WHAT IS THE VERDICT?
“For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:13
I spent a good part of today in a courtroom. A man was on trial for murder. Witnesses were called to the stand. They testified. They were cross examined. The judge considered the evidence. He found him guilty as charged and sentenced him to spend the rest of his natural life in the penal system of Georgia.
I’ve been thinking of the judgment I will face in the future. What will determine the outcome? Will it be a tally of the good things minus the bad things and the Lord determines which counts the most?
No. The final determining factor will be my relationship with the Lord. And part of that will be seen in my attitude toward others. In fact, I am told that my judgment will be given according to how I have judged others. “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged, and with what same measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Matthew 7:2).
Several years ago, Alfred Kolatch recounted an incident in the life of Babe Ruth that illustrates that there is more than one way to look at (judge) many situations.
Babe Ruth had hit 714 home runs during his baseball career and was playing one of his last Major League games. The aging star was playing for the Boston Braves against the Cincinnati Reds. But he was no longer as agile as he once had been. He fumbled the ball and threw badly, and in one inning alone, his errors were responsible for five Cincinnati runs.
As the Babe walked off the field after the third out, booing and cat calls cascaded from the stands. Just then a young boy jumped over the railing onto the playing field. With tears streaking his cheeks, he threw his arms around the legs of his hero.
Ruth didn’t hesitate. He picked up the boy, hugged him, and set him down on his feet with a playful pat on the head. Suddenly the booing stopped. In fact, a hush fell over the entire park. In those brief moments, the crowd saw a different kind of hero: a man who in spite of a dismal day on the field could still care about a little boy.
He was no longer being judged by his accomplishments – neither the past successes nor the present failure – but by completely different standard. Suddenly, it was not his works that mattered, it was a relationship with a little boy.
Regardless of how many good deeds I have done, I still need to be a Christian and remain faithful to the Lord.
Regardless of how many bad things I have done, I can obey the Lord and be forgiven.
That’s good news. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; All things have . . . .
passed away behold all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). And that can happen to others too! I need to remember that when I talk to and about others.
Jerry Barber Via Central Church of Christ Dalton GA October 22nd 1987
EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES
Moses first eighty years of life were years of turn around. He was born the son of a slave, himself condemned to die. Yet very soon he became the son of a princess, living in the luxury of the Egyptian palaces. At age 40 he killed an Egyptian and had to flee for his life. He left the palaces of Egypt and became a shepherd living in the wilderness of Midian. After doing this for about 40 more years, at age eighty, Moses’ life once again turned around. From the burning bush God informed Moses that he wanted him to lead his people out of Egypt into the promised land. When God told this to Moses, for some reason Moses did not want to be God’s leader and he began making excuses.
In Exodus 3:11 Moses said, “who am I, that I should lead the people out of Egypt?” In other words he was saying, I am too insignificant to do such a great work. I’m not equal to the task. What Moses did not realize was that God would be with him, and with God with him, he was equal to any task.
In Exodus 31:3 Moses said, “The people will say, ‘What is God’s name?” What shall I say to them?” God in so many words answered by saying, “tell them who I am. I AM THAT I AM sent you. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob sent you.”
In Exodus 4:1 Moses said, “they won’t believe me they won’t listen to me, and they will reject me.” God then gave Moses the means by which he could prove he was from God (by the rod turning into a serpent, his hand becoming leprous, and turning the water to blood).
In Exodus 4:10 Moses said, “I am not eloquent, I can’t speak. Maybe you need to get someone else.” God again had an answer. “Your brother Aaron can speak, let him be your mouthpiece.”
The point of listing these excuses is this. God had a job for Moses. Moses kept making excuses but God knew he could do the job and always had an answer ready for him. God has certain jobs for each of us to do in his Kingdom. Sometimes we make the same kind of excuses; “I’m not good enough,” “People won’t believe me,” “I can’t just talk to people about Christ.” But to our excuses God also has the answers. We can talk to people, we can work for God, we can carry out the Great Commission. The reason — God is on our side. He has given us his word and the power of it. The very fact we are given the Great Commission shows that God knows we could do the job. Let’s make up our minds (as Moses finally did) to quit making excuses and start doing God’s will.”
Brian J Galloway Via Brian’s Bible Bits January 23rd 1986