“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”(Matt 7:1-2) Jesus told us that we should not judge others in a way that we don’t want to be judged, and that if we do make judgments against someone else’s life decisions, someone else may judge us for ours. Let’s face facts, none of us are perfect and we sin every day. But Jesus paid our sin debt long before we were ever born.
So we are all sinners, which keeps us all on the same level in life. We must not look at what someone else is doing while we, ourselves are sinning. “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.”(Matt 7:3-5) So you see, in God’s eyes, we are all equal and equally evil as we are all sinners. Not one of us can cast judgment on another.
Once we are saved, we have our names written in the Lamb’s book of life. But, as we sin in life, the book keeps an account, as well as an account for the good deeds we do in service to others and to God. Remember, this book will opened to your pages and from it you will stand before the Lord almighty and have to give an account for your life. “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.” (Rev 20:12)
Lately, the following passage seems to be following me through nearly everything I do:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:4-7). I would like to say a few things about this word “Thanksgiving”. First, let’s break it apart. It’s a noun and means, obviously, the giving of thanks. But thanks for what and giving to whom?
In present day, this is the name of a holiday which has come to mean stuffing ourselves to the max, watching football and going out and trying to beat everyone else to the big bargains – pretty much the manifestation of gluttony, self and greed. This is the exact opposite of the meaning of the word itself. Thanksgiving is for giving, not self, greed or gluttony. What we are celebrating is our heritage as Americans. When the Pilgrims were going through very bad times, they were thankful for what they did have. When times finally became easier and food was more plentiful, they celebrated with a huge feast in honor of and to thank God for all He had given them.
We are to be giving thanks to the Lord for every single thing we have in our lives – good and bad. We need to be extra thankful for the good things in our lives and also thankful for being able to handle the bad things. (Rom 8:28)(Heb 13:20-21).
Friends, Thanksgiving is not a holiday that is celebrated ritualistically once a year. Thanksgiving is something that should be practiced and warmly felt in the heart and in the soul, fed by the spirit of God, and should be practiced every single day of the year.
Emotions. The good Lord gave them to all of us. But I know there are a lot of men, and some women, who won’t allow their tears to be seen in public. God knows I have cried enough of them. I can remember the very first time I cried in public. It was an Easter service and they played a hymn, the title of which I cannot remember. And I wept. My wife asked me what was wrong and I replied through my tears that I didn’t know, but I couldn’t stop. I will never forget the next thing I heard. I heard her mother say “Praise Jesus for He has exalted Himself to us today”.
Do you know what the shortest Bible verse is? It is John 11:35 – “Jesus wept“. Christ stood before a multitude and wept in sorrow for the death of His friend, Lazarus. He didn’t have to weep. He certainly knew He could bring Lazarus back, so why did He do this? I believe it was to show that there is nothing wrong with showing that a person has a tender heart. The greatest man who ever walked this earth was willing to show his emotion in public. We can too!