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Judge Yourself First And Receive God's Mercy

Judge Yourself First And Receive God's Mercy

I like sports. I think sports are some of God's gifts to mankind. 🙂 I once trained with the track team at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA. Now, I'm just a big college sports fan. College sports in the US is run by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Sometimes, a school breaks the rules and the NCAA launches an investigation. When a college is under investigation by the NCAA for suspected violations the school has two options.

Option 1 is to wait for the NCAA's investigation to be completed and see what happens. Option 2 is for the school to launch its own investigation and self-impose sanctions or punishment before the NCAA gets a chance to act. Option 2 is not just an admission of guilt but a willingness to accept the consequences. Such a move can usually trigger leniency from the NCAA.

Today, we continue with Part 8 of our latest series; "God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others?" See Part 1 for the full list of seven points described in "A Method To God's Mercy". Click here for Part 7 - "God's Mysterious Love And The Victory It Brings". We'll continue today with 4) People who judge themselves before receiving God's judgment get special access to God's mercy.

Job 33:14-18(NLT) - For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds. He whispers in their ears and terrifies them with warnings. He makes them turn from doing wrong; he keeps them from pride. He protects them from the grave, from crossing over the river of death.

When God's judgment is closing in on someone He sends out clear warning signals. First, The Holy Spirit convicts the person's heart (John 16:7-8). He also reaches out by speaking to the person directly through dreams or visions. That's the most common and effective way to communicate a warning. It's private, simple and undeniable.

If private communication doesn't work, God employs the help of others through prophetic words, pointed sermons, books, blogs or other forms of written or verbal communication (Ezekiel 33:1-11). These messengers from God are only responsible for delivering the message. Once the delivery is complete, they are free to move on with their lives.

Nonetheless, when a person consistently ignores the voice of The Holy Spirit, the person's sensitivity to God decreases (Romans 1:18-28). In that case, drastic times call for drastic measures. God may then choose to use external signs including unusual natural phenomena to get the person's attention. At the same time, God may also employ the services of angels, His heavenly messengers (Numbers 22:21-31). When the angels get involved, things go to a whole new level.

These are all part of God's plan to save a person from impending judgment.

1 Corinthians 11:31-32(NKJV) - For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

God warns people so they can impose self judgment before receiving His judgment. Even though His judgment is fair and merciful it's better to judge yourself first before He has to get involved. His judgment is designed to cause repentance so if repentance comes first it won't be necessary.

How many times have you seen someone receive stiff judgment from God and wondered why it had to go so far? That judgment was a last resort. Before God chastened the person He sent conviction by The Holy Spirit, warnings in dreams and visions, warnings through people along with even natural and supernatural signs.

Over and over, God tries to get people's attention before He has to do something drastic. He loves His children so much that He won't leave us to suffer the consequences of our sins without first giving us an opportunity to repent. He even gives us a chance to escape His judgment and that's much more lenient than the harvest of sin.

His judgment is an expression of His love because it is designed to save us from disaster. His warnings are an even greater expression of His love because they are designed to save us from His judgment. Warnings, judgment, disaster.... that's the order. Thank God we can jump off the train at any point before it reaches its final destination.

Anyway, once God starts issuing warnings, it's time for self-judgment. Here's how it works.

Judge Yourself First And Receive God's Mercy

Proverbs 14:12(NKJV) - There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

2 Corinthians 10:12(NKJV) - For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

You can't judge yourself properly if you don't have a proper standard. You can't judge yourself by yourself nor can you judge yourself by comparing yourself to others. That may seem right at the time but it doesn't have a happy ending. If you judge yourself by your own flexible standards you will always think you're doing fine. You will make excuses for your transgressions and overestimate your accomplishments.

Luke 18:9-14(NKJV) - Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat 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 everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

"Yeah, I sin but I don't sin like that guy. Compared to him I'm The Virgin Mary." (insert scoff)

If you judge yourself by others there is a high probability that you will compare yourself to people who make you feel better about yourself. For example, if your problem is alcohol you might compare yourself with the drunk fool lying in a drain completely unaware. Yes, you have a drinking problem but it's not that bad. At least when you're drunk you fall flat on the floor of your own house and not in a public drain. (insert scoff)

That's what self-judgment is not. Here's what it is!

James 1:22-25(NLT) - But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

The standard for living this Christian life is The Word of God. Therefore, you can use it like you use a mirror everyday. Every morning you look into The Word and judge what you see. Where your life doesn't match The Word you make adjustments. Where your life does match The Word you add reinforcements. If you need to clean up your life in certain areas The Word will let you see it.

That's one reason why its important to be in God's Word everyday. You're a work in progress so you always need God's Word. Don't forsake church attendance. Always read good Christian books. Listen to good Bible teaching. Surround yourself with God's Word and you will surround yourself with the truth.

Make sure you read devotionals like these and pay special attention to the scriptures. When you don't understand something, don't be afraid to ask. Don't forget to pray about things you don't yet agree with. This is how you judge yourself, God's Way. When you're faced with the truth don't just stand there, do something with it. 🙂

Hebrews 4:12-13(NKJV) - For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Jeremiah 17:9-10(NKJV) - “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.

It's important to know what's in your heart and the only way to know for sure is The Word of God. People who are consistently faced with The Word of God can successfully judge themselves. The more of The Word of God in your heart, the more you'll judge yourself before you get caught in a web of sin (Psalm 119:11).

Why do some people receive more mercy than others? They judge themselves first before God judges them. You can do it too. It works.

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