It doesn't take pasting BEOFRE and AFTER signs on objects to teach young children when to do certain acts. They quickly learn through example and imitation the correct order-sock(before) shoe(after), mud pies (before) bath (after). In almost every case the pattern continues for a lifetime - shirt (before) tie (after); cart (before) horse (after). Strangely, that formula doesn't always work in matters of moral judgements. One should not expect proclamation before introspection. "She's a negligent mother"; "He's poor example "Their yard is a disgrace"... In each case, the accuser should have looked for STOP signs before entering the intersection, not after.
Jesus had to teach some scribes and Pharisees the principles of introspection in several public debates. one needs to evaluate one's own mental, physical and emotional state as well as one's motives before making bold judgments about another's behavior. Jesus pointed out that they saw the speck in a brother's eye without searching for the very beam in their own eye. (Matt 7:3-5, paraphrased) In another encounter they began to understand the hypocrisy of this upon hearing Jesus' words, "If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to thro stone" (at the woman taken in adultery). (John 8:3-11) Through introspection they realized they couldn't judge her without judging themselves they walked away, leaving her alone with Jesus who told her to go home and sin no more. If we realize that if we judge others before a deep self-evaluation we will be judged by the same standard (Matt :1-2) we will walk away after some humble introspection.
Much more is written to Christians about this behavior. In Romans 14 we hear, "...Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's Judgement Seat." "So then each of us will give an account for himself to God." "Therefore let us stop passing judgement on one another..." "Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification." We might call this LOOKING INWARD before LEAPING OUTWARD or introspection. Let the words that Jesus spoke be the judge of us all! (John 12:48)
John 17: 20-26 NKJV 12-21-17
Note the words of Jesus as he is actually praying for us today!
20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe- in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in -Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
As we enter this Christmas season this prayer really comes to light because this is a great time of the year for families and friends to spend extra time together and to reflect on our heritage. Jesus prays that there might be unity between each other; that we would be in unity and have a close relationship with one another. Jesus also prays that we “may believe” that He was sent by our Heavenly Father. He goes on to pray that we would love him and love each other! This is a powerful pray that we should all try to fall in line with because this is His will for us!
So as we enjoy this Christmas time of the year make every effort you can to spend time with your families and friend. Renew and cherish this special time to the year with your family!
Merry Christmas and Blessings to you all.
Matthew 18:2-4 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. 3Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
As a parent, there are few things that have brought me as much joy as watching my children open their gifts on Christmas morning. Especially when they were little! The anticipation they felt as Christmas day approached, followed by the excitement in their eyes as they discovered what was hidden under that wrapping paper – it was truly heartwarming to see their innocence and unbridled delight in the gifts they had received.
God has offered us the greatest gift of all through his son, Jesus. Think of the joy He feels when we accept this wonderful gift! As Christmas approaches, let us remember how great this gift is and appreciate it with childlike innocence and joy.
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