Three practical guide to action
Reading: Luke 6:27-38
Blanks: Forgive, Give, use
Words: attract = cause to come near
Formula = established form
Influence = power to sway or affect
Today Jesus gave us three practical advice for our lives.
1. Do not judge, and you will not be judged.
Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.
2. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
3. 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.
Today, let's dig deeper and think about why Jesus said.
First Jesus said:
“Do not judge.
And you will not be judged.
Do not condemn.
And you will not be condemned."
A pastor translated these verses like this:
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults, unless, of course, you want the same treatment.
Don’t condemn those who are down.
That kind of hardness boomerang.
So be easy on people.
You’ll find life a lot easier.”
Why does Jesus ask us not to use our mind to judge, condemn, gossip, complain, or demonize?
Why does Jesus suggest us to give up judging, condemning, gossiping, complaining, or demonizing?
Maybe because as we focus on those things, we may have more things to judge, condemn, gossip, complain, or demonize.
Then because we think like that, we will be also judged, condemned, gossiped or complained about.
Then God may even judge or condemn us.
Then we may live a life of hell.
Now what is judging or condemning?
It is giving final verdicts as if we were God.
It is like pretending to be God who is perfect.
It is like pretending to have power to say the final verdict about a person, like God.
But we don’t have power to judge or condemn others like God.
But anyway why do we judge or condemn other people?
There may be many reasons.
One of them may be simply because we are different from them.
Or because we feel that we are more righteous than they are.
Or we may want to control other people by judging them, condemning them, giving them bad feedback and so on.
Or we judge them because we see in them what exist in us that we don't like.
We do this because we are sinners.
God knows that we are sinners whom God saved.
We are not saved because we are righteous.
We are saved because God is merciful.
So God asks us not to judge anyone.
God asks us not to think like that.
Because we don’t know what God will do for that person or with that person.
So God may ask us not to interfere with God’s work.
God may do something very new with that person.
As for God, everything is possible.
After God tries everything, God may say the final words.
Then God may judge or condemn.
But that is still God’s job.
Our job is to pray so that God may bring about change.
Our job is to ask God to do God’s will.
But then the Bible suggested that we should rebuke those who sin against God obviously.
When we see that someone is sinning, we may warn them not to sin anymore individually first.
We may say this because we love them and care about them.
We may give honest feedback.
Concerning not judging another person, Jesus practiced like this.
It was when his students asked him how to judge a blind man.
You remember that, right?
We talk about this before.
But let’s rethink again: John 9:1–7
Jesus and his disciples saw a man blind from birth.
The students asked Jesus:
“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
The students wanted to judge this man or his parents.
But Jesus didn’t want his student to think like this.
Jesus didn’t want them to find faults.
Jesus wanted them to understand how God is working right now.
So Jesus said:
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned.
But this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me.
Night is coming, when no one can work.
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Jesus is even saying today:
“With me, everything is possible.
So stop judging anyone.
But use the power of God to heal the world.
This is what is like to live my life.”
After saying like this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.
Jesus told him:
“Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam (Sent).”
So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
Jesus was saying that living like this is easier, lighter and happier.
So Jesus chose to heal the man instead of judging.
Jesus didn’t say no words of judging or condemning the man.
But Jesus saw what is possible with God.
What is possible with God who can make all things new?
Because with God, everything is possible.
So we expect God’s healing power work among us.
We pray for God to work with us.
We expect Jesus to change lives according to God’s will.
We know Jesus God can change their mind and thoughts and their life.
Jesus can change the world as we give up judging.
As our church does not judge anyone, what will happen?
When people are not judged here, they grow freely.
When we don’t impose our belief, our view, we give another person a freedom to think and talk.
As they do. they usually find God.
We know where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
In that freedom, people find God who works in their hearts.
In this freedom of the Holy Spirit, people grow well.
In this freedom of the Holy Spirit, we become God's children.
We become God’s image on earth.
So we don't even condemn ourselves.
But then sometimes, our hearts may condemn us or judge us.
But then still we know God is more powerful than our hearts.
God knows everything but chooses to forgive us.
So when we ask God to forgive us, God forgives us.
In order to forgive us like that, Jesus became a man.
In order to forgive us, Jesus was humiliated.
In order to forgive us, Jesus suffered and died on the cross.
It was not easy even for God to forgive us.
But God chose to forgive us.
So secondly, Jesus said like this:
And you will be forgiven.”
Jesus who forgives us requires us to forgive all people.
It may be not easy for us to forgive other people.
But Jesus requires us to forgive.
Otherwise, we are not forgiven.
There is no alternative in this.
We need to forgive to be forgiven.
Otherwise we may experience a life of hell in our minds.
We forgive, because our inner life depends on it.
We forgive because we can not be mentally healthy without it.
Only then we may be also physically and spiritually healthy.
So we forgive our neighbors.
We pray for them and bless them.
We pray for their family.
Seeing them in our mind’s eyes, we pray for their life.
We ask God to bless them.
We pray until we forgive them.
I also learned that forgiving a person is not a one time event.
Forgiving another person can be a long process.
I learn that I need to continually forgive them because sometimes, I remember what they did before and get mad all over again.
When I find this kind of old grudges in my own heart again, I need to pray again to forgive the same person that I have forgiven before.
Do you experience something like this?
Then I need to say again in my prayer:
“Jesus, forgive them.
Bless them and bless their family.
I forgive them.
Help me to forgive them.”
I may need to pray for them regularly until I die.
I may need to pray and forgive them regularly.
Doing so, I may learn how difficult it was for God to forgive me.
As I try to forgive, I may learn what God has really done for me in Jesus.
Anyway, as we pray for them and bless them, God may bless us.
God may give us the power of forgiveness and the forgiving heart of Jesus.
Then we may experience Jesus and God’s forgiving grace.
Since I am like this, I don’t demand anyone to forgive another person.
I don’t think I can say:
“I have forgiven my people.
You forgive your people.”
They may take longer time to forgive.
They may take longer time to begin this process of forgiveness.
So I rather wait and pray for them.
I pray for them and wait for them to forgive another person.
As we wait and pray, God may help their heart and mind to forgive another person.
Then God may restore their relationships.
Thirdly, Jesus said:
“Give what you want to receive.
And you will receive.
The measure you give is the measure you will receive.”
A pastor translated these verses like this:
“Give away your life.
You’ll find life given back, with bonus and blessing.
Giving is the way of the abundant life.
Generosity begets generosity.”
Many people have learned this and spoken similar things.
It seems even some non christian learned this lesson.
Here are some examples:
"Life is an echo.
What you send out, comes back.
What you sow, you reap.
What you give, you get:
Life is an echo.
It always gets back to you."
"Whatever you give to life, it gives you back.
If you give hatred, you get hatred.
So do not hate anybody.
The hatred which comes out of you will someday come back to you.
So love all.
Then love will come back to you."
"The more you give the more you get back.
That's the way love works."
It seems that many people have learned over the years:
What you give, you get back.
You get the things that you give out.
So do you want to change your life?
Change what you give out and the way you think.
Then you change your life and their lives.
In other words, if we want to live peacefully, be peaceful.
If we want people to be nice to each other, be nice to them.
If we want people to be honest, be honest.
If we want people to be true to us, be true to them.
If we want to have freedom, give freedom to other people.
If we want people to think good thoughts, think good thoughts ourselves.
If we want people to understand us, try to understand them.
If we help people, people help us.
We do as we want them to do for us.
“Whatever you are, be a good one.
Then other people may also become good ones.”
Also as we feel peaceful, we attract those who live peacefully.
As we trust in God, we attract those who trust in God.
As we are full of the Holy Spirit, we attract those who are full of the Holy Spirit.
We may also realize what James 1: 17 said:
“From the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change, every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift is coming down.”
Without changing based on our behaviors, God gives the perfect gift.
God does not change in terms of his giving.
Continually God gives what is perfect.
Because God is perfect, even though we are imperfect, God can make us God’s people.
Then God may use us to give out these heavenly gifts.
As God gives, we may give along with God.
Sometimes, God may ask us to do little things for others.
We obey and do these little things for them.
Then God will remember us and bless us because we obey little things.
Then strangely, those little things occupy the big part of their hearts.
Like this, we may follow Jesus.
Today we think about these three things: not judge, but forgive and give.
As we do we follow Jesus.
By the grace of God, if we can do these things, we may experience more of Jesus.
In the grace of God, if we find ourselves live like this, we experience God working among us.
May God transform us to forgive and give peace and love, as God forgives us and gives peace and love.
In God’s grace, if our family can live like this, we may see more of God who works in our lives and in our hearts.
We may find more inner peace because of Jesus.
By the grace of God, if our family can live like this, we may help people and influence our world according to God’s will.
Then we may be also grateful understanding who God is.
By the grace of God, if our church be able to practice these things that Jesus said today, God’s thoughts and God’s wisdom may work freely among us according to God’s nature.
Then God may change us and the world.
Jesus, thank you for giving your life for us.
Thank you for giving us good teachings.
Help us to obey and become faithful and fruitful.
In Jesus name, we pray.