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Proverbs 18:5 NLT
It is not right to acquit the guilty or deny justice to the innocent.

Yes, some are guilty and some are innocent,  and there is a distinct difference between the two. We should expect judgement for the guilty and expect acquittal for the innocent. Mercy and forgiveness does not do away with the need for justice and truth. It is our path to finding truth while we are yet lost.

So one might ask, how do we know if we are lost?

Galatians 5:19-21 NLT
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Scripture does not lie. We have to ask ourselves if we are living that sort of life? Are we living a life seeking to honor and glorify God, or are we following our sinful nature? We cannot serve two masters – we will live one and hate the other. So who is the Lord and master of our life today?

How do I make sure He is Lord and Savior of my life?

Galatians 5:16-17 NLT
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

We need to be awake. We need to be aware of the battle. We need to avail ourselves of the weapons that are available to us. We need to pray for guidance and strength and wisdom and understanding. We need to study the Word of God so we can stand on a firm foundation. We need to put on the full armor of God in an upright life lived to honor and glorify God – loving God and loving others.

Galatians 5:24-26 NLT
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

And by accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior, by calling out to Him and resting in Him, and in remembering the price paid, we can nail those temptations to the cross daily as we encounter them.

Matthew 7:3-5 NLT
“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?  How can you think of saying to your 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.

But even as we stay in rememberence of this divine instruction for our own lives, this surgical tool that we can use to cut out the sin from our lives, we aren’t to turn and use it as a weapon against each other. We aren’t to weild it against each other, we aren’t to be found beating the servants when the master returns. We are meant to be diligent in our own refinement, not overlooking the chaff in our own life that needs to be burned away.

Seeing others shortcomings isn’t meant to be a distraction to pull our examination away from ourselves, but it is meant to be a visual reminder that we should examine ourselves in that area and understand the areas where we need to apply change. Our change and our example in a renewed focus and refinement within that area of our own lives should serve as the testimony and shining light to guide others, and to build them up, and to encourage them.

Matthew 7:6 NLT
“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

But if we don’t see that this divine instruction is for ourselves – if we don’t value these precious gems as being for us to clean up our own lives – if we foolishly think ourselves to be the light and the way to others and that we are in no need of these treasures ourselves – oh how deep into darkness have we fallen?

Are we not then blind guides handing out our pearls to the pigs? Because we don’t even recognize their value, or we would sell all we own to grasp hold of them for ourselves.

These lessons are for me foremost. I am eating at my Father’s table. This daily manna is for me, and I gobble it up thankfully each day. But there are crumbs left over,  and I leave these for you,  friend. But the pearls are for me,  I am not tossing them aside. I encourage you to find your pearls each morning. They are much better than my crumbs.