my friends who are Christians that our morals, actions, and decisions are all based on our Christian beliefs, in which would otherwise be totally different (and more agreeable with them) had we not be Christians. This is partly true, but there are still some people who have a sense and can see where things might otherwise not end so well. I know many people who agree with me on some views and they aren’t Christians, they also have similar views, too. Many of my actions are just based on a process of thought and thinking ahead, some are, as stated before, influenced by my belief, but most are just by thinking through a situation and the society I grew up in earlier parts of my life. Many people are like this, ironically enough, you just have to look harder in this day and age to find people who aren’t stuck up in ridiculous things.

In response to my faith, I have had to stand up, and will stand up for it and my beliefs. I don’t care what people think of me, I am content in who I am. I have friends who care about me and will always be there for me (and I for them) no matter what. They don’t care that I am a Christian, how I look, or even dress. It is what is in the heart – the inside; what the personality is – that counts more so than what the physical appearance is. True friends will always stay by your side no matter what.

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The verse the study is focused around is in 2 Corinthians. It’s 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 (NIV):

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

In the first verse Paul is telling us that we must be *confident  in all we do. Why? Because confidence is one of the traits people lack these days. Our nature is timid; quiet. Though for some they fake having confidence and use power and worldly possessions to look good. Confidence can be delicate, when people pick on others they lose confidence in themselves, that is why, as Christians, we have to remember to stand strong, stand up and be ready knowing we’ll be made fun of, but also knowing that we are made perfectly in the image of God.

When we walk by faith, so much more can be accomplished. If we walk by plain sight, sure we can see, but we see everything from a human perspective. When people walk by faith, they are more confident, knowing Christ is always there. No matter what. So many amazing things happen when people walk by faith, ‘ cause really, you’re able to see more, you’re not “nearsighted” like others who walk by plain sight.

Verse 8 talks how we are confident (in Christ) and sure that we’d rather be in paradise (heaven), than here, on earth.  It’s true, but we also need to go our and serve, just like our Savior Jesus did. We have a purpose on earth. And when our days are up God will call us home, for he has numbered our days. We’d rather be home with Jesus because our soul wants to be in a good; perfect, place. Earth is the opposite. It’s in fact, far from perfect – its full of sinful people.

In verse 9, we are told to do something. That something is to make a goal to please our Lord, to honor, worship, and remember him. Whether we are at home, school, a friend’s house, or across the globe. Or even at church or in heaven – glorify him!

In the last verse it talks about how when the day when we are all called home Christ will seat us before himself and look through all the scenes of our lives. On that day he’ll judge us with wisdom, fairness, and with the truth. We will receive our dues done in our earthly body whether it was good or bad, judgement will be shown.

*1. having strong belief or full assurance; sure: confident of fulfillment. 2. sure of oneself; having no uncertainty about one’s own abilities, correctness, successfulness, etc.; self-confident; bold: a confident speaker.

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The verse below is found in Romans 2:1-5 (NIV):

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?

But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.

Starting with verse 1, it talks about our human nature. Our flesh, it is sinful and selfish, when we pass judgement just for seeing people’s actions, when we do the same things, we are being hypocrites. -We pave a bad path and paint a poor picture of ourselves to others. As Christians we must be careful, some have already given us a bad reputation for being “judgmental and thinking of ourselves as better than all” to most people. This is also because those who have showed that kind of manner are, too are quick to judge; being a hypocrite. Others are also too full of it –  themselves, because that’s what flesh does, it’s self-centered. And if not controlled, can be disastrous.

Verse 2 talks about God, it talks about how he is a fair God, *judging wisely.  He judges with truth, a technique we have yet to truly learn in many ways. “Díkaios” is Greek for “fair, just, equitable, right, evenhanded, and level.” It’s one of the astounding and many, many traits of our wonderful Father. When he judges us, he looks at all of us, not just the outside like they do on earth, but he looks particularly at our heart – the source of good and evil.

“As water reflects a face,

so a man’s heart reflects the man.”

– Proverbs 27:19 (NIV)

In verse 3, it asks a question – “So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?”

So do you think you’ll escape? Or do you think he’ll judge? It could go both ways couldn’t it? – Depending on your heart – if you will escape, why? Is it because you think you’re perfect and good enough He won’t count “that thing” against you? God is merciful and gives second chances, right (thousand times over)? If you though along the first answer/question, you’re totally wrong and need to check yourself and consult God to help you. Yes, God is merciful and forgiving, but you have to understand that God also knows the purpose and thought that goes into it. Sometimes he brings something along to discipline because he knows you’re lost. If your though along the second answer/question it’s true, as I said above, he does forgive – he even instructs us to forgive 70 x 7, which adds up to a lot – 490 times, and more (Matt. 18:21-22).  But in reality, we are all going to be judged to a full extent when Christ returns to take his followers home.

Verse 4 continues also with a question asking us if we contempt; despise, what he has done for us? – The “riches of his kindness, tolerance,” of our sinful ways, “and patience” for when we constantly are wandering? Many who despise and have put-off and shunned God,because they are blinded from knowing how truly merciful he is, how his kindness is overflowing, as well as his never-ending love. He is the ultimate gateway to our repentance and salvation.

In the last verse, we come to a conclusion. Because of our often stubbornness we get ourselves in a good bit of trouble. And it’s not just with people, but with God. Our heart is most often the culprit of our poor (or in times, good) actions. When we choose poorly, we are just mounting up evidence files that will one day be used when God judges us all. For those who chose poorly, it says his wrath will be released against them. For those who chose wisely, salvation and grace will be given.

*Shophet is Hebrew for “Judge.”

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