49 John said, “Teacher, we saw someone putting out demons in Your name. We told him to stop because he was not following us.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him. He who is not against us is for us.”
I’ve been like John; quick to judge someone who isn’t “in our group” of disciples. Quick to criticize the way they are ministering to others in Jesus name. I’ve even condemned other families of believers (churches) who aren’t in our group of denomination! In my pride and ignorance, I’ve assumed that they aren’t loving & obeying God because their worship services, small groups or outreaches aren’t the same as mine.
The truth is, as Jesus clearly states when He rebukes his disciple, anyone who is a disciple of Jesus is for God. And as His children, we all have a part to play in the advancement of His kingdom on this earth.
7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
“Jesus says regarding judging- don’t. The average Christian is the most penetratingly critical individual. Criticism is a part of the ordinary faculty of man; but in the spiritual domain nothing is accomplished by criticism. The effect of criticism is a dividing up of the powers of the one criticized; the Holy Ghost is the only One in the true position to criticize, He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into communion with God when you are in a critical temper; it makes you hard and vindictive and cruel, and leaves you with the flattering unction that you are a superior person. Jesus says, as a disciple cultivate the uncritical temper. It is not done once and for all. Beware of anything that puts you in the superior person’s place.” –Oswald Chambers
By design, our Creator has given each of us unique abilities and specific gifts to edify the body of Christ so that we can do what God has called us to do. As we love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and love others as we love ourselves, those who are against us will see Jesus manifested in our loves and perhaps, want to follow Him too.
It is not our responsibility to judge the hearts of men. We are simply to be conformed to the image of Christ… and to go make disciples of all nations-, which may include casting out a few demons along the way!
Father, I repent for judging Your people. Please forgive me for hurting and wounding my brothers & sisters because of my sin. Help me to love every person, every part of the body of Christ so that we, together in complete unity, can fulfill Your great commission in our communities, our nation and our world. Amen