We don't dare class or compare ourselves with some of the people who advertise themselves. In measuring themselves against each other and comparing themselves with each other, they are simply stupid...because it is not the one who recommends himself who is worthy of approval, but the one whom the LORD recommends.
~ 2 Corinthians 10:12, 18 (CJB)
Has the LORD recommended you? HIS is the only commendation that matters during our stay on this earth. Paul wrote two letters of admonition and encouragement to the Corinthian fellowship who were entrenched in a pagan society. Tension and strife were common occurrences within the Corinthian fellowship just as it is this day. Paul uses the Greek words ou suniemi which literally means ‘void of understanding/comprehension’ (above, rendered as simply stupid). When we compare/measure ourselves one to another, we reveal that we have failed to grasp something mentally. You and I are not The Standard.
Two extremes - one self-righteous, the other hopeless - still exist today within the church. Both extremes are deceived and equally dangerous. We will call the self-righteous a Sadducee (since he is sad, ya see) and the hopeless one, an Outcast. First of all, if there were no outcasts, the Sadducee would have no one to look down upon. The Sadducee measuring himself against the sinfulness of others, says ‘I have no sin’. Whereas, the Outcast has believed the Father of Lies who has told him that he is the exception to the rule of God’s favor. He has rendered the man hopeless. There are no ‘exceptional cases’ by the way. There is a third party, however, and he is a Tzaddik - a righteous man in the eyes of the One Whose opinion really matters. And he measures himself in Light of The Word of God. His imperfections are always known to him and are viewed through the atoning lenses of the grace of God. Therefore, he condemns no one - help them to change? Oh Yes! And the LOVE of God compels a Tzaddik to pray for and actively love the one whose change is imminent by the Spirit’s power.
Deception hovers over both extremes. IF these two would dare look UP rather than around, they would perceive that the Grace and Truth of the LORD has atoned for all iniquity (Proverbs 16:6). IF in their gazing upward at Yeshua Who is full of grace and truth (John 1:14), they would take His hand, He would give them a new understanding. They would see that either the heavy debt they bore OR the heavy debt they did not know existed has been stamped ‘Debt Relieved’. And no longer would they waste their time, energy, and breath on something so futile as comparing themselves to someone else made from the same earthly dirt.
You see, I figure that if I am already accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6)... I have absolutely NOTHING to lose by being me..in Him. And guess what, neither do you! May you feel His High Recommendation today!
For who can receive any higher recommendation?
Father God, forgive us for the sin of blinding arrogance and inferiority. I ask that You make Your people a changed and truly set-apart fellowship in union with our LORD Jesus Christ. Even today, You are answering the prayer of Your Son for the ‘oneness’ (John 17) of His own. Thank You for the reminder that Jesus spoke that ‘all will know we are His disciples by our LOVE for one another’. Continue to pour out Your Spirit, Abba, upon all flesh so we may see...and may Your recommendation of each one of us fill our spirits with a peaceful satisfaction, in that we have fully pleased You and glorified Your Name, my LORD of Grace and Truth!
A Message from Judy (Prison Ministry Mentor/Prayer Warrior):
Tara - In Jesus name I pray for your holy grace. I give thanks to you for hearing and answering prayer. Forgive me for my tongue. Hear and answer the prayers of these ladies heavenly father. Comfort and relieve the hurricane victims Lord Jesus. Bless me with your favor heavenly father. Bless me with a bed at T.L.S. Bless me with a hunger for you. Reveal yourself to me Lord. Make a way for me. Bless me with a wholesome relationship with you. In your holy name I pray. Amen.
Pam - (Pam had just returned from visiting with her attorney while we were there and was too upset to write her prayers. Her prayers are for the judge to allow her to have two weeks to get her health concerns taken care of as well as her affairs before serving her time at the regional punishment facility.)
Michele - Please pray for my kids that they will be safe and ok while I'm gone.