Posts Tagged ‘judging’

20
Dec

EDIFICATION, EXHORTATION, AND COMFORT

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts

But he that prophesies speaks to men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort” (1 Corinthians 14:3). In contrast to he who speaks in an unknown tongue (v. 2), Paul goes on to teach about someone who prophesies in English. There are three limitations or requirements for prophecy:

1. Prophecy Edifies. In the days when the King James Version was written, ‘edify’ meant to build something, like a structure. Webster today defines ‘edify’ as “to instruct and improve especially in moral and religious knowledge”. So, any prophecy will build up the people of God. Prophecy that belittles or condemns doesn’t pass this test. Where is the love in that? Later, Paul tells us to ‘judge’ prophecy (v. 29). This is one of the tests that we should use.

2.Prophecy Exhorts. Exhortation is a word that has fallen out of usage in the English language, but it means ‘encourage’. The Bible is full of encouragement, but humanity is full of discouragement. The gift of prophecy will lift up and encourage the people of God to walk deeper, believe higher and act bolder. Here’s another measurement for judging prophecy.

3. Prophecy Comforts. In a lost world full of hurts and disappointments due to our fallen nature, spiritual gifts should be a comfort. We can expect prophetic words to comfort us in our hurts. When prophecy itself causes hurts, someone needs to judge that for what it is: humanity talking. Prophecy is when God gives us supernatural words to comfort another. This is the third measurement in judging prophecy.

For the sake of judging prophecy, we must understand that a message in tongues with interpretation is equal to prophecy.

I was once attending a church service at Calvary Temple in Fort Wayne. There were likely 1,200 people in the sanctuary that Sunday morning and the place was packed. The worship and preaching was inspiring and filled me with the Spirit. As the pastor was closing in prayer, someone in the congregation spoke out in tongues in a loud voice. Everyone was respectfully quiet as the message was spoken. Then the same person began interpreting the message in English. This was a message of judgment upon this church for its wickedness. God was going to destroy the church and punish the people in it for not listening to His voice. We all sat there stunned, the Spirit having been drained from us. Then the pastor spoke these words: “Paul tells us that we should let the prophets speak and the others judge whether God has spoken or not”, and dismissed us. I was young in my faith but was sensitive enough to be able to judge that one. There was no edifying, encouraging or comfort in that, only judgment and a lack of Christian love.

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17
May

THE JUDGE

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Before a burglary trial, the judge explained to the defendant, “You can let me try your case, or you can choose to have a jury of your peers.”

The man thought for a moment. “What are peers?” he asked.

“They’re people just like you – your equals.”

“Forget it,” retorted the defendant. “I don’t want to be tried by a bunch of thieves.”

Because people are just like us (guilty) we don’t like it when they judge us. But we are just as unlikely to judge them. The best bet is for each of us to try our best to encourage others and let God do the judging.

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9
Jul

THE OLD MAN

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

There’s a legend about a rabbi who welcomed a weary traveler into his home for a night of rest. After learning that his guest was almost a hundred years old, the rabbi asked about his religious beliefs. The man replied, “I’m an atheist.”

Infuriated, the rabbi ordered the man out, saying, “I cannot keep an atheist in my house.” Without a word, the elderly man hobbled out into the darkness.

The rabbi was reading the Scriptures when he heard a voice, “Son, why did you throw that old man out?”

“Because he is an atheist, and I cannot endure him overnight!”

The voice replied, “I have endured him for almost a hundred years.” The rabbi rushed out, brought the old man back, and treated him with kindness. How do you treat unbelievers? If God patiently waits for them to come to faith, can you?

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1
Apr

THE TUNNEL

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I had the opportunity, while in the military service, to ride on several European trains. Trains were divided into traveling compartments. The story is told of four passengers riding together in one compartment during the Cold War. On one side sat a Russian soldier and a Solidarity Union member. On the other side of the compartment sat an elderly lady and an attractive young woman in her 20’s.

As the train travelled through the Polish countryside, the four passengers exchanged glances with suspicion, none of them daring to utter a word. Suddenly, the train entered a dark tunnel. In the darkness two unmistakable sounds were heard – first a kiss, then a slap.

As the train emerged from the tunnel and the compartment was again bathed in light, the old woman thought to herself, “Why those scoundrels! One of those men kissed that young girl and got slapped for his rudeness. Good for her!”

Sitting next to her, the attractive young woman thought to herself, “Of all the nerve! One of those men tried to kiss me, kissed the old lady by mistake, and got slapped. Well, he sure got what he deserved!”

The Russian sat with a smirk on his face as he thought to himself, “I knew that Solidarity member could not be trusted. He tried to take advantage of that young woman and she slapped me by mistake!”

Meanwhile, the Solidarity worker just leaned back and smiled. “That’s having the best of both worlds,” he thought to himself. “All I had to do was kiss the back of my hand, and I got to slap that Russian soldier across the face!”

The lesson is clear: you can never read someone else’s mind. Open communication is the only way to know what another is thinking. So ask.

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23
Mar

HARD OF HEARING

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Just Judgment

A man was having difficulty communicating with his wife and concluded that she was becoming hard of hearing. So he decided to conduct a test without her knowing about it.

One evening he sat in a chair on the far side of the room. Her back was to him and she could not see him. Very quietly he whispered, “Can you hear me?” There was no response.

Moving a little closer, he asked again, “Can you hear me now?” Still no reply.

Quietly he edged closer and whispered the same words, but still no answer.

Finally he moved right in behind her chair and said, “Can you hear me now?” To his surprise and chagrin she responded with irritation in her voice, “For the fourth time, yes! What a warning to us about judging.

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22
Mar

DIRTY LAUNDRY

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Just Judgment

A pastor was visiting one of his parishioners, and as they were talking, the conversation began to lag. The lady of the house, wanting to pick up the conversation, pointed out her window to her neighbor’s back yard where the wash was hanging on the line. She said: “See that lady next door and the wash she hangs out, see how dirty it is; she never hangs out clean wash.”

The pastor felt somewhat uncomfortable and tried to change the subject and quickly drew the visit to a close. As he was departing from the house the lady of the house walked out on the front porch with him and again the wash next door was clearly visible to them. They both realized at the same time that this wash was sparkling white, just as white as any wash could ever be. The truth began to dawn on them that it was not the neighbor’s wash which was dirty, rather it was the window through which they viewed the wash.

This week we’re going to talk about judging. This neighbor lady passed a judgment on her neighbor through her own eyes, which were faulty, like the man in Jesus’s parable who tried to extract the splinter from his neighbor’s eye while he had a beam in his own eye. Have you ever judged someone and later found out your standard was faulty?

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6
Mar

GET UP

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

“You’re blocking the way, sir,” said the usher to a man sprawled in the aisle of a movie theater. “Please get up.”

The man didn’t move or reply. The usher called the manager over, who said, “I must ask you to move.”

Still the prone man didn’t reply. So the manager called the police. “Get up or I’ll have to take you in,” the officer said. “Where did you come from, anyway?”

The man finally stirred and said, “The balcony.”

Have you ever felt condemnation toward another who was down and out? How can we judge someone when we haven’t walked in their shoes or understood what they have gone through that brought them to that place? Let’s be a little more understanding. Our job is not to judge, but to assist others on their spiritual journey. How are you helping?

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