September 2, 2014

ReadLuke 6:41-42 

Over the past two weeks, God has shown me, through some challenging events, that I may not have the "Do not judge others" commandment down quite as well as I thought. Here are 2 of those events:

- A Christian in Iraq, in the face of death, renounced his faith.

- A distant family member who is gay, announced his upcoming wedding to his partner.

And so, I judged. Not out loud, of course, but in my head. Here's what I thought:

- "I would never renounce my faith." But what if guns were held to the heads of my children?

God asked me.

- "I would never attend a gay wedding. It might show approval." But what about when Jesus conversed with sinful women? God asked.

The veil was lifted, and I realized that I sought to remove splinters in others' eyes while failing to recognize the beams of judgement in my own.

And then came the greatest "Aha" moment of all. I judged God. My child, who had already experienced a crisis in her life, received more bad news. Clear as day, I heard the voice of Satan ask the same question he asked Eve," Is God really good?" Praise God His voice is louder, as He quickly redirected my thoughts to the beam in my own eye-the idea that He should act according to my plans, not His.

And so, I refocused on God's priorities - showing love in all situations and trusting His plan.

It's a challenge for all of us to reflect on situations in which we may be focusing on the actions and beliefs of others, judging them without love and acceptance. We can only meet that challenge as we redirect our thoughts to His. What situation in your life needs to be redirected this week?

Pray: 

Adoration: God is holy, mighty, gracious, and merciful. Spend time declaring your love for Him and expressing your thoughts of praise and worship. 

Confession: Ask God to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness. 

Thanksgiving: Express your thankfulness to God for the blessings He has given you. When we consider that we deserve punishment because of our sinfulness, and instead God gives to us His love and mercy, our only response should be one of thankfulness. 

Supplication: Petition God for growth in your compassion and love toward others.  Offer prayers for your loved ones and others who do not know Jesus and for those in need.  Ask God to use you to tell others about Him and show His love. Offer prayers concerning your activities for this day and any special concerns you have.