Hello Brothers & Sisters,
Jesus told us that we shouldn’t judge other people (Matt 7:1-5). The NT makes it clear that our calling is to live in love as Christ loved us and gave himself for us (Eph 5:1-2; 1 Jn 3:16). And we can’t judge others and live in love at the same time. I hope that you're talking to the Spirit about these things and that you’ve been intentionally monitoring your thoughts toward others this week.
In last Sunday’s message, Denouncing (Your Inner) Judge Dredd, I tried to clarify that there is a difference in judging people and judging (discerning) things that are good and evil (Matt 7:16-20). While it’s right for us to discern that certain attitudes, actions, and behaviors aren’t appropriate for followers of Jesus, we must be careful that we don’t become the judge, jury, and executioner of others made in God’s image. We mustn’t assume we know what is in a person’s heart (motives), or that we fully understand their situation and circumstances. We mustn’t act as if we see and know all that God sees and knows.
I said that when we do this, we take from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which was forbidden to us. Not only is this damaging to others, because we’re cursing instead of blessing them, but as we see in Genesis 3, it exposes our own nakedness and sin. It becomes about us trying to gain our worth by diminishing the worth of others. Think about this, folks. When sinners pass judgment on other sinners, everyone loses. You may feel better about yourself in the moment, but you are over time hardening your own heart toward God’s Spirit and those he calls you to love.
That is why Paul says that we should think of ourselves as the worst of sinners (1 Tim 1:15). Yes, we’re called to be saints (holy ones), but we never forget that we’re all broken and not as we should be. We’re all a work in progress (Phil 3:12). Therefore, if we want to live in love toward others and know the peace and freedom of Christ, we must remember who we really are and who God is—revealed in the loving character of Jesus. May God help us to ascribe unsurpassable worth to others, so that our own souls might be filled with a greater knowledge and experience of his love for us.
I hope you will join us this Sunday at Grantham Church. We will have a School Bag Dedication as we pray for all of our young people returning to school. Students of all ages should bring their school bags or backpacks with them to worship. Also, our new Bishop, Bob Beaty, will be bringing the message. Please come and meet Bishop Bob and his family. Oh, and just so you know, the Beaty family recently moved to Dillsburg from California, and they are still looking for a church family!
Finally, we will be baptizing 11 people in the Yellow Breeches after the service on Sunday. We plan to meet at the creek as soon as our worship service is over. However, if we end up getting more rain and the creek is not safe for baptizing, we will be baptizing in the sanctuary. Whether we’re outside or inside, it will be a special time together as a church family.
See you on Sunday!
Grace & Peace,
P.S. Stay tuned for our Fall 2018 Ministries brochure! The brochure will contain everything you need to know about what is happening this fall, including information about our fall sermon series. We will be making those available to you next Sunday, August 26. Look for them in your mailbox and/or at any of our welcome centers.
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