All posts by arg913972

The Key To The Afterlife

In the Zelda games there are little wizards throughout many of the games that give a hint to help Link in his quest. In this particular Zelda game the wizard in dungeon 7 gives him a clue he will need in dungeon 8. Dungeon 8 is called “The after life” and there are so many locked rooms in the level that in order for Link to actually get through level 8, he must have the “magic key” which is a key with a lion engraved on it.

Yet I found a object lesson here for the spiritual truths we believe as Christians. In order to enter eternal life, the Bible makes it clear that nothing less then faith in Christ will do. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ by faith is what we too need to “rampage freely in the afterlife”

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:12)

Many people will carry with them keys that just wont be sufficient. Keys of good works, regular church attendance, and charitibal acts. Keys like these are not bad in themselves but they are not the Key we need to enter heaven.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
Ephesians 2:8 –

Our sins can only be forgiven through faith in Christ. Many are sadly thinking if they do enough good things through their lives God will give them a pass. Yet the Bible is clear we can never have enough good works in our lives to cover our sins and make us acceptable to God.

Good works are not what can save us, only faith in Christ can. As Christ’s people we are called to do as much good as we can, but we do not earn God’s favor or forgiveness by doing it. Our good works come from a saved life and are not a means to get saved.

So in essence, “We are saved from sin, so as a result we should devote ourselves to doing good!”

Not: “If I do enough good, then God will overlook the sin and bad in me” (False)

Only Jesus Christ can wash away our sins. He offered Himself on the cross in our place to make the gift of forgiveness possible if we reach out and lay hold of it by faith. After we have done that, we are told “Come follow me!”

And as a result: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10 –

Ephesians 2:8 makes it clear we cannot be saved by good works but receive Christ Jesus as a gift for our salvation. Yet vs 10 says “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

We should do good because we have been saved, NOT to get saved. There is a vast difference in the two!

Staying Green In Brown Times.

Evergreens are a specific classification of tree, they are pine trees and stay green and fresh when all the other trees turn brown and dead looking.

Yet as Christians who do know the truth, we have reason to remain green and vibrant no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in.

Paul wrote from prison these words: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:12-13)

The key phrase is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” There is the key to being lush and green with life is cold and gloomy.

Ah but we must be rooted in Jesus Christ by faith, and let our roots go deep into His Word.

In Colossians the Apostle Paul says it this way:

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6-7)

So our hope is in Him, and our roots need to go deeper in our understanding of the Word and what great things we have in Christ!

We see Paul say in Ephesians also the term “rooted”

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)

So growing in our knowlege of Jesus Christ and growing to grasp what Scripture teaches is so important. We ought to make room in the soil of our daily lives for the Word of God and time with the Lord. This is how we will grow!

Our trust is in him, not anything else. Many people trust a number of external things such aa money, friends, their looks, their plans and human wisdom. Yet the Bible says we should not trust such things

This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:5-9)

We should not trust human beings to be our true support or safe place. Jeremiah says “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”

The result of this is spelled out, “They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

If we want our lives to bear fruit we must do as Jesus taught in John 15 “Abide in me” the “true vine”

The last part of the passage in Jeremiah then goes on to say “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

With that being said, we also must not trust our own hearts, our feelings. We all hear people now days say “Listen to your heart” or “Let your heart guide you”

Yet our hearts can truly mislead us when we do not let them be governed by God’s Spirit and Word. In fact we are also told to “guard your heart”

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Proverbs 4:23 –

Guard it? From what? Ah the allures of sin, deception, the world. Yet not only so, guard your heart from your own heart to- because our hearts can get us into enough trouble on their own initiative.

Yet how do we do this? Ah!

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:10-11)

This is indeed a very practical thing we can control! Indeed we have little power over how we feel on a given day- we cannot change our feelings or hearts but we can practically “seek the Lord” and “hide your word in my heart.”

These two steps are in our power to do and by doing them God will work with them to purify us from within!

Consecrating Our Hearts To Christ

Leviticus 22:9 Sermon

“The priests are to perform my service in such a way that they do not become guilty and die for treating it with contempt. I am the Lord, who makes them holy.
Leviticus 22:9

In the Old Testament the priests especially had to carefully examine how they conducted their duties and responsibilities. They were “holy” meaning “set apart” for the Lord’s work.

So too are we as believers, “holy” set apart for our Master’s work. The priests would need to consecrate themselves before approaching the Lord ar doing his work.

So too if we want to be useful minosters of Christ, we must consecrate our hearts and lives. In order for the Levitical priests to be able to approach holy God for service, blood and animal sacrifice had to be made so they could come close

“Take the other ram, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on its head. Slaughter it, take some of its blood and put it on the lobes of the right ears of Aaron and his sons, on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet. Then splash blood against the sides of the altar. And take some blood from the altar and some of the anointing oil and sprinkle it on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. Then he and his sons and their garments will be consecrated.
Exodus 29:19-21 –

Yet far better is our New Covenant that Christ brought. Under the old system, since Jesus Christ had not yet come, animal sacrifice was necessary for even priests to come close. Yet how much better is Jesus Christ, the “Perfect Lamb of God”

The New Testament book of Hebrews explains how significant Christ’s death in our place became, it had power greater then that of a lamb or ram, it can cleanse the heart, not just outwardly a man or woman.

The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
Hebrews 9:13-14 –

So there we have a greater means for cleansing. Now if we are to “Serve the living God” we must first be “Children of God” by faith in Jesus Christ.

Yet we also can practically comsecrate ourselves daily, by approaching the Lord in prayerful search and asking Him to cleanse our hearts and prepare us to do His will each day! Prayer is one means where we can posture our hearts and position them in a way that glorifies the Lord. When our hearts are right and positioned well, then everything we “Do” from that right heart will be, “Acceptable”

Yet, failure to pray and ask God to purify our hearts, may indeed leave our wrong motives unchecked, or wrong attitudes undealt with, so even the good we try to achieve may not be out of the clean motives we ought to have!

Indeed we must purify our hearts through the Word and prayer. In this same chapter of Leviticus it says “Do not bring anything with a defect, because it will not be accepted on your behalf. (Leviticus 22:20)

-Indeed as believers we want our efforts and work for the Lord to be “accepted” right? Then shall we neglect consecrating our hearts each morning so that whatever we do from that will be “Acceptable offering to the Lord”

We should confess whatever known sin the Lord reveals, and ask him to cleanse us. We should position our hearts with thankfulness. We should seek Him woth earmestness, asking He work in us “Both to will and act according to His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13)

We cannot neglect prayer and sprinkling of the Word into our lives. If we seek Him first we will surely see we accomplish far more quality work then when we neglect this spiritual fundamental!

God Can Bless Even Your Mess, If You Turn To Him And Confess.

When God Can Bless, Even A Mess!

When God’s Moral Will is Violated, But His Sovereign Will Brings Him Glory Still.

Many wonder about how God has a moral will that is often broken yet still can bring sovereign good for us and glory for Himself. Today we will look at the final moments in the life of Samson to see how God still accomplished his purpose, inspite of Samson’s moral failure.

Samson was chosen by God as a special instrument to bring freedom to the people of God who were under the cruel oppression of the Philistines. If you have yet to read his story, I encourage you to do so, Samson’s narrative is found in the book of Judges, chapter 13 through the end of chapter 16.

Before you read this, I recommend even you read this story before you read what I have written to get a full idea of what is going on. The posts I write are intended to supplement and add explaination to the Word but not replace it.

At the end of Samson’s story we see he let his desire for women become his downfall, and Delilah betrays him and gives away the secret of Samson’s strength. He is outwitted and he loses his great strength due to personal foolishness and disobedience!

We will start our reading in chapter 16, where Samson is finally overcome

Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison. But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved. Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.” When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy into our hands, the one who laid waste our land and multiplied our slain.” While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. When they stood him among the pillars, Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.” Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform. Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord , remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.

Judges 16:21-30 –

Here we see Samson at the lowest point he has ever been in his life. What on earth could be running through his mind, probably shame, regret and sorrow. Probably a flood of memories and final realization as to what his foolishness and sin cost him. He was then paraded around like a circus show and taunted by the very heathen peoples he got to carelessly close with.

He must have felt betrayed, and ashamed of himself. Yet Samson has a great moment of faith still. Samson for the first time demonstrated true humility. Up until this point, Samson seems a bit too cocky for his own good. He is seen throughout the story as being slightly prideful and arrogant. Yet not now! Not now! He is utterly helpless and humiliated and the scorn of those who hate him.

—-Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord , remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” ——-

God responds to Samson’s prayer. God glorifies Himself even through a failure like Samson. What does it say, “Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.”

Yet, Samson when he was “strong” and had two eyes did not do as much slaughter we see? Could we say, God will often use us too the most for His purposes when we are not as full of ourselves. We see Samson humbles himself and I think we could say Samson repented, and then God’s full strength was showcased there!

Was God’s will broken through this story? Yes more then once Samson violates God’s clear commands. Yet was God’s Will stopped, not so! God still gained His victory over His foes, though had Samson obeyed wholeheartedly and been humble, it would have gone better for Samson.

Yet God still excercises His power and brings good out of the ugly fabric of this story. We see that Romans 8:28 in the New Testament says that “God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.”—- but Samson died!? Yes he lost his life, but still entered eternal life. He could have saved himself alot of grief but still we see God bring good, for even Samson and used that to free the people of Israel.

So readers, this is both an exhortation and encouragement. It is exhortation to those who read as well as my own self, we must be careful not to be foolish with our choices and set our hearts to fully do what God desires us to, so we wont have to suffer similar moments of great sorrow and grief and regret!

Ah but what about those who already are reaping shame, regret, sorrow or consequences of foolish sinful choices? Is there any hope for them?

Of course! If we find ourselves in these places, it is only right we do what Samson did, “pray to the Lord” and repent of the sin that got us there, turn to the Lord and give him the broken pieces of our lives. Cause God can touch even the shattered remains of our lives we played a part in breaking if we humble ourselves and give Him Lordship and control. The mess may be big dear reader, but the Lord is bigger and greater!

Join The Cross Carry

Today’s Sermon.

We see here as Jesus was being led away to be crucified, something interesting happens, those leading Jesus to be crucified find a random man going his way and then force him to help Jesus carry the cross. Was this put in Scripture by accident, certainly not!

What this man has to do in the literal sense, all of us must do in the figurative sense if we want to be affiliated with Jesus.

This man, joins in the carrying of Jesus’s cross. Yet when we look at what Jesus taught while he was boldly ministering, he said “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me.”

The Apostle Paul writes later on, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs —heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:17)

He also writes, “So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.

(2 Timothy 1:8)

This man who the soldiers happen to find just going on his way ends up getting to share in the priviledge of helping his Savior carry this cross. Only Christ could die on the cross and become a suitable sacrifice, yet to some extent, this Simon from Syrene gets to share in the suffering but not to the full measure.

We too must share joyfully in the suffering of Christ, yet we will never be able to take part in the full horrors of what he faced. Crucifixion was physically agonizing itself. Yet even worse then that was the spiritual seperation Jesus felt as the Father had to turn away from Him as he bore the sins of the world.

Yet there is a way we can “share in the suffering”

We have to do that daily by choosing to obey over satisfying cravings and temptations of the flesh. That is not easy but necessary.

We also have the opportunity to bear one another’s burdens “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

Jesus taught whatever we do for even the least of our brothers or sisters in the faith we do for him

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40 –

So we have several ways we can join in the effort to “carry the cross” and share in this joyful priviledge!

The Gospel According To Malachi

The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.

Proverbs 15:8 –

Here we have a prophesy from Malachi. That one day “In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me” the Lord said.

Every place, meaning not just in Israel, but all over. This indeed has come to pass through Christ’s sacrifice that has made us accepted in the “Beloved” people lf God

For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:4-6 –

Apart from this great salvation through faith, by grace, indeed “Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked,”

Why? Because in our sinful condition we cannot please God. (The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

Romans 8:7-8

Yet lets offer up an Old Testament back up for this principle:

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Ask the priests what the law says: If someone carries consecrated meat in the fold of their garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, olive oil or other food, does it become consecrated?’” The priests answered, “No.” Then Haggai said, “If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?” “Yes,” the priests replied, “it becomes defiled. ” Then Haggai said, “‘So it is with this people and this nation in my sight,’ declares the Lord. ‘Whatever they do and whatever they offer there is defiled.

Haggai 2:11-14 –

So indeed, we were “dead in our sins and transgressions” (Ephesians 2 says.) let us look at what it says

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions —it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:1-5)

What is Scripture as a whole saying. Nothing we do outside of a relationship with Christ can be accepted by God. It can be no more accepted by God then a defiled person offering consecrated bread in Old Testamenr times. The bread itself became defiled when a defiled person offered it. There for, the sacrifice of a defiled person becomes a defiled sacrifice and offering, therefore it is not acceptable.

So we all established that apart from faith in Christ our good works really amount to nothing- as long as our sins have not been washed clean by the blood of a Lamb without blemish and defect, “behold the Lamb of God that comes to take away the sins of the world” – John the Baptist proclaimed of Jesus.

We see Ephesians 2 clarify that we cannot earn God’s forgiveness of our sins

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:8-10 –

Yet we can receive Jesus Christ as Lord ans Savior to wash away our sins. Then from there we are called to do “good works” as an offering to God” not to save us, but as a joyful expression of gratitude we have been saved!

Don’t Take A Black Marker To The Word Of God.

Imagine someome hired you to take care of their house while they were away on vacation.

In picture number 1 you see a list of expectations that is actually said and laid out. Yet suppose you like Fred decide to edit and draw a line through the things you do not like.

We would consider this ridiculous. You rarely if ever would hear of someone who was hired for a job to just start editing what his employer wanted, or asked for, or expected, right?

Yet there is a problem with this today in Christianity in many instances. The expectations are layed out, what God requires, and what Jesus Christ expects. Yet too often some go through with a metaphorical sharpy and draw a line through what they are not comfortable with or do not like.

Truth is there is no one who can force a person to become a follower of Christ. Jesus Christ often gave people he encountered the invitation and did not sugar coat the “Terms and Conditions” and he did not put it small print that was hard to understand either.

If you got a job offer and you were given paper work to read over- often there is a place for a signature and it will ask, “Do you agree to the terms and conditions? I acknowledge I have read carefully and understand.” Or something like that.

Yet Jesus too laid it out and said things like:

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

Mark 8:34-36 –

Jesus offers to buy up our lives and make us His possession. Meaning we no longer have the say in what we do or how we live but submit to His Lordship and leading.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 –

That means we must trust Him to be wiser in how to run our lives and surrender as big boss over our lives because he now has ownership and say.

People like the idea of eternal life, forgiveness, and peace and joy- yet not many like words like “surrender” or “turning over control” or “Let the Lord decide.”

Yet the Lord who created us has a better idea of what is best for us more then we do. When we turn to Him by faith, turning from sin to receive Christ, He comes in and does a full makeover on all areas of our life and from personal experience I will say He does a better job then I could do at running my life.

Dating Is Not Free Sampling To See If You Want To Buy.

If you were a small business owner and sold groceries and what not, would you let your potential customers come in, sample your food product and then decide after they had eaten some items on the shelf whether or not they want to buy.

Yet many people treat dating that way. Too many young women especially let a man date them and give them their bodies and hearts, then after hope the guy may eventually prepose. God’s guidebook has a very different standard though. In fact God’s Wors calls it sin to be sexually involved before marriage. Part of the reason though is this very thing.

God is loving and a great heavenly Father who loves more then any human father could even begin to scratch the surface of. Most good human fathers are warry of who their daughters date and say things like “I want to meet that young man first and decide what I think of him.”

There is just that fatherly instict. Any fathers who read this may resongnate with this. They grasp what I am talking about. Yet God is perfect and has more love than even a human father could come up with for even their own children. This is why God lays out commands for us. For our protection, for others protection.

For those who read this who are fathers, let me ask you. If you found out a man was seeing your daughter and you knew deep down he had no desire to actually commit to her and marry her, and just was using her as a live in buddy. How would you feel? Angry! Outraged, perhaps you would be even tempted to clock the young man and say, “Come anywhere near my daughter and you will leave in a wheelchair!”

Not to promote violence but everyone gets the point. Now as young men we must try our very best to apply this to ourselves. However we want some young man to treat our daughters one day we should likewise treat young women we interact with. The golden rule Jesus lays out, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

And we should not behave a certain way towards someone elses daughter in a way we would not want someone to treat our daughters or sisters.

Likewise young women in our time I think should also hear what is being written here. It is not fair to just let some man have all the benefits to being married to you without ever making the commitment and tying the knot. Why? Because after he has later had access to you in that way and then decides it was fun and all and then moves on, leaves, and then finds someone else, there is heartbreak.

A lot of people get heartbroken by disregarding God’s timeless principles and Word.

True Success

From Feburary 4, 2016

Success in God’s eyes is truly different then it is in the world’s eyes. If you know Christ and have had your sins forgiven through faith in Him, you have so much going for you and eternal life to look forward too. Both rich and poor people who know the Lord have the same inheritance of eternal life in the presence of Jesus Christ one day to anticipate. We are equal and loved in His eyes.

We should live our lives and use whatever he has given each of us to glorify him and advance his work on earth.

Aren’t we grateful God does not measure our value like the world does? The world sees the rich, good looking, popular and well off as those who have a shot at life. Yet this is not true. God evaluates true success by the faith we do grow and the love we do show.

All success is truly a gift from God. So today if you find you feel like you have made it far ans accomplished alot that you have set your mind and heart to accomplish, just remember

Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.

Isaiah 26:12 –

Also the good things we enjoy are gifts from God

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 –

Today readers we can all probably think of blessings in our lives we are enjoying. Thank God for that, and let us use what we have to serve him, our time, talents, and treasure.

After all, we cannot enjoy a single good thing if He did not bless us with it.

To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.”

John 3:27-30 –

At the end of the day, its not about who has this and what blessing that person has, but how we use what God has given us. We should make the most of all we have for His glory, not our own selfishness, for “He must become greater; I must become less”

Are You A Fault Finder, Or A Fruit Farmer?

Today’s Devotional: Fruitful Words, Fruitful Work, And Fruitful Judgements and Advice.

From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, and the work of their hands brings them reward.

Proverbs 12:14 –

That is to say sowing good and speaking good words brings good fruit. Hard work doing right pays off. Yet mere talk goes know where

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23 –

Many think of poverty as only being inregards to money, but I want to focus on another facet of “poverty”

Spiritual poverty, poor character, and lacking moral matters. To just talk about what is right or point fingers at wrong behaviors we see around us will lead to poverty spiritually if we fail to address our own sins and shortcomings.

It is easy to criticize the sin in others and make excuses for our own. Yet if we work hard to address ourselves we will find we have less time to fault find in others.

Jesus taught us: “3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:3-5 –

We called first to address our ownselves. Jesus is not totally condemning all “judging” here- but what he is saying is we first must be judges of our own behavior and hearts, carefully assessing our own issues before we open our mouths to critique others.

Also unrighteous judgement is often more so a matter of attitude than anything else. For example, to criticize another person in pride and arrogance or merely human anger do not reflect righteous assessment.

If we are to make judgements or critically evaluate something- we should always do so in humility, gentleness and use truth of His Word as the final authority.

Also we should not be hypocritical and leave our own sin unaddressed. We should not just give people advice of how to better themselves while we refuse to repent of a problem we are currently not willing to address. This would be not fair to think that we can just speak into others issues and be totally closed off when someone may speak truth into our lives.

The whole goal behind righteous judgements and speaking truth to others should come always from love. Hoping for their best and wanting to see them truly get on the track that God would have them walk on. His ways always are better for us long term then our ways that are contrary often.