By Joel Lowery, Lead Pastor
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. - John 13:34-35
Here we are at the end of the 21-day Daniel Fast! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some bacon! My mouth is salivating just thinking about it right now. Don’t judge!
And that brings us to the topic today. We have been focusing on breakthrough for our community, nation & the world this week. In fact we are seeing unprecedented breakthrough of God’s presence in countries like Brazil, China & Kenya. And I want that for my nation; for my community; for me. I long to hear stories in the United States of people walking 6 hours to attend a church meeting! I can’t wait to see with my own eyes thousands of Virginians committing their lives to Jesus after a single encounter with the Holy Spirit!
But I believe that there is one thing that stands in the way of this in America and that my friends are we as believers are judgmental. Let’s face it; we all have judgmentalism in our hearts to some degree. We judge the guy with the nice car, we judge the guy with the clunker. We judge the other church because they’re different. We judge other races because we don’t understand them. We judge our leaders.
Just this week, I found myself being very judgmental towards our county school board. We had 2 inches of snow and they canceled school for the entire week! I found myself questioning their judgment, even wondering if there were other people better for the job. And the Spirit of God convicted my heart right away. He directed me to pray for them. He showed me that I don’t know the condition of every street in the county. I don’t know the threats of lawsuits that they receive. I don’t know if each school’s heat can keep up with the cold. There’s actually more that I don’t know than I do know and I’m making a judgment based on the miniscule piece that I do know.
Matthew 7:1-2 says “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.”
Jesus came so that Love was our measuring stick, not the law. That is the lens that we see the world and we see each other.
If you are having a tough time loving someone or another church or your leaders, take time right now to pray for them. Ask God to give you his perspective of them.
As more and more believers see that this is the way that Jesus led us to, then we will see an unbelievable breakthrough of God’s glory in our community and our nation!
Questions for Reflection: