What Peter Says About Paul Says More About Peter Than About Paul

Some stand ready to judge and unwilling to show little mercy. Jesus said, “Judge not that you be not judged for with what judgement you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Matthew 5:1, 2).

What this means is that if you see or hear of a person doing a certain thing and you make a judgement as to why you are saying, “If I were in that person’s situation this is what I would be doing.”

An example of this involved a friend of mine. Someone saw him coming out of a bar in New Orleans at 2:00 AM. They broadly told others he was seen coming out of the bar where he had been drinking most of the night. What the person who made that judgement didn’t know was the man had been in many bars that night looking for his alcoholic brother.

What the accuser was confessing is that if it had been him coming out of a bar at that hour, he would have been there drinking. Judge not lest you be judged.

In that same message Jesus said, “If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:15). Translated this means “the unforgiving are unforgiven because they are unforgivable.” 

With the judgment you judge you will be judged.

What Peter says about Paul, says more about Peter than it does about Paul.

Who Is the Egotist?

One person always extends self in an effort to accomplish things.

One never takes risks.

Which is an egotist and why?

To answer that question, consider this. What is a primary instinct of life? It is self-preservation. The ones who won’t take risks are engaged in self-interest. They are reluctant to take a risk for fear of failure. They want to be in control. They won’t take a risk for fear of embarrassment. They won’t stick out their neck. They are exercising egotism. 

The one who will take a chance and risk it all is thought to be egotistical, but is actually the opposite. This is the most humble of the two.

Are you willing to seek God’s will and act on it, knowing it has an element of risk. Doing so takes faith, resulting in confident conduct overcoming uncertainty. It is humbling self before the Lord. This is the meek one. Meekness was said to be a characteristic of a Spirit filled believer.

The word translated meek in Scripture is not used to describe a namby-pamby milk-toast person. It was used to describe a Roman soldier as one under control of a superior as being meek. It was also used of a wild stallion that had been broken and the reins put in the hands of a rider.  Are the reins of your life in the hands of your Master? Give him the reins, the control of your life.

The Hope of Glory

Have you ever noticed that every time you have something wrong with you and start to tell it every person who has ever had something similar shows us? Every time we wrestle with the catalogue of pain the Bible shows up and offers us hope, such as, “Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

The warning Jesus gave His disciples is applicable to us, “You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.” We are all somewhere on the scale of suffering somewhere between life being free and easy, and suffering that seems unbearable. The latter is described in Scripture as groaning. However, this darkness is not going to end in despair, not even death. If you are a follower of Jesus, this groaning will end in God’s glory and your joy.

Is there a link between these two? Yes! We “…groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we are saved. But hope that is seen is not hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not have, we wait for it patiently.”

That is it, that is the link, hope. It is the link between this life and the next, between suffering and glory. Hope actually is another name for faith. Faith locks onto Jesus, and then it looks forward to glory.

If you have, or will turn to Jesus, there is good news for you. No matter how terrible your sin might have been He has forgiven you and will be waiting for you. You cannot escape suffering, but if you trust Jesus as Savior, just as assuredly you will not miss glory. Hope is the key.

Deposit this in your memory bank. It will likely at some point be more meaningful to you.

Bank on it, it will pay dividends. 

(This is based on Romans 8.)

Let Us Remember, Relish, and Return on This Memorial Day 5/28/00

Proverbs 14:34

Jesus Christ repetitiously called upon people to “remember.” Knowing the truths spoken and seeing the forgetfulness of the people, He appealed for them to remember statements and standards that would guide them.

Biblically memorials were often established to keep alive the action taken or truths learned. These memorials varied.

DAYS were often set aside as memorials. To keep alive the memory of God delivering His people from slavery in Egypt the Lord established the Passover and said of it: “This day shall be to you a memorial …” (Exodus 12:14).

BOOKS often record memorial deeds and events. Joshua won a remarkable victory over Amalek and the Lord commissioned the people to “Write this for a memorial in a book..” (Exodus 17:14).

PLACES are also set aside as memorials. The Lord declared the Tabernacle should be “A memorial unto the children of Israel” (Exodus 30: 16).

EVENTS are commemorated as memorials. When Joshua led the children of Israel out of the wilderness into the promised land a memorial was established. A stone memorial was established on the banks of the Jordan. It was done so those who came after them and seeing the stones might ask, “What do these stones mean?” This allowed the story to be retold and the memory kept alive (Joshua 4:5 – 7).

Our Lord established the Lord’s Supper and charged us to engage in it “In remembrance …” of Him.

Our predecessors knew of the expediency of our nation remembering, relishing, and returning to virtues and values and long since established a Memorial Day. It was intended to be a day on which the nation would pause and honor those fallen in battle and the precious principles for which they died. Most have forgotten the reason for the holiday and simply enjoy a day off from work. Let us —-

Rudyard Kipling said, “Lord of host, be with us yet, lest we forget, lest we forget.” It is fitting that our nation should pause to remember the countless sons and daughters who at great sacrifice and many at the greatest sacrifices won and preserved our freedoms.

CIVIL WAR 498,332
WORLD WAR I 116,710
WORLD WAR II 407,316

As we remember and memorialize those who paid the ultimate price let’s not fail to honor those who also served and sacrificed. In remembering the fallen let us —

We honor those who have gone before by striving to preserve and perpetuate the values and virtues for which they gave of themselves while resisting the vices that erode them. Dare this generation spare itself by not paying the price to champion the good for which others died?

To have a freedom and not exercise it is little better than not having that freedom. For example, much is said about not having the former freedom of prayer in schools once enjoyed. We have the freedom of prayer in our homes. Are we using it? Is there no more prayer in your home than in our schools? What value is a freedom if not exercised?

Let us show our appreciation for our freedoms by using them to the fullest glory of our Lord.

The appeal made to ancient Israel is applicable today:
“Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest; when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the
land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; …then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth … “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth… “Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.” (Deuteronomy 8:11-19).

Let us relish the freedom and —-

Judge Robert Bork describes America as “Slouching Toward Gomorrah.”

By no means were all of our Founding Fathers Christians nor did they all always live according to the teaching of the Bible. They did however believe the Bible and establish our nation on Scriptural principles.

Thomas Jefferson noted: “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure, when we have removed their only firm basis — the conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?”

Our predecessors have marked out path with memorials.

E. Stanley Jones observed, “If we lose our sense of being led, we become victims of circumstances.”

Eighty one year old Benjamin Franklin left us this verbal memorial:
“In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine Protection. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor…. Have we forgotten the powerful friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?

“I have lived, sir, a long time and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: God governs in the affairs of men….”

Thomas Jefferson left us this verbal memorial: “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure, when we have removed their only firm basis — the conviction in the minds of people that these liberties are the gift of God.”

The framers of our Declaration of Independence left us the legacy of these lines: “With firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

For a memorial look at our currency. There you will see the words “In God We Trust.” On the right side of a dollar bill is the great seal of the United States. There is a great pyramid and above a giant eye symbolizing the eye of God. Above the pyramid in Latin are the words “He smiles on our beginnings.” Beneath it in Latin these words: “A new order of the ages.”

Our predecessors labored under the conviction that God was overseeing their efforts in establishing a new order of freedom.

In 1831 the French government sent Alexis de Tocqueville to examine our prisons and penitentiaries. He became so intrigued by our system of government and its institutions that he spent considerable time analyzing life in America. On his return to France he wrote his classic, “Democracy in America.” Many scholars feel it is the greatest of all works on any national policy and culture. In it he wrote: “I sought for the greatness and genius in America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there…I sought for the greatness and genius in America in her democratic congress and her matchless constitution and it was not there…

“Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand here genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Tocqueville like Solomon was right: “Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is the reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).

Arnold Toynbee, the distinguished historian, numbers nineteen great civilizations that have existed since governments were formed. Ours is one. Toynbee observed spiritual currents running through history. He concluded no major nation has ever been murdered. They have committed suicide. They forgot the true purpose of their being, and rotted on the inside. Let’s learn!

Now let us —-


Jesus’ Touch

A part of the miracle of your creation is your epidermis. Scientists say it is a strategic part of your nervous system. It sends messages to the brain regarding heat and cold, pressure and pain. A part of it the size of a Quarter contains three million cells, a hundred sweat glands, fifty nerve endings and three feet of blood vessels. Its primary role relates to touch.

By it Jesus knew a woman touched Him. That was a physical touch, and though Jesus no longer touches us physically He does touch us spiritually. He touches the person with an aching sorrow, and by it the heavy cloud of grief and hopelessness is dispelled. He touches the competing athlete, the fearful soldier, and the anxious mother. He touches you….

To say He touched me is a metaphor for saying He illumined my mind, inspired my emotion, or instilled my will.

You can feel, that is, sense His touch by a multiplicity of means. He continues to touch us by transforming impacts on our life. There have been times most of us have sung along with Bill Gaither:

“Shackled by a heavy burden
‘Neath a load of guilt and shame
Then the hand of Jesus touched me
And now I am no longer the same
He touched me, oh, He touched me
And oh, the joy that floods my soul!
Something happened, and now I know
He touched me, and made me whole
Since I’ve met this blessed Savior
Since He’s cleansed and made me whole
Oh, I will never cease to praise Him ….”

That initial saving touch is experienced all through life, even today. Sometimes it is such a tender touch it isn’t even felt, but still it is a guiding touch.