Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Remove the Log First

This is just a recap of something God revealed to me about a year and a half ago. At the time, our Care Group was studying the book Living the Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney. I was reminded of this revelation the last time I was at Care Group and thought it might be beneficial to share it here.

It all happened as I was reading the news at The article was:

Moussaoui: 'No remorse' for 9/11
Al Qaeda plotter tells jury of his hatred for Americans
From Phil Hirschkorn
Friday, April 14, 2006 Posted: 12:26 a.m. EDT

I'd recommend reading the article if you want to understand my reflections upon it. Just cut and paste it into your browser if you want to read it.

I read the article in the morning and wrote this in the evening:

After reading this article first thing this morning, all I could think about was how anyone could have this much hatred for other people. And as I read his comments about putting his trust in “God” I was aware of how far off this man is—his “God” can’t save him and my God wouldn’t save him from the judgment he’s going to face because what he did was wrong and he was unrepentant. Not only that but, this man hates Americans because he thinks we’re Christians and because we support Israel—and Israel’s God. This man is totally in rebellion against God and is serving some other god distinctly different from the one and only God of the Bible. He’s basically serving Satan in complete opposition to God. I felt a minimal amount of pity for the man—so confused and oblivious. Then, I read this paragraph in C.J. Mahaney’s book Living the Cross Centered Life:

The other party (all of humanity) is undeniably, categorically, and completely guilty [of rebellion against God]—yet this guilty party doesn’t even care to be reconciled, but is locked in active hostility to the other party. In contrast, God is fully committed to resolution with the violators. (pg. 65)

Wow! I was just like that man—rebelling against God and not caring to be reconciled. Yet, God had mercy on me! I certainly didn’t think that this morning—I lacked compassion for this man and I was feeling very self-righteous. However, God has used this news story to open my eyes to what I was before Christ and the great undeserved grace that He has bestowed on me. And you know, now…I might just pray for that man—because he is exactly what I was before Christ opened my eyes and delivered me.

Romans 2: 1 says:
"Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things."
and in Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus says:

1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.

When we are aware of the great sin debt of which God has forgiven us, we are so much more apt to have compassion on and forgive others of the much smaller debt which they commit against us. There is probably no greater depiction of this than Christ's parable recorded in Matthew 18: 21-35.

May each of us be more aware of our sinfulness that we might be more aware of God's rich grace toward us causing us to extend that grace to others and forgive from the heart.

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