Teenside Daily Devotional

 4/20/20
Read Matthew 7:1-6.

Jesus may sound like he is completely ruling out judgment. The first thing he says is “judge not”. Doesn’t this mean we shouldn’t judge? Not exactly. He follows this with an amendment: we will be judged in the same way that we judge. I should be judged. And because I want to be judged fairly, I should judge others fairly. This is what Jesus means.
He doesn’t leave it at that though. Jesus also addresses pride in this passage. Often, it is extremely easy for us to see what is wrong with someone else. We may judge silently from a distance, or we allow gossip to take hold when we are with others. Either way, we look to see the flaws in others before evaluating our own. What Jesus makes clear here is that we can’t help others until we help ourselves. It is not wrong to confront a brother or sister in Christ that is trapped in sin that they cannot see, but it is wrong to do so before we have dealt with the sin in our own life. Once we have done this, then we will be prepared to assist others. Do not let pride reign in this area of your life!

Finally, we have the last verse. This seems rather odd to include. What does this mean? It seems as though Jesus randomly decided to start talking about dogs and pigs. However, think about the context in which he has been speaking. He has been talking about judgment. In Jesus’ time, dogs would not have been household pets. They would have been scavengers constantly looking for food. Similarly, pigs would have been unclean and rejected by the Jews. When we carry the equivalent of “pearls”, that is the Gospel itself, we are to have discerning judgment as to when to share it. If we encounter those that are unwilling to receive the Gospel, or if we interact with those that seek to hurt or devour us, we should discern when it is time to move on. This is not to say that we should ever stop sharing the Gospel, but even Jesus moved on when he was rejected. Seek out those willing to listen! Trust that the Spirit will help you decide when and how to share God’s Word!

Questions:
*Take a moment to journal these questions. Write down your thoughts, questions, and concerns. Then date your entry. One of the coolest things is being able to look back and see how God came through for you.*

  1. What standards have you held the people in your life to? Are these fair or unfair expectations?

  1. What planks do you need to remove from your own eye before you can help your friends with the things in their life?

  1. God’s truth is for everyone and we need to give freely of the gift that was freely given to us. However, people in your life may refuse to receive this gift. Have you ever experienced rejection when it comes to sharing the gospel or your testimony? What do you do with this rejection?
  2. Don’t get hung up on discerning when it is and is not appropriate to share the gospel/ your testimony. This is something you are called to do. So share freely the goodness of God in your life and when you come across a person who is unreceptive, stop sharing and pray. Then, shake the dust off and move on (Matthew 10:14). Is there someone that you need to stop sharing with and pray for instead? 

Prayer: Spend some time praying about the things you journaled. Pray that God would show you the expectations you have held people to that are not fair. Ask for forgiveness and a renewed perspective of His grace. Pray that God would remove the plank from your eye so that you can support people in your life that are struggling with sin. Lastly, pray that God would show you how Jesus handled rejection when sharing the truth. Ask that He would help you to discern when to continue sharing and when to stop and pray for that person.

Song: What the Lord Has Done in Me- Keith Lancaster

Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/169Fs68hROYRdS362T8D9w

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