Wednesday, August 24, 2022
Pam Livingston - Journey Church Care Ministry Assistant
1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”
We begin Matthew 7 with Jesus speaking about the serious reality of criticizing others. Look at how The Message version of the Bible interprets the first couple verses: “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.” (verses 1-2). In other words, when we get annoyed over others weaknesses and failures, and as a result speak out of our emotions, we run the risk of creating an unhealthy atmosphere. Jesus is warning us against an environment that tears people down, rather than one that discovers the life-giving potential found in each person and situation.
Proverbs 16:24 says, “Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and health to the body.” These words not only apply to our interaction with others, but they also apply to us. Jumping on the failures of others will always have a negative affect on our own relationship with the Lord. Our judgmental words toward others will little by little fill our lives with angry outbursts. And in turn, these outbursts will dramatically begin to affect our own health and emotional state.
Just as Jesus went about every day knowing that he would encounter divine appointments, so we need to be more aware of the opportunities that God is giving us each day to speak words of encouragement and hope into the lives of others. Our goal should be to see the unique contribution a person can bring into any situation. They have been placed in our lives for a reason. May God help us to approach them with compassion, and also to value their unique purpose for which he has created them.
“God, thank you for pursuing me when I am not always loving and caring towards others. You are always giving me the opportunity to speak life-giving words to others, and to bless them with my actions. Help me to take hold of any situations that present themselves today. Amen.”
Daily Prayer Initiatives
- Jesus to change more lives as we double the square footage of our Castle Pines location.
- Momentum as we launch our Highlands Ranch location.
- Someone you can invite to Journey on Friend Day (Sunday, September 11)
- One bold prayer you sense God is personally inviting you to pray during the 21 Days.
Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. From the passage of Scripture you read, highlight one or two verses that stick out. Write them down, and even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.
Make some basic observations about the scripture you just read by asking these questions:
- Why was this written?
- To whom was it originally written?
- What is the author trying to communicate?
- What does the Scripture passage teach me about God and humanity?
After taking some time explaining the highlighted scriptures, begin to think about how they apply to your life. Ask yourself these questions and spend some time writing down your thoughts:
- What do these verses mean today?
- What does this verse(s) mean for my life?
- How does this verse challenge my thinking and actions?
- What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?
Your response to the passage may take on many forms. You may write a call to action. You may describe how you will be different because of what God has said to you through the Bible verses. You may indicate what you are going to do because of what you learned. You may respond by writing out a prayer to God. For example, you may ask God to help you to be more loving, or to give you a desire to be more generous in your giving. Keep in mind that this is your response to what you have just read.