Archive for March, 2012

Judging Others

What gives us the right to judge? I know I have thought about this many times.

The story is mostly the same, we think we are in the right and know what is good and what is just. Then we do that bad thing by telling someone that what they are doing is wrong. Regardless of why we think it is wrong, this may not be a good idea.

Don’t mistake me for things that people do that are morally wrong and legally wrong, as our judicial system will hand out judgements against them. I am talking about things that God will be the ultimate judge for. There is a passage in Matthew about trying to remove some sawdust from someones eye while we are blinded by a plank in our own eye. Not a good idea.

Someone I know is going through some trying times because of a couple of people who believe their way is right and none others are acceptable. If you don’t do exactly as they say, you will not meet them in heaven. What gives them the right to judge good and faith minded people. Many roads lead to the one way to heaven which is Jesus Christ our savior. All who accept Jesus as their savior will receive the grace of our Lord and the redemptive love and forgiveness that He offers.

I can only pray that this person will see that she is good and accepted and that she will lead the people that she is guiding to a new and deeper relationship with their Savior and Lord.

Stop judging others and help guide people in their walk with Christ. Remove the plank from your eye and then help others with theirs.

A New Beginning

So tomorrow morning I am going to Evans UMC to preach the message. During this message I am speaking about the woman who washes Jesus’ feet while he is at a dinner engagement with Simon, a Pharisee. During my preparation, I tried to put myself in this woman’s sandals. How did she feel when she was in Jesus’ presence? I can only think that I would do the same thing and fall on my knees and weep uncontrollably for forgiveness. I am not worthy of the forgiveness and grace that is offered to me. I never will. That is why I must continue to ask for the same forgiveness that is offered to everyone, everyday.

I will end my message with a confessional prayer, one that I will leave you with:

Merciful and gracious father, I have not done your will, I have not been the person you have called me to. Lord, I’ve messed up again. I’ve disobeyed you and your calling for me. Forgive me! Take my slate and wash it clean by the blood of your son Jesus Christ. Create in me a clean heart, a heart that wishes for nothing more than more of you, a heart that wants to be filled with your love to overflowing, so that I may be a blessing to others, that I may show your love to the world around me. Father God help me, because I can’t do this alone. You know my weaknesses, you know where I need help and I ask you for that help. I ask that you walk with me everyday of my life and guide my footsteps in the paths you would have me travel. Thank you so much for the forgiveness you have just given me and for the fact that you have also forgotten those sins. All praise and glory are yours father, now and forevermore, amen!

Sacrifice and Fasting

We are in the middle of the Lenten season, the time of sacrifice and fasting. There has been many times that I failed to see the reason behind the sacrifice or “giving up” things for Lent. I always referred back to the Catholic tradition of not eating meat on Fridays. But why? Why do we give things up or sacrifice things during this time of the year?

During our Ash Wednesday service this year, we talked a little about just that. About our sacrifices, getting us closer in our relationship with God. It’s not just to “give something up” for the sake of making ourselves look like we are righteous, but to prepare ourselves for Easter. To prepare us for the joyous time when we celebrate Christ Jesus’ resurrection from the dead to live forever.

Originally, I decided to give up watching T.V. for Lent, just because I wanted to. Now I have a new approach to this, not only am I giving up T.V., but I am spending that time with my family and allowing myself more time to spend focusing on my relationship with my God.

So how are you spending your time before Easter?