To Judge or Not to Judge (Matthew 7:1-6) by Deacon Neil De Arroz

Magandang umaga po sa lahat. So, sometime, last month, there was a viral video, uh well, maraming viral pero this one is particularly a video of a drag queen who was dressed in what Catholics, Roman Catholics have called to be the black Nazarene. And while he was dressed is as a black Nazarene, he was singing what seemed to be a rock version of the Ama namin or the Lord’s Prayer. Now because of these actions, what happened was there were several cities in the Philippines who had considered him or declared him a persona non grata or an unwelcomed person. So among these, isa na dito yung Metro Manila. So siguro dahil Metro Manila, mas sumikip yung area na gagalawan niya, he decided to speak. And according to him, this was his response.. I will quote what was posted by yung mga leading newspapers and articles. So sabi niya, tell me exactly what I did wrong. I’m open for a dialogue and yet cities have been declaring Persona non-grata without even knowing me or understanding the intent of my performance. Drag is art so you judge me, yet you don’t even know me. So people when confronted because of their actions like to use the phrase ‘don’t judge me.’ Sometimes even quoting scripture, oh, Matthew 7 verse 1 judge not lest you be judged. This is their alas. Eto yung kanilang bala which basically tells us..sinasabi nila huwag niyo kaming husgahan. Now, as a professing Christian, just in the video alone, add to that his statement, we can see several red flags already. And kung susundin natin yung paggamit nila ng konteksto ng Matthew 7 verse 1, ang sinasabi doon huwag natin silang husgahan, huwag nating i-judge yung ginawa nila whether yun ay tama or mali.

But the scripture doesn’t tell us that. In fact, if you go to John chapter 7 verse 24, the latter part says judge with righteous judgment. So as Christians, where do we stand? Are we to judge are we not to judge? So turn with me to our scripture for this morning. We’ll be reading Matthew chapter 7 verse 1 to 6. Matthew chapter 7 verse 1 to 6. I’ll read from ESV.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

Brothers and sisters this is the word of the Lord.

So we are on chapter 7 of Matthew and we have been journeying through the Gospel according to Matthew for several Sundays now. And so just a reminder as well, tayo ay nasa Sermon on the Mount pa rin. And it is important for us to remind ourselves that because we have to understand that when Jesus was telling these things, he wasn’t just speaking generally to anyone. He was speaking to believers. Matthew 5 verses 1 to 2 makikita natin doon na when Jesus sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and taught them. So there is this conversation between Jesus and a believer. And firstly, He taught them the Beatitudes and we have to remind ourselves then. It’s so important for us to consider as we read this chapter na maalala natin na nangaral muna ang Panginoong Hesus ng Beatitudes para malaman natin kung ano ung pinanggagalingan Niya for him to think that Christians can follow what He is saying. So He taught them Beatitudes which are the characters that are evident in a Christian from the moment na na-realise niya yung kaniyang poorness in spirit or ang kaniyang pagiging makasalanan and being unable to come to Christ on his own. Therefore giving him a gentle and meek heart, and also giving him the hunger and thirst for a righteousness na hindi niya makikita sa kaniyang sarili and makikita lang niya only in Christ.

Now, having been saved by grace alone through Christ alone, Christians are moved to be merciful, to be pursuing purity; Christians are moved to pursue reconciliation with God as well-being peacemakers. So reconciliation with God first and foremost and not just for themselves but also for others. So, eto yung mga blessedness na makikita natin sa isang kristiyano. And yet when we look at the passage today, Jesus tells them judge not that you be not judged as if there is a warning. Of course there is a warning even though He is telling it to His disciples because even though salvation has been secured by Christ for a Christian, Christians still live in sin. We are still living in our cursed flesh and therefore still prone to sinning. And so Christ gives instructions to be followed by believers that they may walk in obedience to God, rather than pursuing the desires of their flesh. And yun yung napag-aralan natin in the several Sundays from how Christ has revealed the true meaning of what the decalogue is saying to not storing up treasures that are here on Earth that will rot, to not worrying from last Sunday. And now, nakita natin, not judging others.

So what does Christ mean when He said judge not that you not be judged? Now we have to consider that statement very carefully. Una sa lahat, that statement obviously is not a blanket statement, a general statement telling us not to use critical thinking, not to use the capacity of our ability to assess and judge situations. Kasi, the mere fact that the Bible teaches what is right and wrong, so it tells us that there is a place to exercise a sound judgment. Paano natin mai-identify ang tama sa mali, ang kasalanan sa hindi kung hindi natin ie- exercise ang sound judgment. Not exercising sound judgment will cause us to do things that God abhors. And how is this so? Because if we do not exercise sound judgment, we will be welcoming with open arms anything and everything that this sinful world presents to us. So what this means… what this means is that when Christ tells us not to judge. We are called not to judge in a sinful manner. When we are called not to judge, this prohibits us from what we call judgmentalism. This is from thinking severely critical of others..masyado tayong kritikal sa ating pagtingin sa iba. Paano natin nagagawa iyon? In terms of salvation, we put it in our hands to identify who is saved and who is not. At isa ito sa mga misconception and misrepresentations sa ating mga Calvinists who believe that God is sovereign is in His election. People who don’t understand Calvinism all too well, would assume na ganito ang iniisip nating lahat na tayo ay mga judgmental na tao declaring to people who is saved and who is not. Well in fact, hindi ho tayo ganun. Also in terms of living a righteous life, holy living when when we are very critical on thinking sa ating pagtingin sa kapwa natin. It causes us to think of ourselves better than anyone else. So paano ho nangyayari iyon? Ganito yung naa-apply natin yung standard natin sa ibang tao kapagka sila ay nagkakamali. Pero pagka sa sarili natin, hindi natin nakikita or bina-bypass natin yung sarili natin pagka tayo yung lumalabag dun sa standard na ating sinet para sa iba. Ganun yung ating pagiging judgmental or pagiging kritikal sa ating pagtingin sa iba. At ang warning ng ating Panginoong Hesukristo dito if you do not take heed of Christ’s commands, it is God who will ultimately judge you and you will be judged by the same measure you use to judge others. You judged others unfairly, you will be judged unfairly as well. So ang tanong, as Christians, what should be our attitude when dealing with other people around us? How should we address, how should we deal with people around us especially when it comes to sinning o yung kanilang pag-commit ng kasalanan, ng errors. Ang sagot natin dito, like unforgiving.. if you know of the story of the unforgiving servant. Like the unforgiving servant who is expected to be merciful in his dealings with his fellow servant after the king cancels all his debts, Christians who have been recipient of God’s mercy, canceling out or forgiving all our sins are expected to be merciful and have a gracious attitude in our dealings with our fellow Christians, and generally with everyone else, our fellowmen. And that is my message this morning. Christians must not have a critical spirit towards others, but one that discerns with grace. Christians must not have a critical spirit towards others, but one that discerns with grace.

As God, the righteous Judge, shows grace to us, so should we show grace towards others. Firstly, to our fellow believers. You are given the ability to discern so that we may edify one another. And that’s my first point. Discernment That Edifies. Secondly, to unbelievers, we must be Discerning to know whether someone accepts or rejects the gospel. And we will find out how grace is applied here when we get to our second point, Discernment That Reveals.

But let’s take a look at our first point. Discernment That Edifies. So where in the text can we see that there is a kind of discernment that would be able to edify? So we can see Jesus told His disciples that in order to exercise a fair judgment, remove first the log from their eyes before the spec on their brothers. So Christ here first addresses a common problem. And that problem is people tend to notice other people’s faults but do not notice theirs which to be honest is far more important for them to deal with. And if you notice as Christ use the word brother dito, though the the principle is not limited to just among Christians, I think it’s appropriate for us to look at it in a perspective of how a believer deals with his fellow believer. So, tignan natin yung illustration doon sa verse three and four. Verse 3 and 4, the comparison is that of a nearly microscopic speck in your brother’s eye that you notice ever so accurately versus a log that is probably twice your size which you blindly disregard. So probably, kaya sabi ng iba kaya raw ginamit ito ni Hesus na illustration because of His background in carpentry. So a speck is a speck. Probably something that is much smaller than a grain of rice. That is what you notice in your brother’s eye compared to a log or in terms of carpentry, para siyang beam or biga ba yun sa Tagalog? Which probably is doble ng haba mo or laki mo na nakapasak sa mata mo na hindi mo pinapansin. Yun yung illustration dito. And in other words, you call out the sin of other Christians without calling your sin first which is far bigger, far greater, far more important for you to deal with. If you don’t deal with your sin first, chances are well yung pag-call out mo yung sin ng iba, you just want to elevate yourself appearing to be holy, pointing out the sin of others without really the pure intention of helping them out. How can I say na wala kang pure intention of helping out? Well Christ says it Himself, sabi Niya, He called out this kind of behaviour in the beginning of verse five. Sabi Niya sa verse five, you hypocrite! Jesus calls this kind of behaviour hypocritical, this kind of judgment hypocritical. And then what we have been learning so far in Matthew? Ang dami ditong dealings with hypocrisy. And so sa mga nakikita natin na in the dealings with hypocrisy, where there is hypocrisy, there is vanity. You want to be seen, you want to be noticed, you want to look good, you want to appear higher, better than the rest of the people around you. This is brothers and sisters judgmentalism or hypocritical judgment which Christ tells us not to do.

So what then shall we do? Paano ang tamang dealings natin towards one another? Verse 5, Jesus says, first take out the log out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Now notice, when you deal first with your log like sin, I mean when you don’t deal first with your sin, all you do doon sa sin ng iyong kapatid is to notice it, to see it, to assume that you want to remove it, but really you don’t have any intention of helping out. But if you deal first with your sin, you see clearly to help take back the speck out of your brother’s eye sabi sa atin dito ng Panginoong Hesukristo. And ultimately all we can do is help or edify because the sinner is the one who needs to deal with or mortify or kill his own sin. And only then, pag nangyari yung ganitong klase ng pag-call out ng sin with a genuine heart of really removing and mortifying sin without hypocrisy, only then will we be able to see the kind of discernment that edifies. So, nakikita niyo ba how this works in a local church, amongst the members of a church?

The church is sanctified when Christians deal with their own sin first before helping brothers deal with theirs. So when there is no hypocrisy in our dealings, when the Christian calls out a sinning brother, you know it’s genuine, you know it is to edify them because that Christian is not coming from a position of vanity. That Christian is coming from a position of someone who dealt with his own sins first. He recognises that that same position of being able to receive grace from God. He understood the mercy of God that he received through the gospel. He understands the call to holiness that they are now being called. And therefore, when he ministers to his sinning brother in the same way, not with critical spirit but with one that is full of grace and mercy. Magiging like sinabi sa Beatitudes, tayo’y merciful people. Now because kung titignan natin, only when one understands the gospel, only then will someone really be irritated with the log that is in his own eye and would want to remove it. Pansinin ho natin: an unrepentant sinner who doesn’t understand the gospel, oh, hindi niya ho aalisin iyon. He loves that log in his eye. We think it’s funny, we think it’s stupidity but it shouldn’t come as a surprise for us because sin is not irritating. Sin disguises itself as something pleasurable, masarap ang kasalanan. It feels so good that let’s say a scenario even if we hide that big log from that person, oh he would find it with all his might and then stick it right back into his eye because it feels so good. It’s not that he doesn’t notice it, it’s not that he doesn’t know it’s there. Oh he loves that it’s there and he doesn’t see the need to remove it. That is what a person looks like apart from his eyes being opened by the gospel of Christ. And the more that that person keeps that love, that sin in his eye, the more that the wrath of God stays with him. And so let me take this opportunity if you are listening and you have not repented of your sins yet. If you have not taken that log out of your eye yet. This is God’s call for you my friend: repent of your sin remove that log-like sin from your eye and trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross. In the eternal punishment that was supposed to be for you that has been poured on Him, in the eternal reward for His perfect righteousness that is now covering you, and the fact that God is pleased with the sacrifice because Christ has risen from the dead. Trust in the finished work of Christ and when you do, not only will the log be removed out of your eye. God’s punishment which you rightly deserve will also be removed from you. In essence, you become a believer, you become a Christian. Now you become someone who is able to also minister to others graciously for you have experienced grace.

But of course we still have to be careful. Kailangan pa rin nating maging maingat kasi gaya nga nung ating na-mention kanina, there is still indwelling sin with us as long as we live here on this cursed Earth. So if we’re not careful, we’ll get tempted to be prideful and self-righteous; forgetting how God has been merciful to us, forgetting how God has forgiven us of our sins. So in helping one another mortify sin, eto yung challenge sa atin: always be merciful; Be Merciful To One Another As God Has Been Merciful To Us. This is a great question to ask ourselves who are in one local church: to the members of Christ’s Heritage Church, are we able to minister or are we dealing with one another mercifully? Are we dealing with one another mercifully? Do we know of a brother who is struggling with sin? Maybe under church discipline, maybe not. But are we able to minister to them mercifully? And when I say mercifully, I know that not everyone may be able to reach out to one another but, do we pray for them to be restored? Do we consider them in our thoughts having the desire for them to be welcomed once again sa ating Lord’s Supper? I want also to ask specifically for those brethren who here are in one family and that includes me as well. If we see our husbands, if we see our wives, if we see our parents, our children, our siblings, if we see them struggling with sin, do we deal with them the way God dealt with us? Do we discern with grace and help them in confronting sin, in killing sin, or we just call them out without the intention to edify them? Ah, nagkakaroon ka ng kasalanan, kasalanan yan, makasalanan ka. And that’s it without even pointing them back to mag-repent ka, magsisi ka, bumalik ka sa ating Diyos, mamuhay ka ulit na in such a way that is pleasing to God— obedient to His commands and not following the desires of your flesh.

A perfect example would be how Paul exhorted the Galatian church. He says in chapter 6 verse one to two: Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Brethren, the law of Christ is the law of love. And to fulfill this is to express our love for one another which is a proof that really, truly we are children of God that is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. For now, we do not act as sinful men, but we act as citizens of God’s Kingdom. But if we know of someone who is struggling, let us not make it a goal to just point out his sin. Let us make it a goal to point his sin or call out his sin and restore him in fellowship with God, with the church, and with us. This is how God dealt with us di ba? He exposed our sin that we may turn from it and then He restored us unto Himself through Christ. God has been merciful to us. Let us be merciful to one another.

My last point: discernment that reveals, Discernment That Reveals. Look at verse 6. Verse 6. Do not give dogs what is Holy and do not throw your pearls before pigs lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. It doesn’t really say go ahead judge. But what we see here is a command from Jesus with the underlying assumption that is contrary to popular belief. Popular belief says oh, do not judge, do not judge! But here in verse 6, though it is not explicitly said to judge, Christ is saying here we must judge. Of course not hypocritically but we must do so righteously and biblically. Jesus commands to exercise sound judgment by telling them not to give dogs what is holy and not to throw to pigs their pearls. So in order for us to not give what is holy to dogs and not to throw to pigs our pearls, well we must be able to identify who the dogs and pigs are and what the thing that is holy, and the pearl is. So therefore we must discern or judge accordingly. Now, to understand the illustration I want us to look at some other places in the Bible where dogs and pigs were used. Proverbs verses 26 verse 11 says like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly. Second Peter chapter 2 verse 22 it says and this is Peter is saying this regarding false teachers. “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire. Or sa tagalog burak, so, dinumihan niya uli yung sarili niya. So from here we can see what the illustration alludes to. The illustration alludes to people who do not recognise what is truly valuable and sacred. Like dogs and pigs na nilinis mo na, nagdumi uli, ganun din ang isang tao who doesn’t, who doesn’t recognise the importance or the value of the Gospel. The gospel washes us from sin. And so even if outwardly he receives the gospel, if he really doesn’t understand it, babalik at babalik siya sa dungis, karungisan ng pagiging makasalanan. So adding to that, Proverbs verses 23 verse 9 do not speak in the hearing of a fool for he will despise the good sense of your words. So having these parts of scripture, we can see more clearly what Jesus was referring to. What is holy, the pearls, they illustrate what is sacred what is valuable to a Christian… that is the gospel message. Therefore, the dogs and pigs who trample the gospel message underfoot and attack the messenger or the Christian would be those who outrightly reject the gospel, those who outrightly reject the gospel. So what can we learn from this? What can we take from this sa ating pag-share ng Magandang Balita in our evangelism? There are those who will accept and those who will reject the gospel. Ganun ho talaga. Not everyone, hindi natin mae-expect na kapagka tayo ay nag-evangelise, 100 percent lahat magre-repent at magiging kristiyano. Meron diyan, talagang outrightly magre-reject. They will reject the gospel. And for those who reject the gospel, Jesus is saying, do not force the gospel message on them. But we must take note huh. Jesus is not telling us to look at people, assess from where you are, to see who are the pigs and not. And then do not share the gospel with them. Uy, medyo makasalanan yung buhay nung pig. Hindi ko siya she-sharean. ng gospel. Uy, yun medyo dog, dog siya, di ko siya she-sharean ng gospel. That is not what Christ is saying here. In fact, Christ sort of showed this or modelled this for us in Matthew chapter 10 verse 14 where he says to his disciples if anyone will not receive you and listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. So there is Gospel sharing. We are not to identify people as saved or not saved just by the basis of assessing their lives. Kasi paano tayo magliligtas ng mga tao kung hindi natin she-sharean ng gospel yung mga katulad natin na nabubuhay sa kasalanan? But what Christ is saying here is that there are those who after hearing the word, will reject it. And for those people then you must not place or put enormous amount of effort just for them to accept the gospel. The sharing of the Gospel to unbelievers will reveal if they will either accept the message which is with infinite power and infinite worth. Or if they will reject it in like dogs and pigs trample on it. Hence, yung title nung ating second point, Discernment That Reveals.

So what Jesus is teaching is do not force the gospel to someone whose only purpose for trying to listen to you, for entertaining you is to insult, to scoff at and ridicule the word of God. Now you do realise what we are trying to say here, right.? Kasi, when we, if you look at it this way, when we try to force or when we force the gospel on someone, when we try to in our ability make him believe, in our ability try to convert him, to regenerate him, here’s essentially what we’re saying: oh God, we don’t trust Your power to save. Oh God we don’t trust your perfect timing, therefore, I will use all my might, I will use all the force in me and force this gospel down to the throat of the person who I am trying to evangelise. And do you see how the ridiculous that sounds brethren? So here is our last challenge, if we have shared the gospel to someone and that person rejects it, the challenge is turn your ministerial efforts towards fellow believers. Yung efforts niyo doon niyo ibuhos sa inyong mga kapatid sa pananampalataya and also to those who through proper judgment you see an evidence that they would be openly receiving the gospel message with just a better and clearer explanation. But for those who will openly reject it and insult it, depend on God’s mercy that as they reject the gospel for now, they may not reject it completely and finally. So have we encountered people na ganun? When we try to share the gospel, have we encountered people who have openly rejected the gospel? Have we shared the gospel? I hope we did. And when people rejected it, how did we respond? Now take note, we really have to be discerning on this and this involves even assessing ourselves. Why? Kasi, there might be times when in your evangelisation, people might not understand it yet, but they just need you to explain it for them more clearly. Maybe we haven’t really sat down with them and patiently explain to them what the scripture says. So we have to be discerning, we have to really judge the situation kasi baka you’re trying to evangelise your family members , ‘no. Tapos you try to evangelise your dad. Dad, let me share to you the gospel. Ah, anak, di ba yung gospel na iyan, parehas lang iyan dun sa kung ano yung kinalakihan natin as Roman Catholic? Uy, hindi naintindihan ni Day, reject, reject siya. But really, it takes, all it is asking from us is just to explain it a little better, di ba. So we have to also assess ourselves because people might just need us to explain it a bit more clearly, especially with our family members, with our friends, with our loved ones, we have to be more patient di ba? And sometimes gospel sharing takes more than one sitting. Hindi lang siya yung isang upuan mo, ine-expect mo na nag-share ka ng mala R.C.Sproul, mala John MacArthur type of gospel sharing, kung sino man yung favourite mong ano celebrity pastor, and then na-convince ko siya na ano, of course we have to somehow be more patient. Hindi siya nadadaan sa isang upuan lang. But when all is said and done and still that person rejects it even if it’s your parents, even if it’s your brothers or sisters, there is, there will come a time that you have to turn your ministerial efforts to the church and to others who have not yet believed. Hindi ko sinasabing stop praying for them. Of course we will still pray for them. In fact, yun yung, yun nga yung ibig kong sabihin dun sa last part ng challenge, to depend on God’s mercy that those who reject the gospel for now, may not reject it finally. Now all I’m saying here is hindi natin kayang ipuwersa, ipagsiksikan yung Magandang Balita sa isang tao na talagang nire-reject Siya totally and finally. And hindi rin natin kayang i-identify who rejects and who accepts it to the best of our abilities if we do not use our sound judgment. Also there might be times when, alam mo iyon, kaya pala hindi nila ina-accept yung Gospel not really that because they want to reject it outright, but because they have a hard time accepting the gospel from you because they do not see the gospel in your life. Baka ikaw pala yung hindrance para yung mga taong sine- sharean mo at ine-evangelise mo ay talagang tanggapin wholeheartedly yung Magandang Balita ng kaligtasan. If that’s the case my brother, let’s go back to the first point take the log of your eye first. And then try to share the gospel again and then might be the time and opportunity na talagang tanggapin nila because they see the change that is in your life that is made by the gospel of Christ.

Again when all is said and done and these people really reject the gospel, turn your ministerial efforts to your brothers that you may edify one another through fellowship, through church discipline, through church worship. But don’t stop praying for your loved ones to those whom you are trying to evangelise that God’s mercy May rest upon them and regenerate their hearts in God’s perfect time. We must also turn our ministerial efforts not just to our brothers and sisters, but to those who have not heard of the Gospel yet that we may be able to to turn our labors into our works into words that would help reconcile them to God. Aside from those who reject the gospel upon our sharing, there are still plenty who are still waiting to receive the Gospel, to hear the gospel, to understand the gospel. So let us also consider pointing or turning our efforts into them.

As a case, I want to go back to my introduction, to that person, to that drag queen who did what he did. How did it affect you when I told the story? Were you so critical on that person thinking ay, makasalanan iyan, ang dami niyang red flags niyan! Yung sin ng homosexuality andiyan, yung kawalan ng respeto sa Scriptures sa Lord’s Prayer, andiyan. Napakamakasalanan niyan, hindi masa-save yan. Is that the way we thought about it or were we gentle in our approach thinking Lord, I pray that this person may be convicted of what he did and really repent and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that he might also be saved like me. Because like me, I was also a recipient of Your just judgment and yet you saved me. And so my hope is that you save this person as well. Was that our way of thinking? Did we discern with grace when we heard the introduction, or naging kritikal tayo? May it be the former, brethren, because knowing how we have received mercy and grace from God, that is also how we should be treating others as well. Also, if we have anyone who is like that, na nasa capacity natin para maabot, is our heart so eager to reach out and share the gospel to them? Or have we identify them as uy, dogs, uy cats. Hindi ko ishe-share yung aking pearls and holy and sacred thing with that person. Be eager to share, have confidence that the power of the Gospel, the power of God works through the preaching of the gospel. And if ever that person rejects outrightly, then that’s the time that you would say I give it my best, I leave God to really work on the heart of that person. God extended grace to us through the gospel that takes the log-like sins off of our eyes, allowing us to see more clearly in dealing with our sins and in dealing with the sins of our brothers. Now some will accept the gospel, some will not. We must be discerning in order to be efficient workers for the glory of God. So may the Lord always stir us up and move us into living a life that is only reserved and is offered and sacrifice for Him.

Let us all pray. Dear God, our heavenly Father, our righteous Judge, Lord we thank you for this morning for allowing us to hear Your word, for allowing us to remember who we are only by Your grace through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Lord, knowing who we are, people, sinners who receive mercy and grace from You, we asked for the same. We ask for strength that we also show mercy and grace towards one another in this local church. And also to those who have yet to hear the gospel. May we approach them also with mercy and grace not with judgmentalism, not with our severe and critical way of looking at others, but with how You looked at us. You looked at us with love and may we do the same as well. And may we show that love to one another today in fellowship with one another most importantly may we give that love back by giving the glory all the glory to You. May You alone be elevated today. May we not elevate ourselves, may it only be you who receives all the glory. We love you Lord and we praise You in Jesus’ Name we pray, amen.

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