Love Driven Discernment

“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” John 7:24

God is merciful – oh, so merciful! I think of Christ’s story in Luke 15 about the love of the Father – looking with a yearning for the son to return, running to meet the son with the open arms of acceptance, and then celebrating his coming home with unrestrained joy! This story was an expression of the love and mercy that God has for each one of us. There is nothing that is too big for God to forgive! There is no hurt that is too great for God to heal. There is no damage that has been done that is too far for God to restore.

The key to receiving the mercy is seen in the son’s return. The key to reconciled relationship with God is repentance. Repentance is a deeply personal and freeing experience – turning away from self and our ways and deciding to yield to God and His ways. God’s ways are the standard for what is right. The standard for righteousness is not our opinion, our sympathy, or what is socially acceptable.

Jesus knew the way to God was through repentance and that repentance is only possible when people understand what is holy and what is not. That is why Jesus told the believers in John 7:24 to judge with righteous judgment. When we see that we do not measure up to God’s ways, we see our need to repent. When we repent, then and only then, do we experience God’s forgiveness and be reconciliation.

There are some men and women who want God to accept them by accepting their unrighteous behavior. They want the mercy of God, but they don’t want to surrender to the ways of God. They say, “Don’t judge me” because they want to raise their own unholy standard instead of surrendering to God’s righteousness and amazing grace.

As Christians, we are representatives of God’s mercy and ambassadors of His reconciliation. The message of repentance is the word on our lips and reconciliation with God is the aim of our hearts. We are to judge to discern between what is holy and what is not; however we are not to judge to condemn. It is not only our responsibility to share the “what” of God’s message, but also the “way” He shares it – with love and grace.

Application: When a Christian shares the message of holiness, some will respond with repentance, but others will be offended. Know that their offense is not directed toward you alone, but also a rejection of God’s grace and salvation. Continue to let love for God and your love for people inspire you in sharing the Gospel.

Grow Devotes


The Whole Enchilada

“Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:4   What God created not only comes from Him; but it also continues...
Read More

The Ball Is In Your Court

“…his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete.” James 2:20 NLT   There might be an occasion where we think the right thing to do...
Read More

Emotional Ups and Downs

“For the Lord God will help me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint…” Isaiah 50:7   When Jesus walked out to the...
Read More