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(The Rest of) This Week for Sunday

We live in a world and a media that is constantly trying to distance and separate the rich from the poor. And the more the distance grows between rich and poor, the harder it becomes to relate, and the harder it becomes to relate, the harder it becomes to love, and the harder it becomes to love, the harder it becomes to build relationships. And pretty soon it’s easy to judge and dismiss and, dare I say, think that we’re better. – songwriter Tim Hughes

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It is easy to think that we’re better than the homeless guy pushing his shopping cart of stuff down the alley.  But in 1 Samuel 16:7, the Lord said to Samuel, “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  Jesus teaches in Matthew 7:1-2, “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.”  We can certainly see what flows out of someone’s heart and see the consequences of that, but we can never fully know or understand what is going on in someone else’s heart. Therefore, we have no right to judge.

Instead, we are called to love others. We are called to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, clothe the naked, and care for the sick (see Matthew 25). In love, there is no judgement. There is no arrogance. In showing love, we show others the one thing they truly need: Jesus.

The love, mercy, and grace that Christ gives is the same for the rich and the poor, the saint and the sinner. We all need his grace. We all need his mercy. We all need his love.

The evidence of God’s mercy in your life isn’t determined by how much theology you know, by how many books you read, but by your active goodness to people in misery and in need. – Art Azurdia

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