Saturday, September 17, 2011
Here Comes the Judge!
1 Corinthians 4:5
Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.
Paul is concerned about members of the Church in Corinth who are engaged in the negative activities of criticism and censure of one another. Passing judgment, he reminds them, is not their prerogative; it is God's alone. Their priorities should be to love and worship God and to love each other as they love themselves. If those are first and foremost, there is no longer room for boasting about their own righteousness or blaming others for their seeming lack of conviction. Love paves the way to look past perceived shortcomings in others, not only opening the door to forgiveness, but also to forgetting each others' transgressions.
In a recent sermon, Pastor Wallace shared an encounter he had with a young man who claimed to have no problem forgiving others, but he simply could not forget about what had happened and didn't think it was possible. Pastor Wallace put him on the spot.
"So, let me understand here. You can forgive others, but you can't forget their sin against you?"
"That's right, sir."
"Do you believe God forgives your sins?"
"Yes, I believe He does."
"If He forgives your sin, do you want Him to remember the bad thing you did, or do you want Him to let it go?"
Touche! This young man saw the light! He understood that we are not to judge, we are to forgive; we are not to hold a grudge, we are to forget. If we do this and love one another, we will each, as Paul said, receive our praise from God.
Psalms 75, 76 or 23, 27
2 Kings 2:1-18
1 Corinthians 4:1-7