Open Heavens Daily Devotional – Judging or Teaching (Thursday 21st June 2018)
Memorise: My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. James 3:1
Read: Acts 28:1-6 KJV
1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita.
2 And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.
3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.
5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.
6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.
In a bid to evade the verbal chastisement of the word of God coming from the mouth of fellow believers, some Christians quote these words of Jesus in Matthew 7:1-2:
“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”
Such Christians conveniently forget the word of 2 Timothy 4:2, which says,
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
While it is true that some Christians today are quick to judge others for the situation they are passing through, which is an attitude the Lord warned us against, it does not mean that we cannot declare the counsel of God whenever we are so moved by the Spirit of God to do so. The question is what is the difference between having a judgemental attitude and declaring the whole counsel of God through teaching or preaching?
Just like vengeance, judgement also is the prerogative of the Almighty God. As demonstrated in the story of the adulterous woman, He alone is the accurate and righteous judge. From the story, we see that man’s judgement can be faulty, because the one judging others may be guilty of the same sin (John 8:7-9). Only God is without sin, therefore He alone is competent enough to pass judgement. Indeed, He has passed judgement through His word, and He will confirm this judgement through the Lord Jesus Christ on a day He has appointed (John 12:48, Romans 2:16).
To be judgmental is to judge wrongly. Many are prone to doing this, and this is the reason why we were warned not to judge. Paul’s experience in today’s Bible reading is a typical example of the error of man’s judgement.
The Lord had just spared the lives of Paul and those whom he was travelling with on account of Paul’s right standing with Him. While the apostle was gathering sticks to increase the heat of the fire that was keeping them warm, a poisonous snake caught him by the hand. Some of the native people of the land where they were shipwrecked jumped to the conclusion that Paul was evil and that was why nemesis was still after him, even though he had managed to survive a shipwreck (Acts 28:4). How wrong they were! Let us therefore be cautious before drawing connections between events because our knowledge is limited. Let us allow the word of God speak the judgement of God by itself and not insert our own speculations and motives into the fray.
Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
Bible in one year
2 Kings 23
Sing hymn 7
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE