Lesson 2 -- second quarter 2005
March 13, 2005
© Copyright 2005, Christian Light Publications
Probing Your Own Heart
What is your heart's response to God's righteous judgments?
What is your will's response to His righteous judgments?
Building on Some Foundational Concepts
Lifting ourselves up to judge another exposes our own weaknesses as well as our own vulnerability to judgment.
The Scriptures call on us to exercise discernment in our observation of and interaction with others (Matthew 7:15-20). However, our evaluations of and responses to them must demonstrate righteousness (John 7:24). When we stoop to lifting ourselves above another in our judging, we show ourselves to be no better (and perhaps even worse) than the target of our contempt. A self-righteous attitude will surely lead to our own defeat in the very areas in which we find fault with another. Thus our own attitudes and words, as a boomerang, come back around to viciously hammer condemnation on our own heads.
No good will go unrewarded; no evil, unjudged.
Romans 2:6-10 joins other Bible passages to declare clearly and forcefully that God is balanced in His focus and judgment. He notices and recompenses the good, not just the evil. He isn't a Master Gardener who only notices and deals with the weeds. He also sees and enjoys (revels in, truth be known!) the beautiful flowers and fruits. "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (Proverbs 15:3). "Thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings" (Jeremiah 32:19).
God deals justly with everyone.
Though God chose the Jews, He did not bend any rules in dealing with them by showing them some sort of unjust favoritism over the other races. He deals with you no differently. In that you may find both assurance and warning.
Questions and Responses
How should I respond to God's righteous judgments?
"I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments" (Psalm 119:7) Determine to acquaint yourself well with what God has to say. Memorize the Scriptures. Learn His ways and judgments.
"At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments" (Psalm 119:62). Be grateful for His instruction. Express your thankfulness for His precepts as He has revealed them in His Word. We have a wonderful treasure which is a gift beyond measure -- the Bible. See the value of God's judgments and thank Him for them.
"I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments" (Psalm 119:106). Commit yourself to living by God's ways. Choose to obey His judgments. Submit yourself to His will and Word. Do not deliberately swerve off that path. When you wander, return to His ways promptly.
"Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments" (Psalm 119:1674). Ask God to sharpen your awareness of the benefits of His judgments. Ask Him to show you at least a few of the daily revelations of His righteousness. Then praise Him for them as you see them.
How do I render righteous judgment?
When we respond as we ought to God's righteous judgments, our own judgment gradually takes on more and more of His righteousness. "Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). In answering this question, consider also verses like the following.
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief" (1 Timothy 1:15).
"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10).
"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer" (Psalm 19:14).
What are some consequences of being judgmental?
The judgmental expose their personal weakness (Romans 2:1). They come under condemnation from their own attitudes and words (Romans 2:1) as well as from God Himself (Romans 2:2). They also set themselves up for their own failures (1 Corinthians 10:12).
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