Isaiah 26:12 'You have ordained peace for us for all that be have accomplished is what You have done.' To those who were conscious of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told the parable of the Pharisee & the Tax collector.
All of us are guilty of judging others & pointing out their errors & failures. It is our way of excusing our behaviour. For covering up our own faults.
Isaiah 58:9-10 'If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger & malicious talk ..... then your light will rise in the darkness' Luke 6:37 'Do not judge & you will not be judged. Do not condemn & you will not be condemned.'
When we are not where we should be in our relationship with Jesus, we try to defend our actions & justify our behaviour. We have forgotten that all our sins of pride, self centered, self righteousness, going our own way, prejudice, racism, looking down on others, were forgiven even though they kept on recurring. Isaiah confessed he was a man of unclean lips when he saw the Holiness of the Lord. We likewise cover up our inner sins known only to us until we become aware God tolerates no sin. Everyone must be confessed and placed under the blood of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus.
We love to tell others what we have done and when God has used us to lead others to Himself. This happens until we learn that salvation is all God’s doing. As Paul wrote:
1 Corinthians 3:5 'Who is Apollos... who is Paul? Only servants through whom you came to believe'
What has God done in our lives? Saved us by grace. Not works lest anyone should boast.
We are kept by grace. The ongoing work of God is by grace. We are what we are by grace.
When we have done all that God requires us to do we should say We are servants. You owe us nothing we have only played the role of a servant. Luke 17:10
When aware of self righteousness, what should we do? Confessing it to the Lord. Admit when the Holy Spirit convicts you. Do not make excuses. Be honest with yourself & God. Accept God’s way of forgiving you. When reminded of it time & again overcome by the blood of the Lamb and your testimony that you see every sin and action under that blood.
Do not allow your tongue to speak to you. You speak to yourself. Reaffirm your faith in God & His way of dealing with all your failures. Psalm 42:5,11 Resist negative thoughts. Do not give way to accusations. Reaffirm your status as a member of God’s family.
When others are critical – listen & consider if it is justified. Do not retaliate. Leave it to God to rectify and clarify what you said and did. God knows your heart & it is best to yield the matter to Him. Jesus said He would give us His peace. If it is not present discover the reason. Amazing that when we our relationship with Jesus is one of harmony we do not judge others but pray for them to enjoy their relationship with Him. Tax collectors and Gentile sinners enjoyed being with Jesus. He accepted them as they were and His presence made all the difference.
When He is reigning within us we will accept people as they are & point them to Jesus who alone that change them as He has in our lives. He has begun the work and will complete what He has begun.
Wretched Pitiful Poor Blind and Naked : Christians lost sight of Jesus.
A body of believers were warned that they had left Jesus out of their thinking, actions and lives.
Jesus found fault with them and told them that they only way to rectify the situation was to restore Him in His rightful place on the throne in their lives or else He would totally reject them.
Suffering: All who follow Jesus will endure suffering. It is God’s way of causing us to fix our eyes on Jesus 'who for the joy set before Him endured the suffering of the cross'. Likewise God will use suffering to keep us close to Himself and remember His ultimate goal that we might be like Jesus who accepted suffering without complaining.
Suffering caused by persecution, accidents, deterioration of our physical body in sickness & old age. Suffering is used by God as part of His chastening not to be content with life on earth but to look forward to being with Him. God allowed Job to go through loss and suffering which caused him to come into a deeper relationship with God.
The man born blind in John 9 was that he might come to faith in Jesus. Jesus told His disciples that neither he nor his parents sin caused his blindness. Our daughter was born with deformities and through her adoption came to faith in Jesus. Lazarus died & though his rising many came to faith in Jesus.
God knows what He is doing. He allows us to not know how or why He works in certain ways. Our part is to trust Him alone and not rely on our understanding. The just shall live by faith.
Habakkuk was told by the Lord God that his people would be punished by God using a people more evil than them. He questioned how a Holy God could use such a method. His problem was not solved. He was told that he had to trust God to do as He chooses to accomplish His purpose.
Sometimes we feel God has let us down but that is because we do not know the final solution.
I have at times been brought to a situation that seems without a solution. Ultimately God has acted to show He was in control and working all the time. Unable to have children. Two were adopted that came to faith in Jesus. Made to wait every time in my life for God to work in His own time. Every time the waiting period gets longer. There is no alternative to trusting only in God. He has never let me down even though most of the times the solution always proved Him to be doing what He knows best. It is God way of preparing us for the next period of our lives.
Abram had to wait 25 years before Isaac was born. Joseph had to wait 22 years before his dreams came true. Paul was told that the thorn in his flesh would keep him from relying on himself and willing to listen and discover that the grace of God would carry him through life.
Jesus was tested in every point like us but never sinned. Not only our Saviour but also our example. All who follow Him will suffer persecution. Remember the family was Jesus opposed Him, He was often on his own, opposed by the religious and those who liked being with Him because they fed well. Ultimately He was abandoned by all and knew separation from the Father.
Accept God’s ordering of your life. He is your Master. You have been bought with a price.
You belong to Him. Think of Jonah who was given a second chance by God. He had to keep learning that God would use him because He was concerned not just about his people, the Jews but every nation. Jonah recorded his failures but also the graciousness of God.
The Bible reveals man as slow to learn that the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God. God is greater than our stubbornness, our mistakes, our circumstances. God never makes a mistake. On the final day all our questions and doubts will be resolved. Trust Him.