John 3.16Did you know that the most quoted verse in the bible has changed over the past 20 to 30 years?  When you and I were young this was the verse that everyone quoted and knew: “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16. Do you know what it is today? When I share it with you it will not surprise you. You won’t necessarily know where this verse is in the bible, but you have heard it quoted. Even non-believers know this verse and are quick to point it out. Our culture has pulled us from a Christ centered verse to a verse that focuses on us. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” Matthew 7:1.

This is the verse that our children are growing up hearing used most often. Think about the ramifications of this significant change in our culture. Instead of quoting the gospel with John 3:16 we have taken a verse out of context and are using it to give us permission to do whatever we want to do without any accountability for our actions. Sadly, this is not what Jesus was saying when he quoted those words over 2,000 years ago. We have to read on to understand the meaning.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5

Here’s the deal…there are two people with something in their eye. The goal is to remove both the plank and the speck from both sets of eyes. In order to do that we have to be reflective on our own sin first. When we see our sin and ourselves for who we are it causes us to approach our brother and sister struggling in sin with love, compassion and understanding. It’s not a finger pointing opportunity to point out wrongs in others.  It comes from a place to help restore sight so they can see. Isn’t that beautiful!

Our Pastor shared the analogy of his son who loves to play in the sandbox in their backyard. He and his wife were watching their children play when they saw their son get dirt thrown in both eyes. His eyes were shut and he began to try to walk around unable to see. He asked us what kind of father would he be if he just let his son try to figure out how to get the dirt out on his own? It’s actually cruel to think about isn’t it. Of course a loving father would get up, get a wet paper towel and go to him to help remove the dirt. That is love. When we help another brother and sister remove the speck from their eye we are loving them. We are helping them to be able to SEE!

Don’t be swayed by the culture’s lie. We are not called to sit back and watch as sin destroys lives of those we love. We are to lovingly come alongside of each other to offer help so that all of us can SEE! Let’s get busy loving one another!

There was so much to take away from this message that I had to go back and listen to it again. It’s worth listening to in your free time.  I hope it impacts you as much as it did me. #curreycreek #arise #gloryup