Saturday, July 5, 2014

More of God & Less of Me


Have you ever tried to go a few hours being more like Jesus and less like yourself? Jesus was so selfless. Everything he did his entire life was for us. Every thought, word and deed.  Trying to be more like Jesus and less like ourselves is indeed the ultimate challenge. God knows each of us, inside out because he designed us. He knows what we do in the light as well as the dark. He knows everything about us, who we are when no one is looking and what we feel deep in our hearts. He knows exactly who makes us laugh, who hurts our feelings and how many tears we shed when they do. If we ask for his help, he will oblige by giving us lessons and tests. He has the power to put us through all of the right storms that will truly change us if we courageously ask Him to.

Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of my favorite scriptures, if I were into tattoos I would consider it. By my way of thinking, it sums all things up. It is the true reflection of what having Faith is all about. All the other things we are asked to do are a measure of that very Faith. Having Faith in God means walking in his truth and using the guideline He made for us which are pretty basic. 
God has a lot to say about judging. He cautions us about Judging with condemnation ; or condemning someone with a judgement. God  doesn't want us to go around telling people they are going to Hell. We don't have the authority to make that call. However, when we see someone we care about behaving poorly, it is our job to try and set them straight. So many people are overly confused by this verse in Matthew. 

Matthew 7:1-2 says “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 

Our society today is filled with people crying out that no one has the right to judge them. Some even claim that  "Jesus never judged people; He even taught that we are not to judge!" They even quote Matthew without the slightest understanding of what he was saying. 
Many fail to understand that Jesus taught, that we are given the right and responsibility to make judgments in order to help our fellow man with their problem of sin, provided we have first "removed the plank from our own eye."

But what does it mean to judge with righteous judgment? Jesus revealed this earlier in John 5:30: Jesus spoke, saying, "I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me"


Jesus expects you to be able to see clearly, so that you can "remove the speck from your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:5). So there are judgments to be made, first within ourselves, and of others.          John 7:24 (KJV)  says that we must judge not according to the appearance, but with righteous judgment. Judgement such as this 
can only be made with love and with the understanding that they 
must never be made if we have a bitter, hypercritical, faultfinding spirit.  That is a haughty attitude God will not tolerate.
 
On a personal note, I have been at the receiving end of  that kind of judgement. It was painful at first but as I came to understand that the persons delivering it loved me dearly and wanted me to grow. There was not one single moment when I didn't have the spirit of forgiveness and  thankfulness for their blessing of honesty.

Luke 6:37  (ESV)37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be... forgiven

God is saying that it is in our own best interest to forgive! He is not talking about what is in the best interest of the person who needs to be forgiven. We are the ones who God is trying to protect. We are the ones who receive the most benefit from forgiveness, not the other person. A spirit of unforgiveness complicates and compromises our daily walk with God. Forgiving others releases us from anger and allows us to receive the healing we need. The whole reason God has given us specific direction is because He does not want anything to stand between us and Him. God's love for us is beyond our comprehension. Forgiving others spares us from the consequences of living out of an unforgiving heart. - See more at: http://www.allaboutgod.com/forgiving-others.htm#sthash.RXeD4oQN.dpuf
      Forgive...Stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw or mistake
God is saying that it is in our own best interest to forgive! He is not talking about what is in the best interest of the person who needs to be forgiven. We are the ones who God is trying to protect. We are the ones who receive the most benefit from forgiveness, not the other person. A spirit of unforgiveness complicates and compromises our daily walk with God. Forgiving others releases us from anger and allows us to receive the healing we need. The whole reason God has given us specific direction is because He does not want anything to stand between us and Him. God's love for us is beyond our comprehension. Forgiving others spares us from the consequences of living out of an unforgiving heart. - See more at: http://www.allaboutgod.com/forgiving-others.htm#sthash.RXeD4oQN.dpuf
God is saying that it is in our own best interest to forgive! He is not talking about what is in the best interest of the person who needs to be forgiven. We are the ones who God is trying to protect. We are the ones who receive the most benefit from forgiveness, not the other person. A spirit of unforgiveness complicates and compromises our daily walk with God. Forgiving others releases us from anger and allows us to receive the healing we need. The whole reason God has given us specific direction is because He does not want anything to stand between us and Him. God's love for us is beyond our comprehension. Forgiving others spares us from the consequences of living out of an unforgiving heart. - See more at: http://www.allaboutgod.com/forgiving-others.htm#sthash.RXeD4oQN.dpuf
God is saying that it is in our own best interest to forgive! He is not talking about what is in the best interest of the person who needs to be forgiven. We are the ones who God is trying to protect. We are the ones who receive the most benefit from forgiveness, not the other person. A spirit of unforgiveness complicates and compromises our daily walk with God. Forgiving others releases us from anger and allows us to receive the healing we need. The whole reason God has given us specific direction is because He does not want anything to stand between us and Him. God's love for us is beyond our comprehension. Forgiving others spares us from the consequences of living out of an unforgiving heart. - See more at: http://www.allaboutgod.com/forgiving-others.htm#sthash.RXeD4oQN.dpuf
God is saying that it is in our own best interest to forgive! He is not talking about what is in the best interest of the person who needs to be forgiven. We are the ones who God is trying to protect. We are the ones who receive the most benefit from forgiveness, not the other person. A spirit of unforgiveness complicates and compromises our daily walk with God. Forgiving others releases us from anger and allows us to receive the healing we need. The whole reason God has given us specific direction is because He does not want anything to stand between us and Him. God's love for us is beyond our comprehension. Forgiving others spares us from the consequences of living out of an unforgiving heart. - See more at: http://www.allaboutgod.com/forgiving-others.htm#sthash.RXeD4oQN.dpuf
 Matthew 6:14-15  14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
  Forgive for yourself. Forgive even if the person you forgive is not sorry. 




In our effort to be more like him and less of our self we must never loose sight of the one who wants to ruin us.
The Devil knows what we are doing all the time. In his desire is to control us, he will take advantage of any and all opportunities to encourage us to do something despicable, something that would go against the laws God asked us to live our lives by. He wants to make us feel worthless and incapable of success in our lives in any and all areas. Once we feel worthless and believe that God is displaying some imaginary disapproval we may sink to lower levels than we ever did before. If you see this happening to someone or someone you love bears witness to this happening to you, talk to them about it or listen to them, seek help from your pastor.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.


Blessings to you all as you become more like Jesus and less like yourself. 
Keep Him with you always.


Expository Files.http://www.bible.ca/ef/expository-matthew-7-1-5.htm