TODAY'S READING IS FROM https://utmost.org/ and the print version of Oswald Chambers Daily Devotional: My Utmost For His Highest -- Date: June 17
Jesus says regarding judging — Don’t. The average Christian is the most penetratingly critical individual. Criticism is a part of the ordinary faculty of man; but in the spiritual domain nothing is accomplished by criticism. The effect of criticism is a dividing up of the powers of the one criticized; the Holy Ghost is the only One in the true position to criticize, He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into communion with God when you are in a critical temper; it makes you hard and vindictive and cruel, and leaves you with the flattering unction that you are a superior person. Jesus says, as a disciple cultivate the uncritical temper. It is not done once and for all. Beware of anything that puts you in the superior person’s place.
There is no getting away from the penetration of Jesus. If I see the mote in your eye, it means I have a beam in my own. Every wrong thing that I see in you, God locates in me. Every time I judge, I condemn myself (see Romans 2:17-20). Stop having a measuring rod for other people. There is always one fact more in every man’s case about which we know nothing. The first thing God does is to give us a spiritual spring-cleaning; there is no possibility of pride left in a man after that. I have never met the man I could despair of after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.
I WANT TO TELL YOU A STORY …
When we were kids, the Collar City bridge was being built (also known as the Hoosick Street bridge). It was years before the bridge was finally opened in 1981 connecting Troy and Green Island, NY to I-787 and then later to Route 7.
I remember feeling sad when the bridge was finally opened as it signaled the end of our childhood adventures. We played nonstop on all of the construction equipment and even had the bravery to start up some of the big rigs when we found keys in them.
One time when I was 9 my brother turned a key on a bulldozer just as a construction worker was existing a porta-potty. We didn’t realize we weren’t alone, and this seemingly quiet individual began chasing us away from the vehicles while yelling profanities and flailing his arms at us. Perhaps it’s not a good idea to leave keys in the ignition for children like us to find?
Daily we would play any number of childhood games including tag or hide-and-seek in those construction sites. Remember, this was an age before the Internet and cellphones. We actually had to go outside to entertain ourselves – and we preferred this. Being inside meant dealing with adult drama and childhood neglect and abuse. Outside we were famous race car drivers rounding corners on massive dirt mounds or brave trapeze artists walking steel bridge planks supported by enormous concrete pylons; or astronauts shooting off into space inside huge concrete connectors.
Needless to say, participating in the carnival-like opening ceremony when I was 11 did nothing for us wayward kids except to fill our bellies with hotdogs and cotton candy. For us the real prize was always in the daily toil of the construction equipment. To this day, I’m still truly amazed none of us were ever seriously hurt or arrested for some of our childhood shenanigans absent any adult supervision.
Now, as a Christian, I can whole-heartedly ascribe any ‘good-luck’ in these circumstances as Father God (YAHWEH) protecting us. My only regret is that I didn’t know the father heart of God until being a 31-year-old adult.
Don’t wait dear one, God wants to know you and He wants to have you discover His goodness. Please read the scripture verses below from Matthew 7.
Blessings, Mary Budesheim
Matthew 7 Judging Others 7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 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. 6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. Ask, and It Will Be Given 7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! The Golden Rule 12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. 13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. A Tree and Its Fruit 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. I Never Knew You 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Build Your House on the Rock 24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” The Authority of Jesus 28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.