JANUARY 11 READING…Matthew 7
In today’s reading Jesus continues and completes the sermon on the mount. It begins with the one verse that people who don’t really care about what the Bible says in any other area like to use when biblical truths are spoken into their lives and about their behavior. They say we cannot judge…yet in every area of life we all judge all kinds of things. The word that Jesus uses here is more clearly translated as condemn or condemnation. It is not our place to condemn other people…we can’t because we cannot see the whole story, and we cannot know another’s heart perfectly. Only God can do that. But we are called to evaluate, judge, our own actions and the actions of others. If we did not, then anarchy would be the result. How do you know a false teacher, except to judge what he says…the same with a false prophet? How about where we are told, “by their fruit you will know them” …there is an evaluation, or judgment of a person’s fruit that shows whether they are followers of Christ? Finally, it is not judging to tell people what the Bible says about the consequences of their unbelief and ungodly actions. We need to always look at ourselves to be sure, but notice Jesus’ last statement, “don’t give what is holy to the dogs, nor cast your pearls before swine”. How would you know the dogs and the swine apart from judging or evaluating their actions and beliefs?
Jesus reminds us to ask of God, and because our God is a good Father, He will give to us what we need. We are told to treat others the way we would want to be treated. And then Jesus tells us that the way to heaven is narrow and difficult, and few there are that find it. The Lord tells us the difference between true and false teachers…once again, you can see the need to judge or evaluate the teachings of all who claim to be teachers. We are told that heaven is not earned by our efforts or good works, but only through Jesus Christ, for this is the will of God for all who would be saved. We are told to be sure to build our life’s house on the rock…who is Jesus, and not on the shifting sands of this world. The world has nothing for us that will enable us to stand when the winds of trouble come…only Jesus is the sure foundation.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
TOMORROW’S READING…Matthew 8