Read Luke 6 - 7
In Today's Reading:
Jesus and the Sabbath; 12 apostles chosen; Sermon on the Mount; healing and miracles; John the Baptist's question; Jesus anointed
We all have sinned beyond our ability to count, and we should be deeply thankful that our Heavenly Father forgives us when we repent of our sins. If we are truly grateful, we will approach everyone who sins against us with the same mercy and compassion that we receive from the Lord. Jesus, who knows how the human heart tends to be hypocritical, warned: Why behold . . . the mote (speck) that is in your brother's eye, but perceive not the beam that is in your own eye?. . . You hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of your own eye, and then you shall see clearly to pull out the mote that is in your brother's eye (Luke 6:41-42).
It is our responsibility to recognize the mote (evil) for what it is, but we must first consider our own beam (including negative attitudes and criticism of others). Only then are we qualified to help others with their needs.
A heart of compassion and concern to help others is in striking contrast to those who overlook their own faults and failures, but who rarely miss an opportunity to gossip about someone else's conduct or failures. We are prone to imply evil motives to others' actions, and may even exaggerate them. Thankfully, God is a merciful God who fully forgives us when we repent of our sins. But, we tend to judge ourselves by our good intentions and others by their mistakes. Since we expect God's mercy toward us, it makes a vital demand upon us to extend that same mercy to others. If you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:15).
Criticism is often an act of self-righteousness in an attempt to build one's own self-esteem by putting others down. Also, it is easy to jump to conclusions without knowing or caring about all the facts. We have an amazing ability to misjudge the thoughts and actions of others. Judgmental people thrive on faultfinding and find something wrong with everything that is said or done by another whom they would love to belittle. It is this self-righteousness that Jesus spoke of when He said: Cast out first the beam out of your own eye. Once we remove the spirit of hypocrisy from our own hearts, the love of Christ can be expressed through us.
If anyone is overtaken in a fault (sin), you which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering yourself, lest you also be tempted (Galatians 6:1).
6:11 communed = discussed, plotted; 6:19 virtue = healing power; 6:41 mote = a small speck, dirt, dust or splinter; 7:14 bier = a stand on which a corpse or casket is laid; 7:34 winebibber = one who drinks wine.
For Luke 7:22: See Isa. 61:1. Luke 7:27: See Mal. 3:1.
Pray for Government Officials: Sen. Jim Bunning (KY) and Sec. Mel Martinez (Department of Housing and Urban Development) · Country: United States (273 million) in North America · Major languages: English and Spanish · Religious freedom · 51% Protestant; 22% Roman Catholic; 17% other religions; 4% cults; 3% Jewish; 2% Eastern Orthodox; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray, in faith, for God to work a miracle (II Kings 4:33-34).
Memory Verse for the Week: I Corinthians 3:17