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Pure Gold

David Wright


David Wright

Lead/Senior Pastor, Hendersonville SDA Church


  • January 18, 2014
    11:30 AM
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You know there's an invariable law of human nature that if we choose to live our lives by it I believe it has the potential not just to improve not just to enhance but to revolutionize perhaps every relationship in our life one law of human nature now I have some tools in my garage and so I chose to bring stuff some of these tools. This is just a piece of wood but you know if you have wood you can build stuff am I right with just a few simple tools and you know I have my my pencil in here and I'll get out a little square I want to make sure the cut is right I know we have power tools for this kind of thing but I was going to kind of do it the old fashion way sorry Sue I don't know where you are I'm not looking for you at this moment. Let's Get It Started be patient I have to get started with more. And I need to actually do one of these excuse me. There we go. That's probably good enough I could finish it you know but I have to ask you. What is this right here I heard Miss that was a woman I heard I think. MEN What is this. Did you hear how they said it I love us oh. Oh. When are they going to wise up and make some cologne that smells like us. Because it wouldn't work for the ladies you smell like a mess. So this is saw the US. And now my question is Which would you rather have in your eye some of this just a little flake. Or yes. The plank or Saugus that's a pretty. In your face kind of illustration isn't it which would you rather have it's kind of a no brainer but that's how Jesus puts it on the Sermon on the Mount we're going to turn there and if you have your Bibles I'm vite you turn with me to Matthew chapter 7 and we're going to look at this analogy that Jesus puts together for us Matthew chapter 7 looking at verse one and there we read Judge not that you be not judged for with what judgment you judge you will be judged and with the measure you use it will be measured back to you now Jesus is not saying we shouldn't use good judgment in fact throughout the book of Matthew he tells us to do that just a few verses down he says don't cast you your pearls before swine he talks later Matthew about be aware of false prophets he says you will know them by their fruits so this isn't saying don't use good judgment nor is he saying that we should be accepting of sin nor is he saying that we shouldn't hold people accountable Matthew 18 also in this gospel is very clear about holding people accountable know the context here in the passage that we just read it involves hypocritical criticism that aims to tear down another quite a different thing. And so the aim is often to tear somebody down in order to build myself up what better to make myself look good than to make you look well just none of. This is not coming alongside another in love This is not based on concern genuine concern for that person no because the purpose here is not to build up but rather to tear down not to encourage but rather to discuss courage not to edify but to expose Are you aware of what they did what they said Can you believe that the nerve judge not that you be not judged many scholars have interpreted verse one to read Do not judge unfairly lest you be judged in a similar way do we ever judge unfairly for with what judgment verse to you judge you will be judged and with the measure you use it will be measured back to you and while you look at the speck in your brother's eye but do not consider the plank in your own eyes or how can you say to your brother let me remove the speck from your eyes and look up the plank is in your own eye hypocrite 1st remove the plank from your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the Sprecher speck from your brother's eye here I see a call to humility don't judge people more harshly or by a different standard than you yourself would like to be judged by and you see the irony that he is just painted for us we can find the speck we can find the sawdust in somebody else and we're so quick to 0 in on the tiniest flaw we can read their motives and we can see things so clearly. We think all the while being blinded by our outrageously huge failure is that possible today so notice what Jesus has done he's not being reactionary here he's not pushing back because somebody is attacking him at this moment but he simply expounding on this sermon that begins with the Beatitudes and in the heart of the Beatitudes what we find this beautiful line blessid are the merciful for they will be shown what mercy so there's no anger in Jesus voice he's not chiding anyone but if he's saying Hey Hey guys let me tell you something followers of mine I want you know a little secret of human nature now it's not going to be real comfortable but if you get this secret every relationship will not just be improved or enhance but can be transformed revolutionized and so they're talking their ears to listen what could the secret be what is it I don't know about you but I'd love to have all of my relationships be revolutionized and so to start off we have an age old teaching that goes a little something like this maybe you've heard it or what you criticize in others is invariably true about you one paraphrase puts the words we just read this way it reads Don't pick on people don't jump on their failures don't criticize their faults Unless of course you want the same treatment that critical spirit has a way of boomeranging in quote as we're about to see we must admit these are hard words I mean come on our schools and our young people are taught to be critical thinkers. I mean even here in church we want everyone to think for themselves think for himself or herself don't just take my word for it seek it out make sure it is what Scripture has to say we have whole branches of knowledge called criticism right we have higher criticism textual criticism literary criticism historical criticism I mean come on we pride ourselves in the mental acuity that enables us to challenge the theories critique the ideas scrutinize the evidence and even criticize their conclusions Yes but have you thought of. No matter who the authority is you don't just believe it you check it out 1st right now that's good that's not bad that's why our schools and universities exist we just don't want to bunch of lemmings Anybody here have a doctorate and has gone through that doctoral committee process so that's a little team of critics that can hardly wait for their next victim right to walk through the door to look at their research and critique it the good news this morning is that Jesus is not challenging critical thinking but the bad news is Jesus is challenging critical acting and there's a difference if you see the Greek word for hypocrite that Jesus used there in verse 5 is hippo Crete ace and refers to an actor on a Greek stage Think about that one who pretends to be what they are not she wears a mask and fools her audience doesn't that sound about right hypocrite wearing a mask to face when I fool everybody by Britain to be something I'm not I am in fact a hypocrite. Apparently it's a favorite word of Jesus used 17 times in the New Testament interestingly 13 of those times are found in Matthew's Gospel on the lips of Jesus you hypocrite who. Is the wonder really that the former tax collector could resonate with this idea do you suppose Matthew ever grew weary of this fault finding finger pointing critics that were always hounding him and buying in this heels always so critical Oh you know that kind they can never change once a tax collector always a task collector their work in an angle and the danger for all of us is that there's a very skewed me a very thin line between critical thinking and critical acting because when you develop the skill of critiquing you become more susceptible to the sin of criticizing Is it true I just listen to sermons before and then when I went to preaching class then I just really started picking them apart boy that was a lame sermon by that inner direction that conclusion though segues in how you entered it I was terrible is that what God wants for me on a Sabbath morning wherever I happen to be or you might be saying I'll come on. It's not a sin to be critical I beg to differ with you it is a sin the English word for criticize is based on the word critic which is from the Greek word create taste which is the word for a judge according to James for verse 12 the Apostle declares there is only one law giver only one judge so who are you to judge your neighbor so when I critique when I criticize you I take on sole Praga tive of Almighty God And that's a sin. Playing God to judge you is a sin this is pretty serious stuff judge not Jesus is that you be not judged for with what judgment you judge you will be judged with the measure you see will be measured back to you and why do you look at the speck at your brother's eye but do not consider the plank in your own eye or how can you say to your brother let me remove the speck from your eye and look plank is in your own eye hypocrite 1st remove the plank from your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye this is a stunning law of human nature that little speck of sawdust in his or her life is nothing in comparison to the huge board you have jammed into yours to law of human nature what you criticize in others is invariably true about you how many times we've seen this come true a member of my time and during my time at Southern I heard of a chaplain who was constantly hounding the students their son I was university and every time you a chance to speak he come back to the same issue over and over and over and how you should reserve yourself for marriage and you should not have premarital sex and all these things and then he just kept hounding on that and how on that by the end of the year do I need to finish word got out he got his girlfriend pregnant be aware follower of Christ be aware what you criticizing others is invariably true about you and we're so quick to jump on someone like this that has fallen off the bandwagon and yell at him a gret But as Christians when someone something like this happens we need not criticize but pray for their healing amen because if it were not for the grace of God For me Judge not don't you judge or you too will be judged for what you criticize in others is invariably true about you. Paul got this same concept as well in fact we read in Romans chapter 2 verse one turn there with me keep your finger there Romans chapter 2 verse one and here we have Paul really echoing the words of Christ Romans chapter 2 verse one says therefore you who are inexcusable Oh man whoever you are who judge for and whatever you judge another you condemn yourself for you who judge practice the same thing is not interesting I love a little book by Oswald Chambers my upmost for his highest 169 of that book it says every wrong thing I see in you God locates it in me every time I judge I condemn myself stop having a measuring rod for other people there is always one fact more in every man's case about which we know nothing in quote you know we are so hard on each other but you know that you don't understand everything that there is to know about that particular human being you don't you have no knowledge of his wife you have no knowledge of her husband you know nothing about their children you know nothing about the home she grew up in you know nothing about the fact that she's find a disease for her life you know nothing about the pressures he bears there is always 11 fact left that you know nothing about in our self-righteous hati spirit we shred People don't we we can read them but we don't know the only one that knows everything is God and that's why he is the only one who can judge the only one. Chambers goes on he says I have never met a man I could despair after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God If you have been shrewd in finding out the effects in others remember that will be exactly the measure given to you life serves back in the coin you pay in quote what you give is what you get do not judge or you too will be judged you suppose that's part of the reason why we have such a hard time hanging out with critical people have you found that to be true and I can be real honest with you I don't like being around critical people I can handle it for a time but I can't handle it for long have you noticed there is something that is grating and how their spirit just kind of grades on you over time that critical spirit those little innuendos that judge mental twist that they put on a leader's mistake that sly but sugary sweet way of injecting their fair saying judgement into the conversation and the next time you're with somebody I jealous you and that person they start criticizing somebody else and by the way that person will never be present the next time that begins to happen there are 2 realities that you can know about the person doing the criticizing 2 realities I want you to forget these because it exposes the raw truth of our human nature reality number one Jesus and Paul and chambers have made clear to us this morning that the individual is struggling the one that is criticizing that is is struggling with the very same weakness he or she is identified and somebody else and in all fairness the reason I know this law of nature to be true is because of my own critical spirit I really have to work hard not to talk in a critical way of another person that's not present it's tough. One of my former elders he said I tried to stop talking critically with my wife as we were walking and we'd go on this exercise were you know mile or 2 every night and and we decided we're going to stop being critical of everybody we're going to stop saying anything that is critical and we're just going to talk about other things they walked in silence for almost a week. That was his own testimony and while I made you good at not speaking critically I can be very critical of another person in my mind and I've just read people in my mind and I've learned that the reason I'm. Able to spot another person's weakness so quickly is because I have the same weakness it's like when you drive a car have you ever gotten a new car or new to you car and you thought you were being original and then you started driving it around and all the sudden they're everywhere have you noticed that So next time you hear somebody criticize another person who of course will not be present you can know mediately that he or she is struggling with the same weakness the same sin the same failure and I tell you what if those of us who enjoy criticizing people in public realize what we're actually saying about ourselves we would keep our mouths shut when me and I tell you this community a whole lot happier place to live do not judge or you too will be judged I told you 2 realities as the 1st he reveals no weakness to you and secondly he cannot you cannot trust your own confidential information with him or her that's the 2nd reality of the person who's critical which is why Judas was not part of Jesus' inner circle by the way he wanted to be but because of a judge mental spirit a judge mental spirit can turn on you in an instant and Jesus could not afford to share his deepest confidences with Judas. Because if he's talking about so and so in my presence as flattering as that may be what do you suppose he or she is saying in somebody else's presence and will it be about me this time never flatter yourselves because a critic takes you into their confidence to talk about somebody else because I promise you they're doing the same thing about you behind your back trust me better yet trust Jesus Sadly that's why I critics have many informants but very few friends have you noticed that powerful little book thoughts from the man of blessings go home today and read 123 to 125 there are some beautiful lines in there says the atmosphere of selfish and narrow criticism stifles the noble and generous emotions and causes men and women to become self centered judges and petty Spahis why because we just thrive on this stuff and the reason I'm being so hard on you is because I'm trying to cover up me so because I have the same problem trying to deflect the attention and if they're focused on you you won't think about me she goes on the sin that leads to the most not next to the most 2nd or 3rd to the most but the sin that leads to the most unhappy result is the cold critical unforgiving spirit that characterizes ferrous the ISM he was guilty of wrong is the 1st to suspect wrong and by condemning another he is trying to conceal or excuse the evil of his own heart. According to the figure that our Savior uses according to the board in the sawdust he who indulges a censorious or critical spirit is guilty of greater greater sin then the one he has accused for he not only commits the same sin but adds to it conceit and since seriousness which is also an old word for spirit of criticism he sits in the seat of a judge and that's a double sin because there's only one judge and when you play God you are lost if you want to play God Save yourself you're lost it's a sin Oh Mercy Where's the mercy we need some mercy right is there any mercy for the judge mental likes of you and me praise the Lord there is you see every carpenter also has another tool perhaps is the most important tool that you could have price how long you want that board Well he has the same rule that I have and we measure off the same now if at one point I decide to measure and use a different rule or a different rule a different standard than this tape measure that's all the same as all the other now if you go into Europe and we will talk about that but if you get mixed up and you take this tape measure and you go down to Australia tried to build something and I start cutting things different or even in one thing I cut different than the standard I ignore the standard I get into big trouble and there is a golden standard by which. We can measure things that Jesus gives us but we have to use it for every part of life we're going to get in trouble the divine carpenter makes a point to you and me you have to have a rule we oftentimes call it the golden rule don't we still a way we can survive Let's go back to Matthew chapter 7 this time reading from verse 12. Matthew chapter 7 verse 12 and there we read Matthew chapter 7 verse 12 therefore kind of the conclusion here therefore whatever you want man to do to you do also to them could be more simple than that whatever you want men to do to you do also to them for this it is the law and the prophets all of God's teaching Jesus is you want to reduce all gods teaching into one here it is one golden rule one single standard for God and for the rest of the universe same standard do to others as you like them to do to you in other words treat people the way you would like to be treated say it however you want it's simple and if we were to take a poll right now I imagine you'd be hands down unanimous we want to be treated with mercy isn't it true I mean you stand before the traffic judge and you just got a speeding ticket and it's there in your your quivering shaking hand why are you here well I was speeding the words that come to mind your honor with mercy this afternoon your back your car into someone else's in the church parking lot 2 words come to mind please with mercy when you're moving your spouse's laptop at the kitchen table and you accidently drop and scream cracks and breaks with Mercy treat me with mercy when we stand before God because of little unfaithfulness or a big unfaithfulness God of mercy treatment there isn't a human being on the planet that doesn't want to be treated with mercy it's universal every culture every nation every era of time I want mercy do you want mercy I want mercy for some of that makes us uncomfortable. I mean we have too much mercy will no longer uphold the standard but the reality is friends without mercy nobody can uphold the standard it is mercy that compels me not to do away with but rather of hold the standard is not true so let me ask you Would you want anybody else to be talking about you criticizing you condemning you and you not be present to defend yourself would you ever want that to be the case when you rather say OK you want to talk less talk we're big boys we can talk but let me be there when we talk let me answer let me tell you that piece of information that maybe you don't know help me out as a loving brother of I'm doing something wrong please help me out I need your help but you can't shred me behind my back and expect me to grow from it now can you you're ripping my life apart and using that as little stepping stones to get higher than everybody else come on when you want to be president what does it come down to well never ever criticize somebody in his or her absence period if they're not there you be quiet Matthew 18 says you go straight to him and talk never ever criticize someone is not present and now you have biblical biblical permission if somebody does as in your presence now you have permission to say time out time out time out I don't know where you're going with this information that you're about to share but it doesn't feel good I think if you really have something to say you need to go talk to him Go talk to her I just assume not know you know what 5 conversations like that and that critical mind gets it Jesus is giving us permission to never ever criticize somebody not even our enemy. Which is why Jesus who has the right to throw the book at this sorry wretch of a betrayer called Judas when Judas comes to Jesus early that Friday morning Jesus looks into the face of his be tray or knowing him for who he is be training behind his back and Jesus says Friend he calls his enemy friend you know why. Because Jesus the divine carbon your lives by his own rule he lives by his own rule and if the tables were turned you'd want the same thing done to you keep calling me your friend so when you've been betrayed by betrayed behind somebodies back by somebodies tongue still call him still call her friend you remember how Jesus treated his torturous executioners I mean this is the judge of the universe that they've taken this divine carbon or and they are nailing his wrists to a board and what diseases do he says Father forgive them for they know not what they do Jesus practiced what he preached and it's in Jesus' name that we see probably the shortest and simplest answer to criticism anywhere on earth today and so when you're tempted to criticize someone that's not present the moment that temptation arises instead of criticizing immediately pray for that person that's what Jesus does Father forgive them they know what they do he prays for them intercede instead of criticize pray instead of judge what would happen if we start to pray for everyone we used to criticize think about that now this elder couple who's walking has nothing to say oh we got things to talk about how we can pray for all of these people maybe they start prayer walking in a prayer walking club they just pray pray but be careful you can criticize in your prayers in large groups. But what would happen in our families in our churches in our schools in our business transactions in our communities if we prayed for each other instead of criticize pray instead of judge intercede instead of down because when you're praying for mercy for that man for that woman you are pleading for mercy for yourself as you know and when you do that mercy comes running to both of you at the same time you win with mercy you always win with Mercy treat others the way you want them to treat you I like to close with one more quotation from the book thoughts from the mount of blessings written over 100 years ago Page 137 she writes search heaven and earth and there is no truth revealed more powerful than that which is made manifest in works of mercy if you catch the prayers of what mercy works of mercy and heaven on earth no word more powerful than mercy she goes on this is the truth as it is in Jesus when those who profess the name of Christ like you and me Shell practice the principles of the Golden Rule hold on to your seat the same power will attend the gospel today as in the Apostolate times if you want the power in the book of Acts we need mercy some down his church have been called in challenge to revival and reformation and I believe we need revival we need reformation and if you want a revival like the early church had it you practiced the Golden Rule and when you practiced the golden rule she says that brings revival because the spirit of Jesus is Jesus made flesh through you and me and the power of the book of Acts will be the power of the city of Hendersonville you win with mercy you always win with Mercy do not judge. Or you too will be judged but rather treat others the way you want them to treat you Dear Lord thank you for giving us this insight into the law of human nature that if we allow it will revolutionize every relationship we have but in our insecurities in our own sinfulness and desire to justify self far too often we criticize we put others down and we put ourselves in judgment see oh lord in your abundant mercy please forgive us help us to pray instead of judge intercede instead of criticize Lord very simply help us to treat others as we would want to be treated which is the very way you have treated us and May the result be the outpouring of your Holy Spirit upon this place. That we may experience the same revival that we read about in the book about Jesus. This media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more service leader Visit W W W audio verse or.


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