1/5/14

From Ben Fronczek... James (Part 6) Judging Others


James  (Part 6)  Judging Others  

Scripture Reading:
 James 2:1-13       Mybrothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.
12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

In our opening reading today we read how James warned Christians not to show favoritism  to certain people just because they are rich. I would dare to say that he was teaching that we should not show favoritism for any reason; especially in church

He writes that if we do so we discriminate and become an evil judge.  He illustrates the point by telling how someone who is wealthy is given a place of honor at church whereas a poor individual is told stand or sit on the floor.

He concludes by telling his Christian readers that showing favoritism is a sin.  Instead we should keep the royal law, the divine law of loving our neighbor as our self.

How many feel like you have been unfairly judges by others or even discriminated against for one reason or another in the past?  We probably all have at one time in our life for one reason or another.                              It’s not a good feeling is it?

In a earlier lesson I talked about what Jesus did to make a living. Scripture tells us that He was a carpenter, and the son of a carpenter. In that lesson I shared with you the fact that the original Greek word translated carpenter more accurately described someone who simply worked with their hands. Basically Joseph and Jesus, and probably Joseph’s other sons did what ever their hands could find to do to make a living; whether it was piling rocks, digging a ditch, building something or doing any other kind of labor as long as they got paid for it. Unlike a handyman today those who did this kind of work were paid little and they were considered on a lower social level than a slave.

Do you think James, his brothers, or even his family ever felt like they were looked down upon or discriminated against? I think so… I think they all did including Jesus.

But I think most people would have looked at them a little different if more knew who Mary and Joseph were, the ones God Himself chose to raise His one and only Son. And how would they have treated the family if they knew and believe that Jesus was the Son of God, the Word that became flesh, the Creator, the Sustainer, the King of kings, the Lord of Lords, Yahweh in the flesh.. their Messiah?   They probably would have put them up in a palace.

But they did not know. They were looked at like any other peasants in Israel.  Maybe just like people may have looked down on you and me.

This past week I heard someone say we don’t have a right to judge anyone because we don’t usually have enough information to make a good judgment. And I think in most cases that this is true.

ILLUS. 1:  A number of years back, a young and very successful executive was travelling down a suburban street in his brand new black jaguar. Suddenly a brick was thrown from the sidewalk, thumping into the side of the car.  Brakes slammed! Gears ground into reverse, and tires madly spun the Jaguar back to the spot from where the brick had been thrown. The driver jumped out, grabbed the kid who had thrown the brick and pushed him up against a parked car. “What was that all about?!” he screamed. “This is my new Jag, that brick you threw is gonna cost you a lot of money!”

“Please, mister, please …. I’m sorry! I didn’t know what else to do!” the boy pleaded. “I threw the brick because no one else would stop!” Tears were dripping down to the boy’s chin as he pointed around the parked car. “It’s my brother, mister,” he said. “He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.” Sobbing, the boy asked the executive, “Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.”

The mood was transformed in a moment as the young executive realized what had occurred. He lifted the young man into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cuts. He then watched as the younger brother pushed him down the sidewalk toward their home.

Unfortunately, that story is all too common. Without knowing all the facts, we jump to conclusions and make judgments about people all the time.

ILLUS. 2: A supermarket check-out lady once wrote to an advice-columnist to complain that she had seen people buy “luxury” food items—like expensive birthday cakes and bags of Shrimp—with their food stamps. The writer went on to say that she thought all those people on welfare who treated themselves to such non-necessities were “lazy and wasteful.”

A few weeks later the columnist devoted an entire column to people who had responded to this check-out lady’s comment. One woman wrote:   “I didn’t buy a cake, but I did buy a big bag of shrimp with food stamps. So what? My husband had been working at a plant for fifteen years when it shut down. The shrimp casserole I made was for our wedding anniversary dinner and lasted us three days. Perhaps the supermarket attendant who criticized that woman would have a different view of life after walking a mile in my shoes.”

Another woman wrote: “I’m the woman who bought the $17 cake and paid for it with food stamps. I thought the check-out woman in the store would burn a hole through me with her eyes.

What she didn’t know is the cake was for my little girl’s birthday. It will be her last. She has bone cancer and will probably be gone within six to eight months.”

There is no way any of us can know exactly why someone is doing what they are doing. We can save ourselves – and other people – a lot of grief by stop trying to figure out another’s hidden motives for certain behavior.

It’s really sad when we as Christians jump to conclusions, make quick judgments, or even discriminate against those we come in contact with.

Illus 3. In his autobiography, Mahatma Gandhi wrote that during his student days he read the Gospels seriously and considered converting to Christianity. He believed that in the teachings of Jesus he could find the solution to the caste system that was dividing the people of India. So one Sunday he decided to attend services at a nearby church and talk to the minister about becoming a Christian. However, when he entered the sanctuary the usher refused to give him a seat and suggested that he should worship with his own people. Gandhi left the church and never returned, He wrote, “If Christians have caste differences also, “ he said, “I might as well remain a Hindu.” That usher’s prejudice not only betrayed Jesus but also turned a person away from trusting Him as Savior.

Illus 4. I recently heard a story about a man who was the interim pastor of a church. He hadn’t been at the church for long, so the people didn’t know him very well yet. One Sunday morning before church, he didn’t shave or shower or brush his teeth. He dug through the rag bin and found the worst clothes he could find. They were dirty and stained and worn and smelled like they had been in the rag bin for a while. Then he went to the store and bought a bottle of beer and borrowed a shopping cart. He filled the cart with cardboard, aluminum cans and other junk. And then he poured the beer over his clothes. Then about 5 minutes before service started, he slowly pushed his cart up to the front door of the church. He dug around in it for a minute, then proceeded to walk in the church and sit down quietly on the back row. He said you could’ve heard a pin drop. Of course, nobody recognized who it was. The only thing they saw was a bum sitting on the back row. And the smell! It was awful. Finally, one of the ushers got up and told the man he would have to leave. So he did. He got up, walked out the front door, around the side of the building and into his private office door.

When it was time to preach, he walked out of his office, into the sanctuary and took his place behind the pulpit. There, still dressed in the clothes of a homeless man, he preached on this passage here in James. What an illustration of how we treat people! Do you think they got it?

Why do even good church people make such quick judgments and act like this sometimes?

Maybe it’s towards someone who has a different color skin, or a person who talks a different language, maybe it’s because of how they dress or how they smell, or maybe the person is really big or obese, or covered with blemishes, scars, body piercings, or tattoos. Maybe they have purple hair, or they’re an x-con, or even handicapped in some way…. And we shy away from them… we are uncomfortable around them… maybe even ignore them like they are some kind of leper.

What is James telling us here? That if as Christians you act this way, if you discriminate because someone is different, ‘Shame on you!’

Why do we act like this sometimes? Different reasons:

- Sometime out of fear. Maybe you never met anyone like that. Maybe you          heard from others about people who look or act like this.

- Sometimes our judgments and discrimination are very self motivated or selfish.  We treat certain people better than others because we hope that treating certain people better will make us look good, put us in a higher standing with them and benefit us later.

- And some people are simply critical of anyone who isn’t quite like they are. These people set themselves up as the standard.

And to all this I believe James is implying, ‘Shame on you if you do this, especially if you are a Christian.’

James even goes on to give us a warning if we choose to discriminate.         

In verse 13 he writes, 

“ judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.”

The Easy To Read Version puts it this way,
“Yes, you must show mercy to others. If you do not show mercy, then God will not show mercy to you when he judges you. But the one who shows mercy can stand without fear before the Judge.”

James’ step brother, Jesus, put it this way in Luke 6:37-38 

37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”


Conclusion: So my advice to you today is….

Don’t judge and discriminate using yourself as the standard for all that is good. That’s egotistical!

Don’t discriminate thinking that treating someone special will get you ahead, more, or something special, that’s being selfish.

And if you are afraid of someone because they are different pray that God the Spirit will help you to love them. 
The apostle John wrote: 
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear”  1 John 1:18

You can choose to fear someone, or you can choose to ‘agape’ love them, that is seek their highest good much in the same way that Christ Himself was willing to die for those who wanted to kill Him. In the end, Love and mercy so much better than judging, and at the end of the day you’ll sleep better and feel more at peace.

For more lessons click on the following link:
http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566

From Jim McGuiggan... GENUINELY FREE LITERATURE

GENUINELY FREE LITERATURE

It isn't often you get genuinely free material but the Deason family I've been privileged to know for years make that offer. I'll spare you the lengthy introduction and you can judge for yourself the generosity of the offer. Here's the link, check it out for yourself.
Http://Lifecommunications.faithsite.com

Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan

From Mark Copeland... Be An Example To The Believers (1 Timothy 4:12)



                     "THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY"

                 Be An Example To The Believers (4:12)

INTRODUCTION

1. Instructing Timothy as to his obligations, Paul charges him to "be an
   example to the believers..." - 1Ti 4:12

2. The word "example"...
   a. Comes from the Greek word "tupos"
   b. Used here in the sense of being a pattern, an example, for others
      to follow

[We shall examine what sort of example Paul has in mind, but let's first
stress that Timothy is not the only person who ought to be an
example...]

I. THOSE WHO OUGHT TO BE EXAMPLES

   A. MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL...
      1. Such as Timothy - 1Ti 4:12
      2. Such as Titus - Tit 2:7-8
      -- Preachers and evangelists should certainly set a good example
         for others

   B. SHEPHERDS OF THE FLOCK...
      1. As Peter charged the elders - 1Pe 5:1-3
      2. As the Hebrew writer encouraged his readers to follow their
         faith - He 13:7
      -- Elders (i.e., bishops and pastors) should provide an example
         worth following

   C. FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS...
      1. Certainly true of mature Christians - Php 3:15-17
      2. Can also be true of new Christians (e.g., the new church at
         Thessalonica) - 1Th 1:6-8
      3. And true of younger Christians (e.g., Timothy) - cf. 1Ti 4:12a
      -- All Christians, young and old, should strive to be examples to
         one another!

[Now let's consider...]

II. THE KIND OF EXAMPLES WE SHOULD BE

   A. AN EXAMPLE IN "WORD"...
      1. Many understand Paul to refer to speech, personal conversation
         (cf. Barnes)
         a. Certainly Christians are to be careful in their speech - cf.
            Ep 4:29,31; 5:4,12
         b. Their speech should be with "grace" (remember Jesus?) - Co
            4:6; cf. Lk 4:22
      2. Others think Paul was referring to doctrine, what one taught
         (cf. Clarke)
         a. That one teach nothing but the truth, that which accords to
            God's Word
         b. Timothy was to be careful regarding doctrine - cf. 1Ti 4:6,
            13,16
      -- Whether in private conversation or public teaching, Christians
         should set an example of speaking the truth with grace

   B. AN EXAMPLE IN "CONDUCT"...
      1. The KJV uses the word "conversation"; the ASV has "manner of
         life"
         a. The Grk. is anastrophe - "manner of life, conduct, behavior,
            deportment" - Thayer
         b. "The word 'conversation' we now apply almost exclusively to
            oral discourse, or to talking. But it was not formerly
            confined to that and is never so used in the Scriptures. It
            means conduct in general - including, of course, our manner
            of speaking, but not limited to that - and should be so
            understood in every place where it occurs in the Bible."
            - Barnes
      2. Regarding our conduct or manner of life, it should:
         a. Demonstrate meekness and wisdom - Jm 3:13
         b. Display holiness, reverence, purpose - 1Pe 1:15-19
      -- Not only is our conduct to be an example to the believers, but
         honorable among unbelievers - cf. 1Pe 2:11-12

   C. AN EXAMPLE IN "LOVE"...
      1. The KJV uses the word "charity"; most other translations have
         "love"
         a. The Grk. is agape - "brotherly love, affection, good will,
            love, benevolence" - Thayer
         b. A popular definition is "active good will"
      2. The love we are to display is to be manifested toward:
         a. God and our brethren - Mt 22:37; 1Jn 4:11
         b. Our fellow man including our enemies - Mt 22:39; 5:44
      -- In a world where love is often lacking, Christians should
         exemplify the virtue

   D. AN EXAMPLE IN "SPIRIT"...
      1. Most translations omit the phrase "in spirit"; not found in the
         oldest manuscripts
      2. The Grk. is pneuma - as used here, it refers to zeal,
         disposition or attitude
      3. That Christians should be fervent in spirit is clearly taught
         elsewhere:
         a. In reference to good works - Tit 2:14
         b. In reference to our service to the Lord - Ro 12:11; Re 2:4
         c. In reference to our love for one another - 1Pe 1:22; 4:8
      -- Christians should provide an example of enthusiasm in their
         service, not lethargy!

   E. AN EXAMPLE IN "FAITH"...
      1. Nearly all translations read "faith"; the ISV reads
         "faithfulness"
         a. The Grk. is pistis - "assurance, belief, believe, faith,
            fidelity" - Strong
         b. It can refer to either the belief one has (as in God), or to
            the fidelity and faithfulness of one's character
      2. Both should be true of the Christian:
         a. Possessing a strong belief or faith in God and Christ - He 11:6
         b. Displaying the character of faithfulness and dependability
            - Re 2:10
      -- "At all times, and in all trials show to believers by your
         example, how they ought to maintain unshaken confidence in
         God." - Barnes


   F. AN EXAMPLE IN "PURITY"...
      1. Virtually all translations use the word "purity"
         a. The Grk. is hagneia - "purity, sinlessness of life" - Thayer
         b. In the NT, used only here and in 1Ti 5:2
      2. Moral or sexual purity, both in thought and act, seems to be
         the idea
         a. "There should be nothing in your contact with the other sex
            that would give rise to scandal." - Barnes
         b. "Chastity of body and mind; a direction peculiarly necessary
            for a young minister, who has more temptations to break its
            rules than perhaps any other person." - Clarke
      -- As Paul would instruct Timothy later, all Christians should
         "flee youthful lusts" and "pursue righteousness, faith, love,
         peace..." - cf. 2Ti 2:22

CONCLUSION

1. Are we calling on the Lord out of a pure heart...? - cf. 2Ti 2:22
   a. Calling upon Him for our salvation?
   b. Calling upon Him for our sanctification?

2. Then let our example be one that illustrates the power of the gospel
   to impact...
   a. Our words
   b. Our conduct
   c. Our love
   d. Our spirit
   e. Our faith
   f. Our purity

What kind of church (people) would we be if everyone followed our own
example in these things?  May this question motivate us to examine our
lives and correct any deficiencies that we may find...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Gary.... Bible Reading January 5


Bible Reading   

January 5

The World English Bible


Jan. 5
Genesis 5

Gen 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, he made him in God's likeness.
Gen 5:2 He created them male and female, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
Gen 5:3 Adam lived one hundred thirty years, and became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.
Gen 5:4 The days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:5 All the days that Adam lived were nine hundred thirty years, then he died.
Gen 5:6 Seth lived one hundred five years, and became the father of Enosh.
Gen 5:7 Seth lived after he became the father of Enosh eight hundred seven years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:8 All the days of Seth were nine hundred twelve years, then he died.
Gen 5:9 Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan.
Gen 5:10 Enosh lived after he became the father of Kenan, eight hundred fifteen years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:11 All the days of Enosh were nine hundred five years, then he died.
Gen 5:12 Kenan lived seventy years, and became the father of Mahalalel.
Gen 5:13 Kenan lived after he became the father of Mahalalel eight hundred forty years, and became the father of sons and daughters
Gen 5:14 and all the days of Kenan were nine hundred ten years, then he died.
Gen 5:15 Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Jared.
Gen 5:16 Mahalalel lived after he became the father of Jared eight hundred thirty years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:17 All the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred ninety-five years, then he died.
Gen 5:18 Jared lived one hundred sixty-two years, and became the father of Enoch.
Gen 5:19 Jared lived after he became the father of Enoch eight hundred years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:20 All the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty-two years, then he died.
Gen 5:21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah.
Gen 5:22 Enoch walked with God after he became the father of Methuselah three hundred years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:23 All the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty-five years.
Gen 5:24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.
Gen 5:25 Methuselah lived one hundred eighty-seven years, and became the father of Lamech.
Gen 5:26 Methuselah lived after he became the father of Lamech seven hundred eighty-two years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:27 All the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty-nine years, then he died.
Gen 5:28 Lamech lived one hundred eighty-two years, and became the father of a son,
Gen 5:29 and he named him Noah, saying, "This same will comfort us in our work and in the toil of our hands, because of the ground which Yahweh has cursed."
Gen 5:30 Lamech lived after he became the father of Noah five hundred ninety-five years, and became the father of sons and daughters.
Gen 5:31 All the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy-seven years, then he died.
Gen 5:32 Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.


Jan. 5,6
Matthew 3

Mat 3:1 In those days, John the Baptizer came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying,
Mat 3:2 "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!"
Mat 3:3 For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight."
Mat 3:4 Now John himself wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.
Mat 3:5 Then people from Jerusalem, all of Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him.
Mat 3:6 They were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for his baptism, he said to them, "You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Mat 3:8 Therefore bring forth fruit worthy of repentance!
Mat 3:9 Don't think to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father,' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Mat 3:10 "Even now the axe lies at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn't bring forth good fruit is cut down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you in water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.
Mat 3:12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor. He will gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire."
Mat 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.
Mat 3:14 But John would have hindered him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me?"
Mat 3:15 But Jesus, answering, said to him, "Allow it now, for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed him.
Mat 3:16 Jesus, when he was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him.
Mat 3:17 Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."


From Gary... Listen, learn, and wait






















Have you ever been in the position of just not knowing what to do next?  Wait for God to show you the way. Easy to say, hard to do.  With practice, you can do it, just try!!!  How?  Through God's word of course.  Here is an excerpt from the 119th Psalm for insight...

Psalm 119

HEY

 33 Teach me, Yahweh, the way of your statutes.

I will keep them to the end.
  34 Give me understanding, and I will keep your law.
Yes, I will obey it with my whole heart.
  35 Direct me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in them.
  36 Turn my heart toward your statutes,
not toward selfish gain.
  37 Turn my eyes away from looking at worthless things.
Revive me in your ways.
  38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,
that you may be feared.
  39 Take away my disgrace that I dread,
for your ordinances are good.
  40 Behold, I long for your precepts!
Revive me in your righteousness.

Psalm 119 is divided by the letters of the Hebrew alphabet for memorization purposes.  So, these verses are meant to be thought of as one.  In them, we are to long for God's word more than our own desires and look for The Almighty's work in our lives.  But, what stands out to me the most is our attitude toward HIM. If we desire to learn, we will eventually be guided.  So, listen, learn and wait; you won't be in the hallway forever!!!