As we prepare to close out this decade, God led me to the account of the woman who was taken in adultery, found in John 8. The religious leaders bring her to Jesus, and state that they caught her in the very act and then go on to question Jesus about His thoughts regarding the law of Moses stating that the woman should be stoned. Now, these religious leaders weren’t so much concerned about what the woman had done, they were actually attempting to trip up Jesus. So instead of answering them, Jesus bends down and begins to write on the ground. So the religious leaders continue to question Him, and Jesus finally responds with “Which ever one of you has never sinned, can cast the first stone.” And at this point, the religious leaders just walk away.
So Jesus says to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Is there no one here to condemn you?”” The Lord then tells her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
God wants You and I to be able to look back over this year and this decade, and come to terms with what we did or did not do. Because if we don’t accept some responsibility for where we are, to some degree, then we have no power to change it. If we don’t accept the part that we’ve played in our current place in life, then we will be helpless to move forward.
When Jesus was talking with the woman, she didn’t say, “Well, it wasn’t my fault. They shouldn’t have been spying on me.” The woman made no excuses for her actions. You and I must understand that as long as we make excuses for our sinful actions, we are headed in the opposite direction of truly having a Godly change in heart and mind.
The most freeing moment is when a person chooses to acknowledge that they’ve done some things that they should not have done, and they can now reflect over those past situations and be able to say that they’ve got better sense now.
If you want 2020 and the rest of your future to be better, you have to accept some responsibility for your part of it.
Now, let’s be clear there are life events and circumstances that are thrust upon us by other people. Someone may say, “I got divorced, and I didn’t want the divorce, but my ex insisted on it.” Or “I was physically assaulted.” I completely understand and empathize with you. There are situations that we do not have any control or choice over.
In those life events that we did contribute to, we have to be able to reflect over them. We can not grow if we don’t learn from our bad choices. Reflection is a key to gaining wisdom.
Last weekend, I visited the Olive Garden, and ordered a large pasta dish. I knew the meal was going to be too large for me to eat in one sitting, however I forced it all into me. Later, that night I had an upset stomach, and had to take responsibility for the fact that I should have only ate part of the dish, and brought the rest home to eat the next day.
We have to be able to reflect over our past and acknowledge things like, “Maybe I shouldn’t have run my mouth so much. I should have been more patient with that other person. I need to ask the Lord to help me with my quick temper.” We have to be able to look at our past, not to have a pity party, but instead to learn from it so that we can grow and be more successful in the future. For an unsaved person, doing a true reflection will show you that you can’t truly correct these mistakes and break bad cycles in your own strength. You need to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and allow the Holy Spirit to guide your decisions. For many “born again” Christians, you know that Jesus Christ has forgiven your sins, but doing this reflection can reveal that its time for you to stop beating yourself up and forgive yourself.
Referring back to John 8, the woman had accusers prior to Jesus’ actions. Jesus dealt with the woman’s accusers, however He DID NOT try to act like what the woman did was not wrong.
It may be true that other people should not be gossiping about your personal business, but that does not mean that your sinful actions were/are not a serious problem.
Even though Jesus shut up the woman’s accusers, He did not excuse the woman’s actions. While the Lord does not want us bickering amongst each other, this doesn’t mean that our sinful actions don’t need to be dealt with.
We have to understand the magnitude of what Jesus did when He forgave our sins. Prior to accepting the gift of salvation, we the believer had all of these sin debts towards God. We went on and on with our sinful actions: And Jesus did not excuse that. We have to realize that because of our sinful ways, we deserved some serious judgment, BUT God’s mercy was shown to us through Jesus Christ. Prior to receiving salvation, each of us is destined for Hell, BUT Thank God for the blood of Jesus!
That’s what Jesus came to do. He came to live and to die, so that those sinful things that you and I had done would not seal our eternal fate forever. God is our Creator, and He has every right to condemn us for sinning against His divine order, however we are so grateful for His unconditional love for us. We can praise God for His grace and mercy.
There are many saved people out there who can’t truly operate in their God ordained purpose, because they feel like they are not fully forgiven by God. The Lord wants you to understand that when you receive Jesus as your Savior, that He now chooses not to condemn you. Yes, even as “born again” believers, sin will still be a thorn in our side, but because of our love for God, we can have a heart and mind that chooses not to willfully dash into sinful activities that would displease the Lord.
If you wronged a person, then went to them and apologized. When they respond with, “No worries. I forgive you. Our issue is resolved, and I’ll hold it against you no longer.” Whenever you encounter that person again, you won’t be walking around them with shame and sadness in your heart. You’ll just accept what they said to you, and be at peace. Even more so, there is peace and joy in knowing that you’ve been forgiven by God.
We can start by acknowledging our wrong doing, apologize to God, and remember that the same thing Jesus told the woman in John 8 applies to us. The words of our accusers have no power over us, We can learn from our past mistakes, the Holy Spirit can make us wiser going forward, As a Fully forgiven saint Christ will not condemn us, And we can have joy in our heart as we rest in the truth that God loves us.
If you are reading this and do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, I would like to extend this invitation to you to receive the gift of salvation today. You can do so by praying and truly believing the prayer below, or by praying to God in your own Words.
I confess that I have sinned against You, and I know that there is nothing I can do by my own efforts to change my condition. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His blood and died on the cross for my sins; And that He rose from the grave on the Third Day to grant me eternal life. I know You love me, God, and I love You. I place my faith and trust only in You to conform my heart to Your will; And to order my steps everyday, from this day forward. Thank You , Lord, for saving me.
When we accept salvation, God saves us immediately, and makes us fit for entrance into Heaven, however some changes God will empower you to make easily, while making other changes will be a process that may take months or even years to make. Regardless of your situation, I assure you that the Lord loves you more than you could ever comprehend, and He will be with you every step of the way. Pray, study God’s Word and ask Him to give you revelation of what you are reading. I also pray that the Lord will direct you to a true Bible teaching, Jesus loving church, where you can have the support of other believers.