Standing before the judge, there was nothing I could say except, "Guilty as charged." I hung my head for you see, this was not the first time I had been here. I had first stood before the judge as a small child. It wasn't until I had stood before him that I had realized my crime but then it became glaringly apparent and I was not only ashamed, I was repentant.
An amazing thing had happened there in the courtroom. Something which I will never forget. Not only was I given mercy but I learned that through the blood of Jesus I was also given grace. I did not received what I deserved that day. I received what I did not deserve. God not only forgave me, he adopted me as his very own daughter. Nothing in this world can ever come close to the joy that I experienced that day. No longer an "orphan" dressed in rags, I was now a .
Tears filled my eyes as I recalled all of this for that had not been the last time I had stood before the judge. In fact, I would find myself standing before him time and time again. I stood there dejectedly with tears running down my face. Why oh why hadn't I listened to the Holy Spirit? Why had I been so stubborn and proceeded with doing that which I knew I shouldn't do? The words of the Accuser hung in the air. "You did it because you wanted to!" I couldn't argue with that. I hadn't been "tricked". No one had forced me to behave the way I did. I had done it with my eyes wide-open. Rather than listening to God, I decided to ignore him and listen to the enemy instead. Now... I was going to have to pay for it.
I was suddenly aware that other voices joined in with the voice of the accuser. Perhaps they thought the enemy's voice was not loud enough so they wanted to make sure that I was fully aware of my sin and some even demanded that I be stoned because they declared that unlike them, I had sinned.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1 John 1:8
It is important to note that in this passsage of scripture, the Apostle John was not writing to non-Christians. He was writing to Christians. We would do well to remember that.
Suddenly, a voice spoke which said:
Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.
John 8:7b (NIV)
The voices fell silent and the voice continued.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
I fell to my knees sobbing. It didn't matter what happened to me. I had broken God's heart, I had trampled on his precious gift of grace. Oh, how could I have done that? My heart was also broken.
One by one, the accusers slipped away. Once again I heard that gentle, loving voice say:
Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?
John 8:10b (NIV)
I lifted my head and looked around. The courtroom had emptied. I shook my head. "No, Lord."
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
We might say that it is not "fair" for God to forgive another Christian who has stumbled and fallen. We might believe that they should have to "pay" for it and we might even have a list of ideas of how they can do that already prepared for God. The truth of the matter is, the grace of God is not ours to give. We have no right whatsoever to say who "deserves" to receive it and who doesn't. Not a single one of us, no matter how much we think otherwise, ever deserves it. So why do we think we do and someone else does not?
Photo Credit: Boians Cho Joo Young/freedigitalphotos.net
We talked at large about this very thing in my last wednesday study. As a human being i have a strong expectations and standards that I hold myself to. Unfortunately, I sometimes place those standards on those God has told me to love. It shows itself in the form of irritation especially when they don't do what I believe is the right thing. My job is to encourage my those seeking God and always speak the truth, but more than that is to love them. The accuser is doing his job. He doesn't need my help. Thank you Kreynolds.
Amen, my sister. Amen! We all are in need of God's mercy and He was not "obliged" to offer it, let alone provide the specific sacrifice needed for us to obtain that mercy.
It breaks my heart when I see/hear brothers & sisters in Christ unwilling to extend the same grace they were so willing to accept when their sin was revealed to them.
Lord, I ask You to reveal our need to continue accepting YOUR mercy towards us and guide us in using the same mercy to others. We have all "sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". "Daddy", I don't want to be the rich man whose focus was on the sin of another man but the tax collector who threw himself upon Your mercy. I plead for this understanding and heart of mercy for us all. Amen.