An old lesson.
A new meaning.
Isn't it funny how God works? As I go through a study with the girl I am discipling, I am constantly blown away at how it speaks to me. A reminder of the deeply loving God who has fully justified me.
"Feelings do not authenticate truth, but they do authenticate our understanding of the truth...and they do change our character."
"A definite, deep sense of being loved is necessary before growth can take place."
Reminiscing over the Lord's goodness late last night with a friend, I was blown away at his goodness. He is so real. He is so good. He is joy. He is love. He is grace.
Yet, so often we chose to perceive him as otherwise. We push our circumstances off on God and claim it to be his identity. So far from accurate. And boy do we miss out.
As it is so often necessary for us to do, I am taking it back to the simplistic. The gospel. Its like my friend said last night, when the word talks about milk and meat as spiritual food, the gospel is not the milk. No the law is the milk. The meat is the gospel. So simple, yet so profound.
Its all about the gospel.
And even though I have been walking with Jesus ten years, I trageically find myself asking:
What is the gospel?
The pharisees found a woman caught in adultery. They dragged her in front of the group.
Spitting shame and guilt on her.
Jesus doesn't condemn.
He doesn't say do better.
He doesn't tell her to go read her bible.
He doesn't ask her anything.
In fact, he silences her accussors.
Stooping down and drawing in the ground, he silences her accusors asking for the one without sin to throw the first stone.
The claims these men made were not false.
Jesus did not silence them because they were false.
Jesus silenced them because that is you and me- adulterous.
Jesus silenced them because that is why he came.
Not to save the perfect.
Who needs a doctor? The sick or the healed.
He came for us and he died on the cross when we were at our worse.
So why is it that as a church, we find the need to condemn?
A brother or sister comes to us, broken.
And we feel this need to fix them.
Its our superhero complex.
We preach the bible and prayer.
We tell them that with God anything is possible.
Truths they may be, but out of heart to "fix" them, we are wrong.
Is this the model Jesus left us at all?
No, not at all.
Jesus silenced the condemnation.
He silenced the attitude of "fixing" them.
Jesus tells us to love them, and let his spirit do the transforming.
We will never be able to do the transforming.
We are called to have compassion- literally step into suffering with them.
We are called to silence their accusers- to speak truth to the condemnation that they feel.
We are called to be Jesus to them.
The church has taught us this mentality that accepting someone who lives in sin, means you are condoning the sin. But what did Christ do with the adulterous woman? He accepted her. Only God can transform hearts. All Glory to him.
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen." Eph. 3:20,21
Christ calls us to have faith in him. To have faith that he will do what he has said he would do. Faith that he will work all things for the good of those who love him. Have faith that he will transform the sinners heart. Having faith that in his timing he is doing his work and we can rest in that.
"...rest in the knowledge you are complete in me. The only thing you absolutely need is the one thing you can never lose: my presence with you."
Jesus accepts us.
Right where we are at.
You do not need to add anything to his sacrifice.
The biblestudy put it this way, when you feel the need to add to Christ sacrifice, it is as if you are saying, "Well thanks God for sending your son, and allowing him to be crucified for my sake. But I'm just not quite sure that is enough. So let me add this and that (most often things that we do by our own strength and measure) and then it will be enough. Let me downplay the sacrifice you made for me."
If that doesn't change you, I'm not sure what would.
If you do not know, believe and live that Jesus accepts you then you are missing out.
Missing out on the gospel.
Missing out on grace.
Missing out on the meaning of it all.
Missing out on Jesus.
"True confidence comes from knowing you are complete in my presence."
"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Heb. 4:16
"My kingdom is not about earning and receiving; it is about believing and receiving."