“If you are grappling with guilt, go to Jesus who can free you from shame, heal your pain and give you the grace to move away from sin.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 28, 2021
Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 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. John 8:7-11
What happens when someone we love is caught up in an unhealthy lifestyle? A friend of mine in another state has a son who has chosen an alternative lifestyle that is opposite to his family’s values. His choices as a young adult break the heart of my friend. The mom approaches her son with grace and the dad loves him with truth. Grace and truth. Both are relationally necessary, but how to apply grace and truth only comes through a love that liberates everyone to look to Jesus. My friend and his wife are learning that love does not condemn the person nor condone the sin.
Once again in a real-life situation full of drama, Jesus first exposes the heart of the audience. With laser like precision Christ with one question reminds the religious leaders of their duplicity, by revealing their own sinfulness. The self-righteous pile on to the vulnerable, compounding their self-condemnation. Once the accusers are silenced by their hypocrisy, Jesus loves the woman with grace and truth. His love liberates her from condemnation and His holiness calls her to leave her life of sin. Stones of self-righteousness crumble to dust when confronted by Christ’s liberating love. Jesus loved society’s outcast, while calling all onlookers to be liberated by love.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).
If you are grappling with guilt, go to Jesus who can free you from shame, heal your pain and give you the grace to move away from sin. Satan’s scheme is to fill your heart with lies that you are not loved and that you deserve despair, even death. But God, calls you to honestly assess who you are—a child of the Most High—buried with Christ and raised to walk in newness of life. The truth is: your identity is in Christ, empowered by the Spirit and liberated by the Father’s love.
I like how Henri Nouwen describes our encounter with God’s love in prayer: Prayer is a careful attentiveness to the Presence of Love personified inviting us to an encounter. Prayer is the presentation of our thoughts— reflective thoughts, as well as daydreams, and night dreams—to the One who receives them, sees them in the light of unconditional love, and responds to them with divine compassion. This context of thinking in the Presence, of conversation and dialogue with Love, is the joyful affirmation of our gentle Companion on the journey with God who knows our minds and hearts, our goodness and our beauty, our darkness and our light.
“O Lord, you search me and you know me, you know my resting and my rising, you discern my purpose from afar. You mark when I walk or lie down, all my ways lie open to you. . . .O search me, God, and know my heart. O test me and know my thoughts. See that I follow not the wrong path and lead me in the path of life eternal” (Psalm 139:1–3; 23–24).
Heavenly Father, liberate me by your love, so my love can free others in your name, through Christ’s love and, in Jesus’ name amen.
Who is caught in sin that needs my love to lift them up in the freedom of forgiveness?
Maverick City Music: You Keep On Getting Better
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