Human vs. Divine Judgment Its best to let God be the judge! Romans 2:1-16
1. The Inconsistency of Human Judgment v. 1
a. Hypocrisy: Paul argues that man often has the capacity to evaluate and criticize the behavior of his fellow without recognizing that his evaluation is tainted because of his inconsistency. Personal, local and national judgment is inconsistent and often unfair. b. Hyper-righteousness: The feeling that my life is better than others because I don’t do/say/live what others do—and because I am better I am right. c. Action vs. attitude: What is the ‘same things’ that these
hyper-righteous do? They may not be doing the activity but have the underlying ‘attitude’ and that’s as bad as the activity.
2. The Integrity of Divine Judgmentvv. 2-15 a. Judgment according to truth: v. 2 God’s judgment is based on truth because God Himself is true and will therefore be totally unprejudiced. The evidence will be real and therefore there can be no thought of mistrial. b. No escape: vv. 3 The judgment of God is inescapable. Still—people think they can escape the judgment of God by being good and following a spiritual or religious life. c. The longsuffering of God: vv. 4-5 Because there is not a complete demonstration of His judgment some feel that they have already escaped not understanding God’s
longsuffering waiting for people to come to repentance. In the meantime they ‘treasure up’ [store up] condemnation. d. Judgment and man’s actions: vv. 6-15 Some have used this section to teach that man can be saved ‘justified’ by good works. At first it looks as this is what Paul is saying especially vv. 7; 10; 13. However, Paul is building an argument here that NO ONE can fulfill the righteousness of the law. If it were possible for anyone to live as he describes—but it is not. He says this in Rom 3:30-24
“20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…”
3. The Inevitability of Divine Judgmentv. 16 a. The secrets of men: Those that do not know Christ will be judged according to their deeds in the light of their secret (inner) motivation and heart. b. By Jesus Christ: The Judgment is by God through Jesus Christ—the P0erson of the Gospel message the message of salvation. Philippians 2:10-11 says…. (See also Romans 14:10-13)
“…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.”
What MUST I do? What’s the meaning of must? In Acts 19: 21 Paul says, “…I must see Rome.” The word ’must’ in the Greek is “Dei” which means “Necessary in the plan of God, or to the plan of God.”
Jesus’ Divine Necessity: When Jesus was 12 and stayed behind in the temple—he told His parents when they found him: “I must [dei] be about my Father’s business.” (Lk 2:49) He also said, “I must [dei]: suffer, preach, be delivered, go to Jerusalem.”
Paul’s Divine Necessity: “He must [dei] suffer for my name’s sake” Acts 9:16
See II Cor 11:23b-28 …laboring more than most, stripes above measure, imprisoned…!
His direction and redirections were Spirit-led and Spirit inspired. In Acts, Paul must [dei]: Keep the Passover (18:21), bear witness in Rome (23:11), be brought before Caesar (27:24), be cast on an island (27:26).
Our (My) Divine Necessity: Our most important Divine Necessity is FAITH: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must [dei] believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Heb 11:6
Will you please Him today by believing in Him for His purpose in your life? What must [dei] you do to follow Him today, tomorrow and for all your days?
My top Divine Necessities are:
1-Read the Word daily (the entire Bible each year)
2-Pray daily — keep a prayer journal
3-Follow God’s vision for my life and my church:
Every person I see has a need
Every person with a need needs prayer
God will send me to some of them to pray for them
Pastor Mike and Judy Bayer praying for Michele and Marcus Bachmann on Palm Sunday 2012
Father’s and Mother’s of the Faith
Today at the Village Church Congresswoman and former Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus attended our Palm Sunday (2012) Morning service. They were there for a specific reason—to honor one of our church families, Rev. Dick and Marion Alf.
Michele worked in the Alf’s bookstore when she was a teenager and later attended a Spirit filled church that the Alf’s planted. Dick Alf’ also married her and Marcus.
Michele shared from the pulpit for several minutes about the power of godly role models and how this now-senior- couple (the Alf’s) had impacted her and her husband’s life over the past 40 or so years. What a joy for our congregation of senior’s to be able to look back over our life and know that we’ve touched many lives. And continue to do so. As one of my friends says, “If you’re not dead you’re not done.”
God is reviving our seniors and visioning them for the days ahead. It’s great to be honored for the past—but God is not done with us yet and has more for us today and the days ahead.
L to R Marcus and Michele Bachmann, Marion and Richard Alf, Judy and Mike Bayer
Prophetic or Programmed Prayer?
Prayer can be ‘programmed’ or ‘prophetic.’ The Psalms started off as ‘prophetic’ but gradually became a part of daily and festival life of Israel. Most public and corporate prayer is programmed—it is planned to take place at specific time and often with a specific prayer.
The idea of prophetic prayer comes from Acts 2:17-18 where Peter quotes a prophecy from the book of Joel that says that ALL believers would ‘prophesy.’ This does not mean that all believers hold a prophetic office—but rather that all believers who have been baptized in the Spirit can ‘prophesy’ into someone’s life. Prophecy here is not foretelling but forth-telling. It’s a verbal gift to speak something of God into someone’s life.
The Power of Prophetic Prayer
The power of prophetic prayer is that it is ‘spontaneous’ and Spirit led in the moment. So you could have a planned prayer walk (programmed) but meet someone on the walk and be led by the Spirit to stop them and ask, “Can I pray for you?” That ‘prophetic’ moment of prayer was unplanned by you but not by God. So many times when I ask strangers, “Can I pray for you,” the first thing they say is, “WOW I just told God this morning I needed prayer or someone to pray for me.” (Or something similar).
I mean, when I ask people if I can pray for them, probably 80% of the time they indicate that they recently thought about God and prayer. I know it’s anecdotal and I have not kept track but it happens so much that I can say honestly that this is a TREND.
My Missional Proposition… Every person I meet needs prayer
and most will let me pray for them if I only ask.
Somewhere today you will meet and see people that are in need of prayer and some are even asking God for help and that He would send someone to them! You may be that someone.
A few weeks ago someone gave me a dozen golf balls with my name on them, “Pastor Mike Bayer.” This past Saturday I managed to hook one of those balls over a fence and out onto a major highway that’s next to the golf course. Fortunately, it missed all the cars and disappeared down the hill.
The next day at Church a new family visited us and asked to see Pastor Mike. After introductions the man reached into his pocket and took out that golf ball and said, “I believe this is yours.”
He had been walking down that street later in the day and found my ball and decided to look on the Internet to see if he could find “Pastor Mike Bayer.” I was at the top of his Google search and he discovered that he lived within walking distance to our church.
When you ask God to grow His Church and bless people, you might be surprised at how God will answer that prayer.
I was chatting with my life-long friend, Julie, when she mentioned that her daughter’s ex-husband–her ex-son-in-law named Doyle who lives on the east coast–was dying of an inoperable brain tumor. I asked if anyone had spoken to Doyle about his relationship with God. , “No,” she answered.
I shared about our prayer project and told the story of how my atheist neighbor had come to the Lord two days before his death. I encouraged her to call Doyle and pray for him regarding his salvation.
She was so nervous about doing it that she actually wrote down what I suggested so she would know what to say and not panic. I told her to say, “Doyle, I am just calling to say that regardless of our differences in the past, I love you and God loves you. You are nearing the end of your life and you need to make things right with God.”
She used the “script” she had prepared, and led Doyle to the Lord over the phone. He acknowledged his sins, asked forgiveness, confessed the saving power of the blood of Jesus.
Carol had been running on the treadmill for about 20 minutes lost in her own thoughts about family and the plans for the day. She had struck up a casual friendship with Bev over the past few months but never talked with her at length.
As they were both cooling down and Bev was sharing about her family, suddenly it was as if Carol woke up from a deep sleep. She started to listen to what Bev was saying and hearing her for the first time. Carol was overwhelmed with a sense of the ‘presence of God’ there in the gym.
“Suddenly I knew that God wanted to reveal His love to Bev,” commented Carol as she shared this experience with our church. She then asked Bev, “Can I pray for you?” Bev’s response was a resounding yes. Carol was now wide awake to the plan and purpose of God for her in the gym that day.
“Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “’Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.’” Gen 28:16.
Wake Me Up Lord
It’s as if we go through the day asleep to the presence of the Lord. Wake us up Lord to the mission around us!
Every person you meet today has a need!
Will you be awake enough to see the need?
Will you be awake enough to be led by the Spirit to pray for them?
She got her food and looked for a place to sit in the crowded diner. Every table and booth was full except for one where a lady sat by herself. “Do you mind if I sit here?” she asked the lady. Within moments the stranger was pouring out her heart about her problems and life struggles.
In Acts 8:26-30 a leader in the early church was led by the Spirit to listen in on someone who was reading a passage of scripture. This leader simply asked, “Do you understand what you’re reading?” The reply was simple and direct, “How can I know unless someone guides me?”
How many people around us need someone to provide a little guidance? You may see a hundred people at the store—how many of them need someone to guide them? When I pray with strangers I always give them time to share something with me. Out of that sharing come opportunities to encourage them in the Lord. And also give them help in some way.
I always carry money with me to give it away as the Spirit directs. I also have a business size card (see photo) that I give to people that has Phil 4:6-7 on it as well as other information. I always explain the meaning of these verses and how to use them every day.
Julie (not her real name) was the lady who sat down at the only available seat in the diner. The stranger who poured out her heart has now become her friend. Julie prayed for her but also took the time to listen and become a friend. She is now helping her new friend find her way through the Word of God and through some difficult issues in her life.
1. God may have someone He wants you to ask, “Can I pray for you?”
2. God may use you to bless, encourage and meet the needs of someone.
3. Tuck an extra $5.00 or $10.00 in your wallet or purse and ask God who you are to give it to. Keep it there until you give it away.
I felt a tap on my shoulder and someone was asking me, “Where do you go to church?” A woman overheard me talking to a friend while standing in line at a McDonalds to get some coffee.
So I said, “Before I tell you would you let me pray for you?” She said, “Oh I would love that.” So I prayed that God would give her His strength and peace today and let her know that He loves her.” That was it…not long but with a deep impact on the woman I was praying for.
She showed up at our midweek service and our Sunday service. I never invited her to church and only after my friend and I had talked with her for about a half hour did I tell what church we fellowship at.
So what’s the point?
Praying for strangers only takes a moment or two.
Almost every stranger you meet will let you pray for them.
Let God take care of the ‘results’ as He’s much better at it than we are.
The goal of “Strange Prayer” is simply to give something away. We’re not asking anyone what they believe or to come to our church. The only question we ask is, “Can I pray for you?” We have no follow up plan—only to let God follow up and we’ll follow Him in His plan as He shows it to us.
Are you available? Are you available to God and to man?
If we are only available to God, then we’re no good to those around us. If we’re only available to those around us we won’t have anything of eternal value to give them. It is from being available to God that we can be available to those around us with the confidence of God doing a work.
This past few weeks the Lord has directed many us to pray for strangers who turned out to be ‘wounded or scattered’ sheep. Two of our ‘vision’ assumptions are:
That everyone we meet has a need and needs prayer.
Some of them the Holy Spirit will direct us to approach them and ask them, “Can I pray for you?”
How many unattached believer’s, or scattered and wounded sheep are out there? We are beginning to see there are many them. Do they need God’s love and assurance? For sure!