November 22

Today's Bible Reading
     I Chronicles 17
     James 4
     Jonah 1
     Luke 6
            ''Or how canyou say to our brother, 'Brother, let me remove the speck that is in you r eye,' when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye; and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother's eye." (Luke 6:42)
            M. Hirsh Goldberg tells of a new clerk in the Illinois House of Representatives who sent out a memo to his colleagues. This was in a book entitled The Blunder Book.  In this memo, he appealed for accuracy in the written communications, but when the me1no was distributed, it had nineerrors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. When the memo fell into the hands of the Press, the embarrassed clerk said, ''He couldn't have made a worse blunder if he had tried." Christians experience similarembarrassment when they expect others to measure up to the high standardsof Christ without first examining themselves. (Luke 6:42)
            If attitude is mixed with pride and self-righteousness, our words will come back to haunt us. Our words may be true, but the way we sayit must also be with humility and a sense of our own shortcoming. In this powerful passage of Scripture, Jesus taught strongly against any of us judging another. Jesus made it clear, however, that we could be fruit inspectors.  (6:43-44)  It is against the willof God for any Christian to be judgmental toward another Christian.  When a person is truly a child of God, however, there will be certain birthmarks of the believer.  You will know him by his appetite for the Word  of God, by his lifestyle that is obviously yielded to the Lordship of Christ, by his attitude toward sin, disobedience, and anything that is displeasing to God. You will also know him by his love for the brethren, andthe witness of the Spirit of God in his life. These birthmarks will be true in the life of any believer, and it is obvious to those around them who see the fruit of Christ in their life.
            We should encourage others to do right. Christians should stir up one another to loving attitudes and actions. We are all growing in Christ, so we must be neither judgmental nor patronizing. Instead, we should lovingly build up one another. Any other attitude reveals a self-righteous heart. Lord, may our expectations of others be tempered by an awareness of our own weakness. The faults I seein other's lives are often true of me,
Sohelp me, Lord, to recognize my own hypocrisy.
A rural city that seems to be almost sarcastic toward the Christian Gospel is the beautiful city of Paris, France. Pray today for a dynamic young French pastor named Michel Texia who, in 1996, began a workfor Christ in Paris. This is perhaps one of the most difficult places to establish a strong, evangelical church in the entire world, and yet God has blessed the efforts of this man and his dear wife. It is one of the fastest growing evangelical churches in all of Europe. Pray for them today and others like them in these very difficult and secular world cities.
''The Christian who is careless in Bible reading is careless in Christian living."
Max Reich