GET TOGETHER- BE A HELPER AND NOT A PLANKER
Mt 7:3-5 “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?” Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
This passage comes from the Sermon on the Mount the most famous sermon that Jesus ever preached. I have said on more that one occasion it could have been the sermon that got the least amens ,or come on preach it brother of any sermon that was ever preached. And yes, I amen preachers and other brothers and sisters in Christ. But in this sermon, there is a whole lot of introspection of the heart going on.
Sometimes in leading a Bible study or small group one of the biggest challenges that I have faced is getting the group to allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and not so much to get to talking about how bad everyone else is out there. And yes, there is a lot of real, real bad stuff out there.
J.J. and I are currently in our prayer life using a resource called Pray The Word 90 Prayers That Touch the Heart of God. Each day has a theme and scriptures that support the theme that we are praying about. We pray through those scriptures and then we pray the prayer that the author Tiece L. King has written based on those scriptures.
One of the things that has come out of this is that the Holy Spirit has been at work showing me areas of my heart that He desires to work in. Let me give you an example. Last week I was at a store in our area and the cashier made a mistake when the cashier gave me my change. It was a grand total of 82 cents. My first thoughts were that this is what happens when kids aren’t taught how to add and subtract without a calculator, or computer. The cashier shared with me that it was her first day. After I left out of there the Holy Spirit convicted me of the judgmental critical thoughts that I had about this young person. I asked the Lord to forgive me and to give me another chance to show the love of Jesus Christ to this person. Today He answered my prayer and allowed me to encourage this person in some way.
When we are planking other people, it hinders us from allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts. I am not talking about speaking truth about what is right and what is wrong. But we are living in a culture that is constantly critical of someone, or something.
This morning I was listening to a message entitled what happens when Jesus Comes To Town. The first place that He will go to is to the people that are called by His Name. 1Pe 4:17 “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? “(NKJV)
As believers that have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us I believe that the Holy Spirit desires to get those planks out of our eyes so that we are in position to be used to bring people into the Kingdom. What if Jesus had a plank in His eyes when the woman was caught in adultery? What if He had a plank in His eyes when He saw Matthew at the Tax Booth, Zacchaeus in the sycamore tree, and Peter on the night that Peter denied Him?
Well we know that the Lord Jesus was the sinless Son of God. We know also He desires for us to be a people that can look at hurting people, not be critical, and to point them to Him. Because to be honest He does want us to be in position to help people to get the speck out of their own eye. But, if we have the plank in our own eyes, we won’t be able to be used by the Holy Spirit to remove that speck.
So today let’s be counter cultural. In a finger pointing, critical, war of words culture let’s be salt and light. Don’t compromise truth. But trust the Holy Spirit to not only work in you, but as you pray believe that He will work in those that we may be most critical of.
Let Us Pray
Lord Jesus we live in a sinful rebellious world. It can be very hard not to let our hearts get as calloused as the hearts of those who are in the world. We know that the healing for the calloused heart, the broken heart, the wounded heart comes through a Spirit filled relationship with You. Help us to get the planks out of our own eyes. Help us to be used by You to point others to You the Remover not only of the speck, but the plank as well.
In Jesus Name
Tell someone this week what Jesus has done for you.