The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
When spotting error in others, a wonderful opportunity and necessity lies before us regarding our own walk with the Lord.
"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted" (Galatians 6:1).
Awareness of the faults of others should remind us of our own need for God's mercy, and even more, of how often He has generously bestowed it. "In the spirit of meekness… considering thyself" must be present within our own hearts if we are to serve as effective restorers of others. Certainly, we pray for those in whom we see fault, and offer ourselves to the Lord if He sees fit to administer correction through us. However, recognizing sin in others must also lead us to pray for ourselves regarding the temptations we face. The most devoted born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ still lives with flesh in which resides a "law of sin" (Romans 7:23-25). All believers are still susceptible to following that law, and at times we do. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8). If we climb upon a high perch of condemnation for others, we will surely all too soon fall from such a foolish vantage point. When seeing failure in others, we therefore do well to first humble ourselves in gratitude for the mercy we have received, and will receive.
"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).
The New Testament clearly calls believers to serve as means of correction for each other. It also plainly states the "consider thyself" attitude that must accompany our restorative efforts for each other. Only the humble can help. All others need not attempt to serve as means of correction for others because they themselves are in need of restoration from the sin of pride. As a preacher, I seek to remember this. When speaking to congregations, I try to never use "You" as my primary pronoun when considering the callings and challenges of Scripture. "We" and "Us" - these are the appropriate pronouns of the preacher, and of all believers who rightly understand that to correct others, our hearts must be properly attired - "Be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble" (I Peter 5:5).
The power and authority of the Holy Spirit rests upon humility. Never upon pride. If we are to serve as effective means of correction for each other, our Heavenly Father will have to keep us keenly aware that the sins of others must be viewed as "motes" (twigs), while we see our own as "beams" (Matthew 7:3). Thereby we can serve as "ye which are spiritual," a designation that always correlates with being "clothed with humility." Thereby, our Lord may well lead us in correction of others because we so open to His correction of ourselves.
"Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank Thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
"Search me, o God, and know my heart. Try me, and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
Weekly Memory Verse
"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men."
(I Timothy 2:1)