Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sawdust and Planks

Judge - to form an opinion about something or someone after careful thought; to regard someone as either good or bad

Sapat - to judge decide; act as law-giver, judge

Krino - to discriminate between good and evil, select, choose out the good; to judge, form or give an opinion after separating and considering the particulars of a case


John 8:15 - You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one.  But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone.

Jesus said those words to the Pharisees, who at the time were accusing him of being something he wasn't, and denying he was who he claimed to be.  When someone tells you He is the light of the world, that may make one a little nervous and defensive.  Light breaks through and brings light to the darkest places. And here was Jesus, shining a very bright light on their hearts.

Interestingly, I found two dominant words for judge both in the Hebrew (Old Testament) and the Greek (New Testament).  The majority of times the English word judge is used in both Old and New Testament Sapat and krino are the most used words.  There are a few, a very few, other words, but they don't mean much different than what Sapat and Krino mean, in my uncertified opinion.

So I've been thinking about that word judge and what Jesus said about it and how it was used in the B.C. days and how it is used in the A.D. period in which you and I now live.

What I find the most interesting is that the word Jesus used, Krino, is the word that I wish I could practice.  I wish it was part of my human DNA to judge like Jesus does.

First by saying, "I pass judgment on no one."  Oh how I wish I were found guilty of that charge!

But really, what Jesus is saying is more like this:  When I do discriminate between good and evil, selecting out the good, it is only after I have considered the particulars of the situation.  My opinion will only come AFTER I have done this.

I wish I could do that.  But.....I don't.  I express my opinion long before I consider the particulars of a situation.  I judge people based on a fifteen second news bite, or a ten second piece of gossip I hear standing in line at the grocery story or read on the cover of a tabloid.

I judged Jesus based on what someone else told me about Him rather than searching Him out for myself, and suffered a lot of unnecessary crap because I did.

I judged circumstances in my life based on eyes that could only see certain points of view at the time but through the passage of time and maturity I can see more clearly and understand more fully.

I judge too quickly, and condemn even faster, those things I know nothing about yet think because I see a piece of the picture I must be able to see the whole.

I want to judge like Jesus, but when I do my world will be turned upside down.  My boxes will have to be broken down.  The boxes I put people and situations in so that I can package them up in my own judgments and say, "Yes, you or It belong here, because this is what I see and know today."

Even Paul, the great Apostle Paul, the one who was quick to judge, condemn, and murder all those who went against Jewish law when they met Jesus Christ, said AFTER he himself became a Jesus follower, "I care very little if I am judged (anakrino*) by you or by any human court:  indeed, I do not even judge (anakrino*) myself.  My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent.  It is the Lord who judges (anakrino) me.  Therefore judge (krino) nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes.  He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motive's of men's hearts.  At that time each will receive his praise from God." 1 Corinthians 4:2-5

*anakrino - to examine, judge

Jesus knows what it's like to judge by human standards because he was a human.  But a human can only judge by the standard in which it lives.  If it judges like the world, it will be judged like the world judges.  But!  Jesus wasn't burdened by the judgement of his human nature because he was divine, and what he did judge when he choose to judge he could only judge with divine eyes that saw the whole picture in light of the whole word of God.  His eyes see the heart.  His eyes are able to determine good and evil then, even when he can see good and evil clearly, he still is able to consider the particulars of the situation.  He uses all of Scripture to make his judgments, not just pieces of scripture that he tries to fit in to give his judgments bite.

Wow!  Don't you wish we all could judge like Jesus?

We can you know.  We can.  If we ask him to help us to judge like he does, we can.  It's not impossible when His Spirit lives inside the believer.  All we need to do is ask for the ability.  But when we ask, we must be willing to lay down our desire to make quick judgments.  That will be the hard part for me.

I can watch a fifteen second news bite and form my opinion almost as quickly.

I can read a share on Facebook and form my belief about a person or situation and refuse to see another side.

When we purpose ourselves to judge like Jesus would and does, things change.  And that's the point.  Change.  He doesn't want us to stay like we are, like we've been, like we think we will always be.  He is in the business of heart mending, cleaning, and growing.  And when we determine ourselves to think like he thinks about every situation we face, we can only change.

If we're not changing, we're not really growing.

 If you are the same in your spiritual maturity as you were twenty, thirty, fifty years ago, than something is wrong with you, not Him.   If you think the same way at 50 that you did at 20, it's time to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, why am I not growing?  You can be young at heart, but if you are immature in your thinking and how you view the world, it may be time for a makeover.

(Is that my judgment or does it belong to Jesus? Let it be agreeable to Him).

Jesus said something else about when we judge:  "Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you krino others, you will be krino(ed), and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.   Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye.,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.  (Matthew 7:1-5).

Ouch, Jesus!

So if I am judging someone based on my standards then I better be prepared to be judged by someone else's standards who does not know my whole story, my whole reason behind what I do.  Basically what Jesus said is, "What goes around, comes around."  If I am judging someone for their beliefs, behaviors, or anything else I can pick at, I have no reason to be shocked when the same is done to me.

If we're going to judge we need to make sure we judge like Jesus did.  He could instantly see the good and evil but he didn't make a final judgment according to just either good or evil.  He waited to see what His Father thought about the situation or the person and then.....then, he would make a definitive judgment.

I'd rather have someone like Jesus judging me then someone who only judges with human standards tainted by human reasoning, wouldn't you?

Have a blessed day!  I've got to go get a plank out of my eye.

Peace,
Ronda


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Cody's Memorial Ride

I remember when I was a little girl and my grandmother would always put flowers on the graves of her parents and others.  Although I never went with her to the cemetery when she carried out this yearly task, I always knew she either was making plans to do so or had already done it.  I never knew too much about Memorial Day other than my grandmother's ritual and knowing there was a parade in the bigger town just ten miles from where I lived.

Of course when I became an adult I began to understand the reason for Memorial Day, first being to honor those who have paid the ultimate price as an American.  My grandmother, and thousands like her, honor loved ones who have passed, whether they were service members or not.

Eight years ago in August my extended family experienced the loss of one too young.  Every Memorial Day weekend since, his parents have honored his life by doing what he most loved to do:  ride ATV's in northern Wisconsin, sometimes riding over 100 miles in one day .  This year was the first time my husband and I were able to be a part of the experience.  It overwhelmed me to say the least, seeing twelve ATV's lined up and each of their rider's wearing a blue shirt with Cody's picture on it.

The loss is deeply felt, and Cody's parents continually push through the sludge of loss and force themselves to find joy in the things their son did, while the rest of us stand around them in awe.  They continue on for him because "he would want us to."



Cody's Dad making sure everything is set.

Cody's Mom passing out the shirts. My book was dedicated to this lady.











Ride On

Peace,
Ronda




Thursday, May 14, 2015

When we think God thinks like us....

If I were God and had to handle me on a daily, let's get real, second by second basis, I would handle me a lot differently then he handles me.

I would spank me more.  I would shake my head (SMH) more at the things I think, the things I do, the things I believe about myself and others.

If I were God and I had to deal with me, I would be frustrated more.  I would be embarrassed to be seen with me.  I would avoid being around me when I'm acting like I act when I'm not trusting him or not listening to him or not believing him.

If I were God, that's how I would be.

But thank God!  I'm not!

Because the real God, the God who I often forget is really in charge says this about himself:

Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced.  Therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.  

Isaiah 50:7

That's just ONE promise He's made to me.  Just one.  But does it come packed with a punch!

Because the Sovereign LORD (Yhwh - the Covenant God) helps (azar - help, support, to be helped) me (sassy, bossy, doubtful, annoying, faithless), I will not be disgraced (kalam - to be disgraced *to cause someone to feel ashamed; to cause someone to lose or become unworthy of respect or approval,  to be humiliated).  Therefore have I set (siym - to set, put, establish, plant, set down, appoint) my face (paneh - to turn, face, front, presence.  Since the face can be an obvious indicator of human emotions it is used in conjunction with expressions of anger, fear, sorrow) like flint (hallamiys - flinty rock, hard rock), and I know (yada-to know with every fiber of your being) I will not be put to shame (bos - to be ashamed feel ashamed, be confounded, be disappointed, make ashamed, disgrace, keep waiting, deceive, act shamefully.  The word often occurs in context of humiliation, public disgrace and shattered emotions.  Bos denotes confusion, embarrassment or dismay when things do not turn out as expected).

See?  God doesn't think like I think.  He doesn't think like you think either.  And if and when we do think unlike him (see the intro) it's not Him that's thinking about us what we think about us. 

 IT'S NOT HIM!  

See the promises of what he "will not" do again.  He will not let you be disgraced, he will not let you be put to shame.

The only thing you have to do is set your face like flint and call to him for help!!  Flint can take a lot of punches.  It can be broken down and sharpened.  It can be used to start a fire.  But in order for it to be used in those ways, it has to be used!

So be flint!  Let God sharpen you, let him start a spark with you in your life.  He will NOT let you be put to shame when He does!

He promised!

I'm so glad he doesn't think like me.


Peace,
Ronda

Flint knowledge