Digging in Deeper: Mark 12:10-12

“‘Haven’t you read this Scripture: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This came about from the Lord and is wonderful in our eyes?’ They were looking for a way to arrest him but feared the crowd because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. So they left him and went away.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever witnessed a moment when someone finally realized they had nothing left to lose and just went for it? The courage of such a person doesn’t just double. It increases several-fold. When there’s nothing left that can really be done to a person, their willingness to face down any amount of suffering to achieve their aim becomes incredible. Obstacles become meaningless. There’s only one other thing that can give such a boost. When a person is supremely confident in the righteousness of their mission the consequences of its pursuit cease to matter. As the number of Jesus’ days before facing the cross grew shorter He became bolder with His words than He had been before in His ministry. Let’s listen in closely today as He puts the religious leaders in their place.

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Digging in Deeper: Matthew 7:3-5

“Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the beam of wood in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a beam of wood in your own eye? Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

So, yesterday morning we started talking about judgment. Or rather, we started talking about not judging people. Well, no, that’s not quite right either, is it? Jesus said we shouldn’t judge, but as we thought about it together, we realized that wasn’t really what He was saying at all. And I’ll admit, it was a little tough to follow (including what I had to say!). This morning we’re going to try and clear things up a bit…or at least make them a little less muddy. Let’s talk about sticks in our eyes.

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Digging in Deeper: Matthew 7:1-2

“Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For you will be judged by the same standard with which you judge others, and you will be measured by the same measure you use.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

“You can’t judge me!” Ever heard that line before? It’s usually thrown down as a challenge when someone has done something wrong, he knows it, but he doesn’t want to feel guilty about having done when he is around another person he knows agrees it was not the right thing to do. And in our hyper-tolerant society these are some of the only words of Jesus that receive a glowing, unconditional acceptance. But what do they actually mean? Maybe not what you think they do.

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What I’ve Learned…

A little something different for you this morning. Yesterday’s post was the final post from one of the Minor Prophets for a little while. I have finally made it through all twelve of them. When I first started this journey last August with this post, I knew that I want to spend some time reading them closely because I hadn’t before. I figured it would take a few weeks at best. Here we are almost exactly a year later. For me it has been an enriching one and I hope that’s the case for you too. This morning I wanted to reflect with you for just a couple of minutes on what I have learned from it all.

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Morning Musing: Malachi 4:1-2

“‘For look, the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the arrogant and everyone who commits wickedness will become stubble. The coming day will consume them,’ says the Lord of Armies, ‘not leaving them root or branches. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall.’”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

For the last couple of days we have been talking about this tension around the worthwhileness of serving the Lord and striving to do life His way. Yet even as we have been trying to resolve tension, we have left some hanging there each day. With what we see here at the beginning of chapter 4, we are going to repeat this pattern yet one more time, but hopefully with more weight on the resolution than remaining tension. Let’s dig in.

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