When you know how the log feels

“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.” Matthew 7:5 NASB

This scripture has been speaking to me in a new way and I will tell you why.

When Jesus spoke these words, He had been teaching the people who were present for His sermon on the mount. From Matthew chapter 5 through chapter 7, the knowledge Jesus shared encompassed truth regarding God’s kingdom, how people are to relate to God and to one another, faith, prayer, marriage, the purpose of His coming to earth, giving to the poor, fasting, how to live free from anxiety, discerning good from evil, the way to life vs the path to destruction, and the correct way to build an unshakable foundation of faith. You can spend weeks studying these two chapters and have a feast to chew on for years to come. Matthew chapter 7 concludes with these words:
“…the crowds were amazed at His teaching, for He taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.” Matthew 7:28b – 29

You just know when you are listening to someone who knows what they are talking about. There is a difference in the way they deliver their words. Not only is there conviction and confidence in what they speak, there is power.

The conversations and encounters that have made a lasting impact on my life have come from such people. These are fellow believers who have walked the path I’m on and can relate to my struggle. They understand my pain or confusion because they have experienced similar feelings. Instead of blasting me for my weakness, they lovingly point me in the direction of God, right where I am, showing the compassion and mercy I so desperately need. Even if it’s correction, the people who have received the loving conviction of God turn around and extend that same loving conviction to me.

When God has been merciful to me with my sins and failures, how can I turn around and condemn someone else for theirs?

So, back to the verse Matthew 7:5 and what it means to me:

When I get real with God and allow Him to work in my life, I’m giving Him the green light to have His way. He teaches me right from wrong in every situation; He gives me wisdom and direction, encouragement and peace. I let Him have access to all the dark, fearful or ugly aspects of my life and He in turn showers me with mercy, love and grace. He is conforming me to the image of Christ, turning me into something beautiful out of the ashes of my former self. And I in turn want to point others to God and all of His goodness.

When we care more about helping someone than judging them, then we are prepared to offer assitance for the speck of dirt in their eye:

Matthew 7:3-5 The Message (MSG)

Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.

Pray for one another

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Sow in Difficult times…

…reap a joyful harvest.

Something stood out to me today when I read this passage from Psalm 126:

Psalm 126:5-6 New International Version (NIV)

Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.

Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.

When you continue to sow good, righteous seeds during difficult times, you will reap a harvest of blessing. But you don’t get the joy of reaping if you don’t sow anything.

Whether it’s giving finances for Godly purposes when you are tight on funds…

Or sowing kindness into another’s life when you are feeling broken…

When you forgive someone while you are still in the throes of processing their trespass,

or when you sing praises to God when nothing in your world is going your way…

Please know this – your tears are not wasted. They have not gone unnoticed. Whatever He promises, the answer is always “Yes”, in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). Don’t give up, only believe…

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God Digs Math

God digs math:

He blesses and doesn’t add sorrow along with it (Proverbs 10:22) and adds everything you need (Philippians 4:19)

He takes away sin (John 1:29) (subtraction 😉)

He divides with His word (Hebrews 4:12) but abhors division (Galatians 5:20)

He is all about multiplication (Genesis 1:22, Genesis 9:72 Corinthians 9:10)

He is greater than > everything (1 John 4:4) and gives abundant grace & forgiveness to those who know they are less than < (James 4:6, Luke 18:10-14)

He even invented new math, lol, because with God, 3 = 1 and 2 = 1 (Matthew 28:19, John 10:30, Matthew 19:5, Genesis 2:24)

God’s knowledge is infinite (Romans 11:33), His faithfulness endures forever (Psalm 117:2) and His love not equal ≠ to what you can imagine.
It’s to infinity & beyond !

In fact, we only see a fraction of Who He is, but He wants to reveal Himself to you more fully (Acts 17:26-27).

You don’t even have to be good with numbers!

 

God Digs Math (1)