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Love all

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them (Romans 12.9; NLT).

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged (Matthew 7:1; NLT).

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Love all
Exactly as,
And where,
They are,

Striving
To hear,
Accept,
And understand.

Then
You will not
Be quick
To criticise,

Nor will you
Judge them,
Punish,
Or condemn.

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Our task

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged (Matthew 7:1-2; NLT).

Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ (Ephesians 5:2; NLT).

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

He loves us with unfailing love (Psalm 117:2; NLT).

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Father,

Our task
Isn’t judging
Other people,

Or telling them
What they should
Say and do.

Instead,

It’s to become
Much more
Like Jesus –

Righteous,
Holy,
Loving all,

Like you.

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Painful honesty

If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone (Matthew 18:15; NRSV).

So then, putting away all falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbours, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin (Ephesians 4:25-6; NRSV).

We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ (Ephesians 4:15; NLT).

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged (Matthew 7:1; NLT).

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Lord,

When I have to speak
With painful honesty,

Trying to do the best I can,
In love,

How folk respond
Is wholly up to them –

I can’t control
Their judgement or rejection.

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Prayer

The first stone

How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye (Luke 6 42; NLT).

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned (Luke 6:37; NIV).

Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone! (John 8:7; NLT).

 

Lord,
I’m very ignorant –
So I’m not fit
To judge the ignorance
Of others.

Plus,
I’ve got a lot of weaknesses –
So I’m not fit
To mock the weaknesses
Of others.

What’s more,
I’ve got a multitude of faults –
So I’m not fit
To scorn the faults
Of others.

And lastly,
I commit unceasing sins –
So I’m not fit
To throw the first
Self-righteous stone.

 

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Prayer

Free will

Don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil (1 Peter 2:16; NLT).

The Lord is our judge (Isaiah 33:22; KJV).

He will judge everyone according to what they have done (Romans 2:6; NLT).

 

Friends,
We have free will.

We can indulge
Our selfishness,
Anger,
Hatred,
And violence
To our hearts’ content –

God will not intervene.

But when we stand before him
After death,
Make no mistake:

We’ll face the consequence
Of every thought,
And word,
And deed
Before our judge.

 

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Why?

Love your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 19:19; NLT).

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged” (Matthew 7:1-2; NLT).

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35; NIV).


Lord,
Why do we claim
To relish conversation,
When in truth
We want to speak,
And not to listen?

Why do we claim
To value friendship,
When in truth
We want to take,
And not to give?

And why do we claim
To care for others,
When in truth
We want to judge,
And not to serve?

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Prayer

APPEARANCES

 Appearances

“People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7; NLT).

“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy – full of greed and self-indulgence!” (Matthew 23:25; NLT).


Lord,
It’s easy
To be acceptable
On the outside –
To other people;

But far more difficult
To be acceptable
On the inside –
To you!

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