Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 12, 2019
And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. 2 John 1:6
When I was little, I heard the story about the paralyzed man in John 5 whom Jesus healed. Do you remember the story, too? If so, do you remember Jesus commanded him “Pick up your mat and walk”? Do you also remember that Jesus found him later in the temple and said, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you”? (vs.14)
I have to be honest. This scripture used to rub me the wrong way. It sure didn’t seem like Jesus was being kind. He sounded harsh, as if he was threatening the man and saying something like:
“Listen, I know you’ve been sinning and that is why you were paralyzed. The effect of your sin hurt you. Now, I have been really nice to you by healing you. But, if you keep sinning, I am going to punish you.”
Good news! That’s not what Jesus was saying at all. He wasn’t threatening the guy. He was saying something more like this:
“Listen carefully. I know you were paralyzed before because of the consequence of sin. I don’t want something worse to happen to you. Please stop sinning. I love you so I am telling you this to protect you.”
Wow! Big change in perspective, right? Jesus wasn’t being harsh. He was being kind.
Which brings me to my main point: When you are caught in sin, God isn’t standing back waiting to pound you. He is grieved because He loves you. He doesn’t want to see you get hurt—and sin hurts people.
And, just as Jesus wanted to protect the man in John 5 from the consequences of sin, He wants to protect you from the consequence of sin so you can experience abundant life in the here and now.
Staying away from sin and following God’s commands isn’t what we have to do to keep God from getting angry; it’s what we need to do because it’s God’s good and safe path. God’s commands are God’s protection. Isn’t that great news?
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Lord, I praise you that all your commands are for my protection. You don’t ask me to follow you to punish me and you aren’t punishing me when I sin. Thank you for your good and safe path. Amen.
Take 2 minutes and talk with the Lord about what you just learned. Then, praise Him for His love.
God doesn’t want to see us hurt, and since sin hurts—He wants us to avoid sin. #WisdomHunters #lovingGod
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