Weekly Devotions
 
 
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Why Jesus Wants You to Give Up Judging Others — and Embrace a Graceful Mindset

By Mick Mooney

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mick-mooney/the-gospel-is-not-about-a_b_8149148.html

 

A lot of people have talked about the gospel over the ages. They’ve been preaching, proclaiming and discussing it for 2000 years, through every generation. The discussion initially starts around the act of first receiving the gospel, and then inevitably how to outlive it. In the majority of cases, the common advice revolves around external actions. It becomes about behavior modification.

 

Yet, the reality of the gospel, and how we can truly live out the gospel, as I understand it, is not about behavior modification, but inner transformation; it’s not about avoiding drinking, or drugs, or prostitution, or foul language; it’s not about how you dress, or where you live, how much money you donate, or how many prayers you recite. It’s about avoiding just one thing: judging others.

 

Living in line with the gospel truth is not about slapping the external self on the wrist when naughty, or patting the external self on the back when good. It’s about the freedom available to your inner person. And to experience that freedom, you do not need to monitor how you act, you need to monitor how you think. Because it is in your thoughts that we develop either grace for others, or judgement for others. In the mind, we either (rightly) side step the option of judging the motives of others, or we (wrongly) embrace that option and let it consume us.

 

It comes down to this: If you choose to judge others’ motives and actions, that choice has consequences for you personally, because the act of judging is sticky. We like to think it is like a rock we can righteously throw at the one we deem guilty. But judgement is not like a rock, it’s more like a pot of glue. When you decide to judge another, you are putting your fist in that pot, and although you intend to throw it at the one you are judging, it does not reach them; instead, it sticks to you.

 

Jesus said,

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 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.”

I think the majority of people think Jesus was talking about God judging those who choose to judge others. But I don’t believe Jesus was referring to God—he was talking about you.

 

Jesus was alluding to the way the mind works, the way it has been designed to achieve freedom for you. And that design is about the way you think. Extend grace, and the mind will reward you likewise, and you will naturally find you have a large quantity of grace for yourself. Judge others, and the mind will hound you on your own inadequacies and failings, and you will be consumed with self-condemnation.

 

True freedom, the freedom promised by God and made available to all through Christ, is one that starts and ends in our minds. Avoid the poison of judging others, and you’ll avoid poisoning your own mental, spiritual and emotional state. Give grace to others in your thinking (for our thoughts are our secret place, and only we can see if we are graceful of judgmental towards others within our mind), and your mind will open up to the abundant provision of grace available for yourself.

 

The Apostle Paul said: “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It’s good advice, for the freedom God has stored up for you, as part of the promise he has offered, is yours when you align your mind, and the thoughts that you develop within your mind, to the reality of the gospel. Do that, and watch the Kingdom of God flourish within yourself, for as Jesus said, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”

 

The Kingdom of God is within you. Avoid judging others. Chase after the opportunities to extend grace. Think in line with the Kingdom, watch it first light up your own inner world, and over time, overflow into the world around you.

 
 

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Marriage and Being One with God

The institution of marriage is such a great comparison to life with our Father. I think a lot of the time we miss some good points about marriage that directly relates to life with God. To many times we do not associate marriage with Kingdom meanings.

Actually marriage is a shadow of spiritual things. Ephesians 5:31 and 32 state … For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. The church being mentioned here is not a building or an organization. The Church are the people who Jesus brings together. It is not a weekly meeting, it is a living organism made up of those of us saved by grace.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about recently is how we are one with God. It’s hard to imagine that our Father lives within us. Jesus said when he left the earth, he would send us another comforter. Through his Spirit, he came to make his home within us and he is constantly with us.

We always think of God sitting on a big throne, way off in heaven somewhere and that one of these days we will go and meet Him and live with Him forever.

The thing is, that is not what His written word tells us. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, God’s physical dwelling place on earth. His Spirit dwells within us and He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Now it’s not saying we are God, but we are one with God. The best way I’ve found to make sense of this is to think of marriage. When two individual people fall in love, make a commitment to love each other and live together, the bible says the two shall become one.

Does that mean that the spouse becomes their partner, that they somehow become the same person? No, both people remain individuals, yet they live as one. Same with us and God, we are still the person He created, yet because God loves us and we love him, he made his home within us, and His spirit lives within us. We are one with God.

In John 17:21 Jesus is talking with the Father and asks … that they may all be one, even as You Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. Seems to me it is truly a marriage made in heaven.

We do not have to wait to a future time when we live with God in some far-away place, we are living as one with Him in His Kingdom right now. We are his temple, his dwelling place, and each of us are equally important parts of his body.

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