Don’t you hate it when computers malfunction?! I do. My post for today was supposed to post automatically, but didn’t. Anyhoo, here you go…
I’m so glad you stopped by today! Whether you popped over from today’s devotion, Exposed, or you simply stopped by, Welcome!!
No one likes to be the center of embarrassing moments. That’s why talking to God about sin can be difficult. We feel ashamed and embarrassed. Perhaps we feel this way because we expect God to react in judgment. The opposite is true. Take the story of the adulteress woman found in John, chapter 8: 1-11.
We can see clearly in this story how Christ’s love is greater than sin.
It must have been an unruly scene until Jesus stepped into the situation. Caught in the very act by the Pharisees, the woman’s fate hung in the balance. I imagine that the adulteress woman felt unbearable loneliness and fear as she lay naked in the streets at the mercy of those whose desire was to stone her to death. Sin does that. It separates us from God causing us to experience aloneness and fear. This is a sure sign we need to search our souls and confess our sins so that we can have peace and enjoy God’s sweet presence again.
The adulteress woman also found indescribable love when she came face to face with her sin. Finding herself in the horrible situation of being caught in the act of adultery must have caused her great shame and brokenness. But broken is always the right place to be when we’re reaching out for Christ’s love and forgiveness. All eyes were on Jesus as the Pharisees anxiously waited to see if Christ would condemn and punish her. With rocks in hand, they awaited His response.
Jesus said, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (verse 7).
I imagine the woman staring deep into the Savior’s eyes. First with great terror, but then suddenly, she knew by His soft eyes that no matter what happened next, she could face it. What relief she must have felt when she heard the sound of rocks dropping to the ground and the scattering of feet.
“Jesus asked, 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” (verses 10-11).
Jesus gave this woman what every heart needs—love and forgiveness. [Something our children need, too. See July 6th post]
Don’t misunderstand. The woman was guilty and according to the Law of Moses, she should have been put to death. But Jesus, instead of condemning her, chose to save her. He chose to save us all by dying on the cross as payment for our sins. We must turn from our lifestyle of sin just as Christ commanded the woman to do. If we do this, you and I have this promise; “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1John 1:9).
Although God administers grace, forgiveness of sin doesn’t mean absence of consequences. When our children disobey, privileges are taken away and they are usually sent to their room. While they may want to stay in their room and sulk, their dad and I won’t let them stay there for long. We lovingly bring them back into the family by playing a game or watching a movie together. Eventually their arms unfold and they warm up to our love. Although their privileges may not be reinstated at this point, they are brought back into the family where they know they are loved, accepted, and forgiven for their actions. Likewise, in the story of the adulteress woman, she still endured the consequences of being caught in the act. Everyone knew it. Nevertheless, she was forgiven and restored.
The goal of God’s love is not to approve our sin. It’s to transform our lives. While we must suffer the cost of our actions, God is not out to condemn us. He’s out to set us free from the chains of sin that bind us. Therefore, we have nothing to fear.
Despite the fact that Jesus was saddened by the adulteress woman’s sin, He saw her potential. That’s how he sees you and me. No matter how far we miss the mark in living out His plan for our lives, God is never ashamed to offer us His love. He’s not waiting for us to mess up so that He can punish us. He’s waiting to restore us. Therefore, we should never be frightened to stand in God’s presence before His throne of grace and mercy. It’s there that we find peace and new beginnings. Our testimony becomes something like this. “You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you” (Psalm 86:5).
© 2009 by Micca Campbell, An Untroubled Heart. All rights reserved.