Wise Words

The Way You Judge
Matthew 7:1-5 NASB

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

This is not an indictment against all judging, but it is an indictment against hypocritical judging. For, not all judging is wrong, but some of it is encouraged (See: Gal. 6:1-5; James 5:19-20; 1 Co. 5:1-13, esp. v. 12).

The right kind of judging has a purpose to heal, to deliver, to free, to restore, and to forgive. The wrong kind of judging, nonetheless, is more likely to have the objective to be proud, self-righteous, overly critical, condemning, harmful, spiteful, abusive, and even slanderous. The right kind of judging should be founded in the truths of scripture. The wrong kind of judging is usually based on human opinion or tradition, and not on God.

So, when this says we should not judge, it is speaking of the wrong kind of judging, the kind where we measure others by ourselves or by our own opinions or traditions, or by our own self-righteous opinions of ourselves in comparison to others. And, the goal of this wrong judging is not to heal or restore, but to look superior to others, i.e. to make ourselves look good while we make them look bad (example: The Pharisees).

The problem with this kind of judging is that it continually finds fault in others while it ignores the sins raging within our own hearts. So, the counsel here is that we need to do a self-examination of our own hearts first, clean the junk out of our own hearts, and then we can see clearly to help remove sins out of other people’s lives, which is the goal, to help others to freedom.

They Will Trample
Matthew 7:6 NASB

“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

What comes to mind here is another passage of scripture from Matthew:

“Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet” (Matt. 10:14 NASB).

I am going to quote “gotquestions.org” here, because they worded it so well:

“Shaking the dust off the feet is a symbolic indication that one has done all that can be done in a situation and therefore carries no further responsibility for it. In the scriptural examples, Jesus was telling His disciples that they were to preach the gospel to everyone. Where they were received with joy, they should stay and teach. But where their message was rejected, they had no further responsibility. They were free to walk away with a clear conscience, knowing they had done all they could do.”

Read more here: https://www.gotquestions.org/shake-dust-off-feet.html

I have been there before, so I know what this is saying. Sometimes we find ourselves just “beating a dead horse,” so to speak, and facing much opposition and resistance, and finally the Lord says “You are free to go.”

He Who Knocks
Matthew 7:7-11 NASB

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”

So, what is this saying? That, if we just ask, we will be given whatever we want? I don’t think so, for that would contradict other teachings of scripture.

The context appears to imply that the asking is for good gifts, not for what is selfish or harmful, such as we ask for a loaf, not a stone, a fish, not a snake. And, then it talks about how we, as flesh, know how to give good gifts to our children, so how much more will God, who is holy and perfect, give what is “good” to those who ask him.

So, what is “good”? I believe it is what is good (right, beneficial) in the eyes of God, not in the eyes of man. For, what we might call “good” might actually be harmful to us or at least not beneficial. So, this has to do with asking God for what he wants to give us anyway, for what will help us grow in our walks of faith, and not for what will pull us away from him.

But, if truly this is what we want, in the depths of our hearts, then we won’t be working against what we say we want, but we will be seeking after the good with all our hearts, desirous to live to please God, humble before him, willing to have him point out our faults, and we will repent of sin and follow our Lord in obedience and in surrender to his will.

In the Same Way
Matthew 7:12 NASB

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

We should always treat others in the same way we want them to treat us. For, it is hypocritical of us if we ask for them to treat us in a certain way and then we turn around and treat them the same way we asked that they not treat us.

I think, too, that we should treat all people the same way, not that we should have the same kind of relationship with everyone, for we can’t, and we shouldn’t, in many cases, but that we should treat people equally with kindness, love, respect, value, and sincerity, etc., no matter who they are, and no matter how they treat us in return, too.

The Narrow Gate
Matthew 7:12-13 NASB

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

This passage here really sums it all up for us, doesn’t it? The narrow gate is the way of Jesus Christ, and it is the way of the cross, of death to sin and self, and living to righteousness. For, if truly we are dead to sin and self, and if we are walking in the Spirit, in Christ’s righteousness, we will not judge others hypocritically, we will treat all people with equity – with kindness and in love – and we will desire the good and hate and reject the evil.

The reason this gate is narrow is because it is the way of holiness. It is separation from the world of sin, and it is being separate unto God and to his service. It no longer conforms to the ways of this sinful world, but it is transformed in the renewing of our minds in putting on Christ and his holiness and walking in his ways and in his truth.

The broad way, nonetheless, is the way of the world. It is the path of compromise in order to be liked by humans, rather than the way of the cross, which will most likely get us rejected and hated by some or many humans. The broad way, thus, dilutes the gospel message to make it more appealing to human flesh and to free us of the guilt of willful and continued sinful practices. It promises much, but it is a lie. So, don’t be fooled by it.

The way of the flesh, of compromise, will result in destruction of our lives, and will result in death, i.e. eternity in the fires of hell. The narrow way, which is death to sin and living to righteousness, will result in eternal life with God in glory. Many travel the broad road, because it is easy and comfortable. Few travel the narrow road, because it is tough, and it is restrictive, but oh, it is FREEDOM, JOY, FULFILLMENT AND PEACE.

So, if you want of God what is good, and that is what you are seeking, then what you will find is the narrow road, not the broad road, for the broad road is not for your good, although it may feel good, at times.

Thus, just remember that we reap what we sow. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But, if we sow to please the Spirit of God, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (See: Gal. 6:7-8; cf. Rom. 8:1-17; Lu. 9:23-25; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

So, if we want to follow Jesus Christ with our lives, we must be willing to lay down our lives for him and for others, that we might all walk that narrow road in peace with God.

Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed
Isaac Watts/ Ralph E. Hudson

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For sinners such as I?

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away
’Tis all that I can do.

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Saturday, June 9, 2018 – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from Your Word. I pray for all of us who call you our Savior, that we would apply these biblical truths to our hearts and lives. In your name I pray. Amen!

 

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