Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Kings 6-7; Matthew 7
Life is full of making judgment calls. We navigate through life making decisions based on the data collected and processed. Here in Matthew 7, Jesus is not talking about making a judgment call; He is talking about creating our own standard of self-righteousness, and then critically judging everyone around us against that standard. We all have opinions, but most of them would be best kept to ourselves. When a person feels they need to comment on everything in life, they are probably guilty of violating this passage. When an individual or any group of people develops their own standards of religion and morality, they inevitably judge everyone by those self-made beliefs and standards. The scribes and Pharisees had done just that. It is a sad day when people gradually modify God’s revealed Word to suit their own thinking, inclinations, and abilities. Self-righteousness creates all kinds of spiritual struggles for people, but the most obvious is a judgmental or critical spirit. If we are honest, we all have areas in our lives that need the grace and mercy of God. That is why Hebrews 4:16 is such a blessing. We have access to the very throne of God, as His child, in order to obtain grace and mercy in time of need. The question in verse three is a good one for all of us to consider when we get judgmental, “…why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” We cannot even witness properly if we cannot be humble and honest regarding our own spiritual condition. There has been more damage done to the cause of Christ because of the haughty and arrogant attitude of some Christians. What ever happened to the attitude, “except for the grace of God, there go I.” Being honest about my own sin and weaknesses allows me to see honestly and to deal humbly with the lost. Getting on my knees before God repenting of my own sin, allows me to graciously and properly help a brother in Christ. When I have a God-righteous attitude rather than a self-righteous attitude, I acknowledge my need for God and go to Him in prayer. The rest of the chapter deals with the issue of testimony. Do my actions manifest a grateful appreciation for a Savior who endured my sin’s penalty so I could have everlasting life? It is confusing to a lost world for people to claim to be saved and then to live like the world. God makes it clear that it is not normal for a good tree to produce corrupt fruit and visa versa. God certainly deserves our humble obedience to His plan for our lives. It ought to be our desire to glorify His majestic name.
• Lord, please help me to never tolerate in my life a critical spirit. I am naturally selfish, and I need your help to live victorious over this natural tendency.
• Lord, thank you for enduring my sin’s penalty. Please help me to properly bring you glory and accurately reflect your character to the people around me.
• Lord, please help me guard my heart against a self-righteous spirit. Help me to cultivate a God-righteous spirit.
• Lord, thank you for the promise that I can come to you any time, as your child, and know for certain that you hear me and will answer according what is best for me.