Matthew 7:1-12

Matthew 7:1-12

It is not my responsibility to make you do what's right. It's my responsibility to let you know that there's a God Who loves you, and that He will forgive you..., and, as much as I can, show you that love relationship [with God].[Jesus] looks out…and He says, “Do not judge.” You know, this is a problem that we, in the flesh, have regularly, every day. Sometimes every moment of the day. We’re judging… Jesus says, “Do not judge or you too will be judged.” Well, I’m afraid that we’re all pretty doomed to judgement, because I don’t know of anybody so far that I’ve met that does not judge in one way or another. So, He doesn’t stop there. He says, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Okay, guys, I know you’re going to judge, but let’s do it this way. You’ll be judged the same way you judge others. I better be very careful, then, how I choose to look at you and how I choose to judge you.

You know what? You can’t know a person from what they look like on the outside. You know, we’ve got this idea on our society, and of course the way our media is today, we are taught that everything that is slender and tall and beautiful is good. And we build our cars that same way, and we build our homes that same way, and we try to make everything look good, but everything’s that old and crinkly and ugly is bad. And so we look at people as they walk down the road and we judge them by how they look. We judge them because of a circumstance that they find themselves in — some guy sitting on the side of the road holding a sign saying, “Will work for food,” and we automatically start judging, “What a bum.” And I’m guilty. I have, from time to time, driven by and said, “If he would just get a job.” Well, you know, I don’t know his circumstance, and Jesus is letting us know that we need to be very careful how we allow for what we see with our eyes that enters into our mind and goes into our heart. We need to be very careful with how we allow that information to be processed and what we do with it.

You know, the only way you are going to truly be able judge a circumstance properly and with the right heart attitude is to get to know the person you’re judging. Do you want to be judged by God? We’re all going to be judged by God. Well, let me tell you, I want God to know me, and I want to know Him before He judges me. Just like I better be getting to know you and letting you get to know me before I judge you…

We so often have issues within our own life that are so much bigger and so much more important that we deal with now than the problems that we’re trying to deal with for our friends around us. And you know, He doesn’t say don’t deal with that sawdust. He’s just saying why do you deal with the speck first before you deal with the plank? “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? 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.” See, He does leave room for us to go to our brother and help our brother with those little issues that may be haunting them in their life, but we better be sure that we do not have any glaring issues within our own life that would hinder us from being able to deal rightly, fairly, and lovingly with our brother.

It is not about making people do what’s right. You know what? It is not my responsibility to make you do what’s right. It’s my responsibility to let you know that there’s a God Who loves you, and that He will forgive you for whatever wrong you’ve done and, as much as I can, show you that love relationship. Show you how God has forgiven me, and then be an example of what right can be. And you know what? The only example I can be to you of what right can be is to say, “You need to be in a place of asking God regularly, ‘Forgive me.'”

If you’re going to follow me around, let me tell you what you’re going to find. You’re going to find someone who blows it regularly. I shake my fist at people on occasion. I every now and again will allow my mouth to open and yell, “You jerk!” That’s what you’re going to see. But then, what you will also see is, “Oh, God! I’ve blown it. Ugh. Forgive me.” But you’ll at least see me trying to make it right… But it is about you and me working together to understand the love that God has for us and that love relationship that He’s chosen to draw us into. And so, Jesus is saying, be very careful. Don’t judge. If you can help it, do not judge. But if you are going to judge, at least deal with the issues in your own life first so that you can judge rightly when you encounter your brothers and sisters. Otherwise, you need to call yourself a hypocrite just as Jesus did…

Do you want a right relationship with the Lord? Do you want to be strong in your walk in the Lord? Then ask Him for it. Seek it. Knock. Go to Him regularly and knock on that door, that door for knowledge within His Word, that door that is love relationship with your brothers and sisters around you, to grow in fellowship, and to become stronger in your walk with Him…

Do you want to go to heaven? Then why do you let your neighbor go to hell? Have you ever thought of that? Do you want eternity with Jesus Christ? Why do you let the guy down the street rot without ever having approached him to say, “God loves you.” “Do unto others.” Do you want to go to heaven? Bring others to heaven. “As you would have it done to you.” Heaven isn’t about me. Heaven is about Him. Heaven is about God Who created, and desired to have lover relationship with that that He created…

We need to be fulfilling what is summing up all of the law and the prophets, and that’s loving others, reaching out to others, doing to others as we would have it done to us. Do we want God to love and forgive us? Then we better be loving and forgiving others. Do we want God to save us? The we better be telling others that they can be loved and saved. “Do unto others.” Reach out to others. Be a blessing to others. It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It is about the love of God that He wants to share with this world… It’s not about judging them, condemning them, looking down on them, but doing to them as we would want it done to us. Predominantly, wanting to be forgiven, wanting to be loved, wanting to be cared for, wanting to have our needs met.

Pastor Dave Elkins