My Daily Journal:
1. Measure for Measure: This reminded me of the days of the gold rush. Miners would pan for gold and, hopefully, find nuggets. They would then bring these in to town where someone would purchase them., The price was based on weight and the purchaser of the nuggets owned the scale. It was often a simple balance and they used counter weights to determine the weight of an ounce of gold. If their counter weight was a bit heavy, say 1.5 ounce or 2 ounces instead of 1 ounce, then when they put the gold on the other end of the scale, they would get that much extra for the price they paid. But Jesus explains that this manipulation is all for nothing, because the same set of weights, the measure, they use for others will be the same set of weights used to evaluate their worth. In this situation the only thing that makes sense for fairness to abound is to use weights that are true and accurate. The only source of that measure that is true is the Word of God.
2. I just finished reading a book called Allegiant, and one of the lines in the book really stuck in my mind in regard to our lesson this week. “Everyone has some evil (sin/fault) inside of them and the first step to loving anyone else is to recognize the same evil (sin/fault) in ourselves, so we are able to forgive them.” We have spent 4 weeks on the Sermon on the Mount and it is easy sometimes to compartmentalize the lesson of three weeks ago and this week, but they are all the same sermon. In Matt 5, Jesus explained this principle in the extreme. You may not have murdered someone else, but have you been angry or thought of another as being a fool? If so, it is the same thing, the same sin, the same evil, with the same just punishment (the fires of hell 5:22). To minister, to love, to forgive another; we cannot do it from a position of superiority because that is a lie. You cannot speak truth and lie at the same time. It starts by seeing our own need for forgiveness.
3. Pearls to Swine: When thinking of unbelievers we often think of the Gospel as mad tasting medicine. They don’t want it but it is good for them and they really should take it. We know what is best for them. Take your medicine and be grateful. But, we forget or neglect the tremendous value and worth of the Word of God. It is not something to be pushed on other people. Would you force another against their will to take gold from you? Would you force them to eat from an amazing banquet of the finest food? Of course not. You would recognize that as ridiculous. You may invite them, offer, encourage, teach, prepare them for the gift, but if they don’t choose to take your gold, you wouldn’t force them. But how much more valuable and precious is the gift of the Holy Spirit than gold or silver. How much more nourishing is the Word of God than earthly food. When we treat it as bad tasting medicine, we dishonor its true worth and value.
To put yourself in the position of being over another person, particularly a fellow believer, for the purpose of demeaning or disparaging them. i.e., don’t have a “holier than thou” attitude
same way judge others will be judged, measure for measure. Focus on the plank in your own eye over the speck of sawdust in another (judge yourself first and foremost and right the situation). Do not give dogs what is sacred, don’t throw pearls to swine
forgive and you will be forgiven, give and it will be given to you (blessing of measure). Can the blind lead the blind, will they not both fall into a pit, Student is not above the teacher, but everyone fully trained will be like their teacher
Matt: brother or sister within the church, but as a brother/sister, a confidant, friend
Gal 1: Preachers (people or angels) – that they stay true to the word of God
Gal 6:Someone who has been caught in a sin. Also, yourself (test your own actions)
2 John: Deceivers, antichrist, false teachers
Take the glaring sin out of your own life first ( hidden can be glaring). Point out their sin to them with compassion and nurturing. If ignore, join with 1-2 in the body privately to intervene, expand to church, remove from fellowship.
Each of us is given our own free will and choice. No one can force or coerce another into accepting the gift of salvation or force them to truly repent. They must choose. If they fail to choose or choose the wrong path, leave them be (although you can continue to pray for them). “Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words.” Prov 23:9