There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy; who art thou that judgest another?—Jas. 4: 12.
It is in harmony with this thought that the Apostle Paul declares in one place that neither the world nor the brethren were capable of judging him—that only the Lord, who could read the heart and know all the conditions and testings and weaknesses to be striven against, could properly judge. He even declares, "Yea, I judge not mine own self" (1 Cor. 4: 3). It is an excellent plan neither to condemn others who claim to be walking conscientiously as children of the Lord, nor even to condemn ourselves under similar circumstances. We should simply press along day by day, doing the best we can to cultivate the heavenly graces and to serve our Master, leaving all the results with the Lord.
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God is the Lawgiver in the sense that the laws governing all His free moral agents originate from His heart and mind, and have been written by Him in their hearts and minds. Accordingly, by right is He the law enforcer, dispensing life to those who remain in harmony with His law, and death to those who violate His law. This office precludes any, apart from His appointment, from occupying His judgment seat.
Parallel passages: Eph. 4: 31; Luke 6: 37; Rom. 2: 1; 9: 20; 14: 4, 13; 1Cor. 4: 5; Ex. 20: 16; Matt. 10: 28; Isa. 8: 12, 13; Luke 12: 4, 5; 1Pet. 3: 14, 15; Heb. 7: 25.
Questions: Have I this week felt and acted in harmony with God's judgeship? What experiences were helpful or hindersome therein? What were the results?
JUDGE NOT BY OUTWARD APPEARANCE
JUDGE not; the workings of the brain
And of the heart thou canst not see;
What looks to thy dim eye a stain,
In God's pure light may only be
A scar, brought from some well-won field,
Where thou wouldst only faint and yield.
The look, the air, that frets thy sight,
May be a token that below
The soul hath closed in deadly fight
With some internal, fiery foe,
Whose glance would scorch thy smiling grace,
And cast thee, shuddering, on thy face.
The fall thou darest to despise;
May be the angel's slackened hand
Hath suffered it that he may rise
And take a firmer, truer stand;
Or, trusting less to earthly things,
May henceforth learn to use his wings.
And judge none lost; but wait and see,
With hopeful pity, not disdain;
The depth of the abyss may be
The measure of the height of pain
And love and glory that may raise
This soul to God in after days.
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