Sunday, November 25, 2012

Watch for Stones

This last month has been incredibly busy, with proofing two books from the Sister Blue Thread series, getting ready to participate in a conference, and holidays. Now I’m busy finishing up the third book that is due the beginning of December.

During all of this time I’ve had so many thoughts I wanted to put down and share on this blog, but I didn’t find the time.  One in particular keeps bouncing around in my head, so I’m taking a few minutes before getting ready for church to share it with you.
I shared the following in the break out sessions I did at the conference and then amazingly when I went to church the following day, the Pastor did a talk on the very same subject.

The Bible tells us of a story, of when Jesus appeared at dawn in the temple courts, and all the people gathered around him, then he sits down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman who was caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”
According to the Bible they were asking Him the question to trick him because they wanted to have a reason to accuse Him.

Jesus however bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. They kept questioning him; he then straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
When I read this story I can feel the anxiety the woman probably felt at that moment waiting for the stones to start to hit her. Did she wince, I wonder? Cover her face? Cry out? Or did she stare all of them in the face with a dare to throw a stone at her?

The Bible doesn’t talk about her reaction. So to me that only says it wasn’t as important as the response of Jesus and the reaction of those around her.
What was their reaction? They began to go away one at a time, the older ones first until Jesus was left with the woman still standing there.

Can you picture yourself in this position? Your sin has been brought in front of your community; they could have punished you for your sin, but realized they had sins of their own. And now you’re standing before Jesus.
Pretty vulnerable position to be in, I’d say. Except, I remember a time of standing before Him, filled with guilt and remorse, not in reality, but spiritually, where I confessed my sins to Him, and  I got a reply pretty close to the one this woman received.

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

I can only imagine that woman went away with a grateful heart and lived a life loving the one who saved her from being condemned from her sin. I know I did and do.
Have you experienced that? Or is this your experience?

This story is a reminder to look to our own hearts and make them right with God. Pointing fingers and judging others for their mistakes, bad judgments, isn’t what we are called to do. Because when I bring them before Jesus, I’ve found He deals with me, not the person I’m ratting on.
Sometimes though, that person we’re ratting on is ourselves. We carry the weight of guilt and condemnation for a choice that we have made in our lives. Divorce, abortion, abandonment, stealing, failed relationships, mistakes as a parent, and many, many other things.

It’s carried on a person’s shoulder like a bag of garbage that they are not going to let go of for anything.
The Bible says that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When we bring our sins to Him, it’s not just for a chat, but it’s to bring them to Him and confess that we have done wrong. Now, here is the hard part, because we think we have to pay a price.
But we don’t. Yes, sometimes there is a consequence, but the hard part is to believe that Jesus paid the price. He died on the cross for your failures. Not just one or two, but for ALL of them. He alone is worthy to pay the price for our sins. He is the Lamb of God.

Can we, can you walk in faith that God loved the world so much, He sent His only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
And that God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe  stands condemned already because He has not believe in the name of God’s one and only Son.

That is what faith is all about…believing.
Now, let’s do what Jesus said and go and sin no more.

Oops, I didn’t do such a great job at that. I’m still messing up. Now, my faith has to take over in a different way. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.”
Confess, confess, confess, and go follow Jesus. Don’t sit there in guilt, condemnation and shame, then you will miss out on all He has for you. Receive this wonderful gift He has for you, He didn’t hang on that cross in vain. It was to pay the price. Rejoice in that.

After living it, and also hearing about it, I put that message into the Sister Blue Thread series. Each book leads Trudy’s friends and family through situations where they learn to go to Jesus no matter what the circumstances is that they are in.
I hope that you too will bring your issues to Jesus. He will make your path straight.           

Look up passages in John 8, John 3:16 – 18, Romans 8:1, 1John 1:8 - 10

No comments: