Just One Righteous

Jeremiah 5:1   (KJV)   5 Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it.

The presence of God’s people—upright, righteous, just and honest people can stay God’s Jeremiah 5.1 - Just One Righteousjudgment. God values the attitudes and actions of His people. Living for faithfully before God is never in vain.

We know God is just and fair. He sees everything we do. He sees and values the way we fight a good fight, how well we run our race, how we keep the faith. He knows how to bless and reward His faithful children. These blessings and rewards affect us individually, even nationally.

We never lose sight of God’s justice, graciousness, and love. He loves us, He will also judge everyone. He would rather spare us and bless us than judge, condemn, and punish us. So we live in Him, against the ways of the popular culture, against the sinful ways of the world. We strive to be as faithful as we can, reflecting our Father, loving others, treating them fairly, and honestly. Although the world continues to boldly and shamelessly march in unreserved ungodliness and immorality, we keep ourselves pure.

There’s so much at stake. Who knows, through us, though there be just a few, our gracious Judge may find it in His heart to spare our nations. We may be the remnant through whom God will ignite our nation’s spiritual awakening and revival. By then, we can boldly pray: “God bless America,” or “God bless our nation.”

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Fear and Justice

Isaiah 11:3   (KJV)   3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

This passage is commonly interpreted as a prophecy about the Lord Jesus. There are at least two things we can observe about His ways: He doesn’t struggle understanding the Isaiah 11.3 - Fear and Justiceconcept of fearing the LORD, and He judges not by outward appearances or factors alone.

It’s part of our growth into Christlikeness to fear the Lord. Those of us who understand His power and authority, His holiness, His justice and righteousness don’t find it difficult to comprehend why we need to fear Him.

Another Christlike attitude is being just and fair. And we do this by not being swayed by mere appearances. Some people are very good at wearing masks and telling lies. Yes, appearances can help, but there are other factors involved: things that aren’t obvious to our natural senses.

We continue living and growing in humble surrender before our heavenly Father Who is also God Almighty. It’s also a pleasure for us to continue living and growing in wisdom and discernment. It’s godly to be respectful, right, and fair.

Grace, Works, and Rewards

Ephesians 6:8   (KJV)   8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

Even in and under the age of grace, the Lord still operates in a reward system. Doing good still has its merits and blessings. All of us are still affected by this divinely ordained principle, system, or design.

Ephesians 6.8 - Grace, Works, and RewardsWhoever we are and whatever our status is in society, we live in the assurance that our God Who is gracious is also God who is fair and just. He won’t shortchange us. God compensates our life of loving faithfulness. He doesn’t have favoritism; it’s because (I personally take it as) we’re all His favorites.

We find delight in pleasing our Master, and He returns the favor in an inestimably gracious way. That’s why I understand that there’s no contradiction between grace and rewards. God values our good works, He rewards them, and His rewards are incalculably more gracious than what our works deserve. This is clear in the principle of sowing and reaping; in general, what we reap is always multiplied times more than what we sow.

This is why we so willingly, lovingly, diligently, and enthusiastically serve the Lord and others. Although His rewards aren’t our prime motivation, we believe the truth about it. They’re real; they come; we gratefully receive them, we enjoy them; and we know there’s a lot more of them. Praise God.

Vengeance isn’t Ours

1 Samuel 24:12   (KJV)   12 The Lord judge between me and thee, and the Lord avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.

We can trust God’s justice; justice will be served, either here or in eternity.  Vengeance on our part is non-negotiable; vengeance belongs to the Lord; it’s never ours to exact.  To not see justice right away doesn’t mean it won’t happen. True, even our very own justice 1 Samuel 24.12 - Vengeance isn't Ourssystem—even those who do their best, even those who really approach it without biases—make mistakes. God’s justice makes sense of His call for us to love our enemies and be good to those who wrong us.

We’ve heard it repeatedly: “Life’s unfair.” There’s truth in that statement, if this is all there is in life, if there’s no existence beyond earth, if there’s no Sovereign Ruler Who will judge everyone someday. Sometimes we see His justice executed right away with our very own eyes; sometimes, He seems so quiet. But we rest assured in the fact that it’s not over until He says it’s over, until He gives His last Word.

We don’t want to personally avenge ourselves and hurt people; that’s not a prerogative left to us, and understandably so. Why? It’s because most often, we don’t really aim for justice, we want to do worst. Besides, we don’t know all the factors at play. We don’t really know the entire motivation, the details of the situation, weight of the temptations and provocations.  God alone can be trusted of perfect justice. For now, we act and react the way He tells us to: with love and mercy. With those, we can never go wrong.

Judge Justly

John 7.24 - Judge JustlyJohn 7:24   (KJV)   24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

This may come as a challenging surprise to many: judging isn’t evil; God doesn’t prohibit it. But there is a proper way and an improper way. One of the right ways of judging is to make sure it’s just. And we have greater “chances” of having a correct and fair judgment if we intentionally look deeper than the thin, shallow surface. Not everything is as plain as it appears. There is always something more than meets the eyes.

We have obvious inclinations. Both nature and nurture factor in. We understand why two people who are in the same place, with the same group of people react differently after hearing the exact same message from the same speaker. The reality is that there is something deeper in both of them–years deep. The particular place and time they were in at the moment isn’t the only deciding factor; they run back through all the experiences they’ve had throughout their lives.

It isn’t easy to see reality; people have secrets; many don’t feel comfortable being transparent. This doesn’t mean they’re hypocritical; there’s not always a need for all issues to be exposed. And even when there’s a need for truth to surface, not all are willing to get it out there, especially if truth doesn’t seem favorable for them at the moment. Praise God, the Holy Spirit reveals needed truths to His children. That’s why we earnestly pray for discernment; that’s why we’re thorough; that’s why we look deeper. That’s why we’re just, right, and fair. All glory to our ever just and all-knowing God.

Quick Judgment

Romans 2:1   (KJV)   1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

Often, people are guilty of the same things they judge others for. And since this is true, there really is no room and reason for hypocritical judgmental attitudes and actions.

It’s very easy for some of us to call others out on their mistakes or wrongdoings. We can be very good at making others feel guilty. We make sure of it. Somehow, it makes some of us feel more superior – that we’re better people. And we want that picture we portray seen well. Really? Perhaps the only advantage we have is that we found out about their faults and we were better in hiding ours. Some of us act so smug and untouchable. We want to create this separation between us and “the sinner.”

Interestingly, we are selective in this. We can be blind to the wrongs of the people we like; but we can be brutal to others we don’t like. The truth is, the knowledge of the sins of people we’re not really so enamored with just gives us the ace we need so we can treat them with disgusting cruelty and make everyone see that we’re justified in doing so. Give me a break. Any sin we know about anyone – people we like or people we don’t necessarily like is infinitesimal compared to all the sins we ourselves are guilty of – which we know, if we’ll only be honest to ourselves.

God wants us to be alleviated from the burden of pretense. No one’s perfect – not others, not us. We will sin. Let’s not excuse each other, but let’s accept each other’s reality. Then let’s help each other work out our salvation better and more seriously without the weight of condemnation hanging around our heads.

Dear God, the only perfectly holy Being in existence, thank You for the grace You’ve given us to be humble. Because of You, we can change. You’re working in us so that we will have a change of mind and attitude regarding others. You want us to be more gracious in dealing with people caught in their sins and to be honest regarding our own. You’ve shown us our true nature so that we won’t ever act arrogantly and proudly. We all have the dreaded “skeletons in our closet.” That’s why we desperately need a Savior. We realize that any holiness we enjoy and any victory we have is all because of You, – in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Clear Conscience?

1 Corinthians 4:4  (KJV)   For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord

Ignorance doesn’t mean innocence. Absence of knowledge doesn’t mean absence of guilt. Conscience is a good judge, but it isn’t the ultimate judge. People aren’t always aware of everything they do right or everything they do wrong. God is still the One Who knows everything; He is the ultimate Judge.

We can be wrong – even in judging ourselves. Naturally, we want to perceive ourselves almost always in a better light. The more so in the way we want to portray ourselves to others. We always want to display the best picture of ourselves. That’s perfectly understandable. Even many of those who make faces – I mean ugly faces on their photos often do it to cover up what they perceive as unattractive about themselves. So when it comes to self-evaluation or self assessment, we really ought to not have any room for pride. I’m not being cruel or self-esteem suicidal here; I’m just being realistic. Yes, we ought to always try our best to make the most truthful assessment of who we are. But after all that, we still fall short. We don’t really know ourselves as much as we ought to. Given, if we’re honest enough, we know ourselves more than any other human being. But God will always know us better. What He sees is definitely different and more detailed than what we see. Remember: He knows the very numbers of our hairs. Let’s not even try start counting. Let’s just humbly admit: He knows best; He alone can judge totally fairly.

Our dear God – the only true just and faithful Judge, we humbly submit ourselves to You. Please help us to get rid of our pride, to learn humility and to always live it. Help us to accept the truth that we don’t really know ourselves as much as You do, – in Jesus’ Name, amen.