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13

Judging

June 29, 2019

A TALE OF TWO JUDGES

Sitting in an airport waiting to board her plane sat a very tired woman with two small children about 3 and 5 years of age. The 5-yearold was racing around the walkway, while people shook their heads at the lack of control this mother had over her child.

Meanwhile, the 3-year-old wrestled around on her mother’s lap reaching for a soda cup to get another drink. While the child was drinking, the cup collapsed, and the dark liquid splashed all over the mother and child as well as a few well-dressed people nearby. The mother lost her temper at that point and swatted the little child on the backside while asking loudly, “Can’t you drink anything without spilling it?” At this point people began to shake their heads in disgust at such a poor display of parenting. A woman nearby stomped away to call security.

Soon two men in airport security garb came and began talking to the woman, along with one of the airline attendants. The woman who had made the report plopped down in her seat and stated to no one in particular, “Someone had to do something for those children.”

Just as she did that, an amazing thing happened. A kindly woman in business clothing put her briefcase down and joined the discussion.

By this time all eyes were on this development, and everyone was wondering what would happen. The frazzled mother explained her plight to the security officers and the flight desk worker as they smiled compassionately at her and nodded with looks of concern. The businesswoman opened up her briefcase and pulled out paper and pens and began drawing pictures of animals while the 3-year-old named them out loud: “pig,” “cow,” “horsey,” “dog.”

As the call to board was announced, a look of relief swept over the mother’s face as the security officers and the attendant helped her gather up the family’s bags to get on the plane. The businesswoman, obviously distressed over the mother’s plight, could be heard to say: “She is raising those children alone. She and the children have been awake for 32 hours. The airlines lost their luggage and their baby stroller. Every flight she was taking to get back home has either been delayed or canceled.

Her ATM card won’t work for some reason, and on this trip she has just learned that her mother (the children’s grandma) is dying of cancer. I have had my children on planes before, and it’s a nightmare. I don’t know how that woman is surviving.”

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Sabbath

FOR STUDY

Memory Text: “But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:10-12, NKJV).

Our Beliefs, no. 4, The Son: “God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged.”

Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 125-127.

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Sunday

RESPONDING

Read Matthew 18:15-17.

Kenneth gets straight A’s in school. He is respected by the teachers and other students as one of the smartest guys in the class. Randy, who has to work hard just to do better than average, observed Kenneth using a cheat sheet during a major science exam. He was shocked. He kept the information to himself, but he watched during every exam, and sure enough, Kenneth cheated every time. When Kenneth got an award at assembly for academic success, Randy wanted to stand up and expose this cheater for the fraud that he was. One of Randy’s friends, Craig, commented on how he wished he could get good grades like Kenneth. That was all Randy could take. He coolly replied to Craig, “You can get good grades like Kenneth, if you cheat.” And then he walked off in a storm.

How should Randy, as a Christian, deal with his anger toward Kenneth and his outburst at the lockers with his friend Craig? What would have been the ideal response when he first noticed the cheating? What should he do about it now?

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Monday

BIBLE ANSWERS ON GOD THE SON

Read John 5:22; Romans 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:17-19.

It is not our place to judge others. Jesus by His life and death has earned the right to be judge. He is our example in how to love the sinner and work to reconcile (reunite) them back to a relationship with Him.

What are some things you can do to help someone into a relationship with Jesus?

Fill in the blanks. The verse is from the New King James Version.

“Let this be in which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He Himself and became to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus should, of those in, and of those on, and of those the earth, and that should that is, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-11).

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Tuesday

REFLECTING

Read John 7:24.

If you have ever been on the receiving end of judgment, you know how painful it can be. Receiving a rebuke tends to put us on the defensive, which doesn’t help us grow. But don’t walk away from the challenge of helping others grow. It’s hard, but it may be one of the greatest tools in the spreading of the gospel, because it models the way Jesus won people to Himself while He was here on earth. He called sin for what it was, but the sinner was joyfully restored to a better life. People were drawn to the way He told the truth.

How can we help others choose a better path, as Jesus did? The key might be in the way we react. First, we check ourselves and remember every time we have done something similar. Next, we ask God’s mercy and ask Him to help us see clearly enough to help someone else. Help won’t come through judgment, but through grace. Finally, thoughtfully and prayerfully write that note or say those words that will point your friend to a better way.

Whatever you do, don’t walk away from this challenge. Think about where the church would be if we just left one another alone with our problems.

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Wednesday

BIBLE INSIGHTS

Match the verse with the text. All verses are from the New King James Version.

1. Luke 6:37, 38
2. Romans 14:10-12
3. Matthew 18:15-17
4. Romans 6:23
5. John 3:17
6. Ezekiel 7:27
7. John 7:24
  1. “. . . ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established’ . . .”
  2. “. . . God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world . . .”
  3. “. . . judge with righteous judgment.”
  4. “. . . the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  5. “. . . Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned . . .”
  6. “. . . according to what they deserve I will judge them.”
  7. “. . . For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ . . .”

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Thursday

CONNECTING

Read John 3:17.

Review the memory text.

Walking into the courtroom to pay for a traffic ticket, a young man noticed, to his joyful surprise, that the judge was his former soccer coach. Whew! While the young man knew the judge well enough to know that he would be driving differently as a result of this time in the courtroom, he was at least confident that he would be shown mercy.

Everything has to do with being confident in the one who judges us. We know that Christ loves us and has paid with His life to lead us to a better way. His correction, even though it might be strong, will always be loving. That isn’t always the case with those who judge us on earth—the critics and the gossips.

Before we write off those who have judged us, however, we had better check the list again and see if our name has ever been on it. We might find that there have been times we have stabbed people in the back with our words. There are probably times we have been unkind and didn’t feel a bit sorry. And likely times we have judged others unkindly and wrongfully.

If you find that your name might be on the list, erase it with the blood of Christ. By faith we can have this assurance, but remember that by faith others have the same right to the mercy of God.

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Friday

APPLYING

Read Luke 6:41-43.

Try a quick judgment check. In the table below, write some common things that really bother you about other people. Avoid the extremes— superficial things such as wearing socks with sandals or horrific crimes in which someone is abused or killed. Instead, focus on the things that you meet up with every day that are wrong—such as gossip, exclusion, dishonesty, arrogance, etc. Note how often you’ve done the same thing.

Then look at your list and ask yourself: How many times have I helped someone overcome this problem? If I did so, did I show the kind of love and mercy Jesus showed?

BRIEFLY STATE YOUR JUDGMENTS BELOW
THINGS THAT I THINK ARE OFFENSIVE . . . I NEVER DO THAT I SOMETIMES DO THAT I DO THAT A LOT
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