Summary: D. L. Moody and Charles Spurgeon were great preachers of the 19th century. Moody admired Spurgeon from a distance and looked forward to the opportunity of meeting him in London. On that historic day...
Introduction: D. L. Moody and Charles Spurgeon were great preachers of the 19th century. Moody admired Spurgeon from a distance and looked forward to the opportunity of meeting him in London. On that historic day, Spurgeon answered the door with a cigar in his mouth. Moody was aghast. “How could you, a man of God, smoke that?” Spurgeon took the cigar from his mouth, put his finger on Moody’s rather inflated stomach, smiled, and said, “The same way you, a man of God, could be that fat.”
We are talking this month about the subject CONSIDER YOUR LIFE. Last week we talked about considering DAY – a gameplay for each day from Matthew 6 that encouraged us to pray, forgive, devote ourselves to Christ and seek Him every day. That focused on our own discipleship and commitment.
Today we want to look at some passages in Matthew 7 and think about how they encourage us to CONSIDER OUR NEIGHBORS. Jesus gets right to the heart of the matter when he says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” When I think about my neighbors – those who are around me in the marketplace, neighborhood, workplace school – how I regard them and treat them makes a difference. In our text, I notice four ways that Jesus teaches us to consider our neighbors.
Matthew 7:1-6 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, 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. Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
We are usually blind to our own vices, we are hardly qualified to judge others. We never know the whole facts or the whole person.
Matthew Henry: Four ways we ought not to judge:
*We must not speak evil of our brother.
*We must not make the worst of other people nor infer insidious things from their words and actions.
*We must not judge uncharitably, unmercifully, nor with a spirit of revenge or mischief.
*We must not judge the hearts of others nor their intentions.
Lenski calls: “self-righteous, hypocritical judging which is false and calls down God’s judgment on itself.”
Nearly everyone has been guilty of misjudging others, and nearly everyone has suffered from someone else’s misjudgment. I think Jesus is telling us to Judge Kindly.
*Because we will be judged as we judge. (2)
*Because we have a plank in our eye (3-4)
*Because instead of judging, I should be helping (5) (It is hypocritical to judge instead of healing)
*Because not everyone wants what we’re sharing (6)
Matthew 7:7-11 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
How do we Consider our Neighbors? Pray For Them! Pray for the ones who do not want the gospel. Pray for the ones who have not found Jesus. Pray for the Christians to grow in discipleship. Abba Father knows how to answer our prayers (9-10). We may not understand how He does answer them. In His times and in His Ways. We affirm that He knows how to answer prayer.
Matthew 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Consider Your Neighbors: Love Them Exceptionally. This is the second greatest command! We call it the ‘Golden Rule’ – if only the whole world could learn this! And if only we could! How do you want to be loved? We all do want to be loved. By being judged kindly. By being prayed for fervently. This command moves us beyond what others may DESERVE. What do we deserve?