Words In Sand


I was thinking about a story in scripture today. It always resonated with me, because of the profound message which the Lord was trying to convey. And when I see people trying to act ‘all religious,’ I immediately think of the woman caught in adultery.

I absolutely loath many portrayals of Jesus, since they take away from His most human side. Yes, He was God in the flesh, but the flesh, is the part that intrigues me most. He was the example. And if He didn’t go around acting superior and holier than anyone, why should we?

Today, someone was telling me about a teenager’s phone calling him, accidentally. This is a person, who goes to church all the time and loves to talk about the misdeeds of everyone else.  They said, “he had such a potty mouth. His friend and him, were talking and I could hear them cursing. I just thought it was terrible. Meanwhile, I know this person is just as bad. Him and the other person, had recorded the call and played it to each other, and talked about the whole episode, as if it was an unforgivable offense. Now he thought, I would agree, that this was just horrible.

I looked at him and said, “You know, it’s not the outside of a cup that makes it clean.” Reading the discourse in Matthew 23, is a picture of the anger, which Christ had at this hypocrisy. He speaks to the blind leaders. The inside is what needs to be clean. Then the outside will follow.

This guy, just didn’t get it. He stared at me with a blank look. I was pointing out that this is not significant, since none of us are perfect. Without calling him out too much, I hoped he understood, that I wasn’t saying, “Oh who care’s if the kid was cursing?” But  my bigger question was, “Why were you listening? Isn’t that an invasion of his privacy? And then you recorded and played it for someone else?”

Then the natural story that came to my mind was, the woman in found in the Book of John 8. When I read, there are always certain words that seem to pop out at me. For example; v3 standing the woman before a group, was humilitating enough. But being caught, in the act of adultery, even more. Imagine this woman’s circumstances. The punishment for this sin was, death by stoning.

But isn’t this what these men wanted to do to her? Flaunt their superiority and decimate her character. And in the end, have the grounds to end her life. But it begs the question, how did they actually catch her in the act? If, they had not been spying on her first?

Ah yes, the argument today would be for the sake of having the proof to accuse her. But now, look at what the Lord does with this information. H bends down and starts to write on the ground with his finger. How odd. Yes, most people would ask, “Why was He doing this?” But to some of us, we wondering, what was He writing?”

I think that He may have outed,  some of those people, without giving names. Perhaps He wrote their, secret sins, in the sand. But the most obvious, was His calm demeanor, during this whole situation. I am impressed with the time He took to respond. It seems, a great deal of time. And He took a break from His writing. He straightened up,  to utter the famous words; Let any one of you who is without sin, be the first to cast the stone.” This is when He stooped down again.

So, it seems He began His preliminary message, and He stood at eye level to the people He was addressing. And this also allowed the best vantage point, along with the group, read His writing. But then he gave them more time and it may be, to include more of the members. He stooped down to write again, which seemed to give the maximum amount of impact.

Now in verse 8;  At this those who heard, began to go away, one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.” This is when He asked her, “Has no one condemned you?” She answers, “No one sir.”  “Then neither do I condemn you.” But the last words to her were, “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

I think about the message of redemption in this story. Condemned to die, because of her sin. The enemy of our soul, is called, “The Accuser.” One of his many titles. And he works through humans to constantly remind us of where we screwed up. What we’ve done wrong. How far we’ve missed the mark.

But Christ came to shed His blood as an offering on our behalf. This sacrifice is the greatest gift of love. His blood has, “cleansed us from all sin.

Our sins are like those words, written in the sand. The Wind of Truth, had blown and the sand shifts. It fills in all those areas of darkness and words that condemn.

He cannot lie. He has already told us, “That as far as the east is from the west, I will remember your sins no more.” This always fascinates me. We are human, and although we try to forgive, we can’t really ever forget. It’s not possible. But for God, it is. So, as I’ve heard it said, “if He’s forgotten, why do we keep reminding Him?”

This is the time of the year to reflect on the awesomeness of His sacrifice and what it really means. Passover, Resurrection Day. It is all about Redemption.

Thank you Lord for your great mercy!

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You Have Disappointed Me


The Lord longs to show you compassion

This is His word to us

“The Lord is full of grace and mercy and He longs to forgive.”

It’s amazing, what a simple message this is, yet so powerful. We are not like Him. He tells us this. And yet I read and hear stories about someone falling from grace, every day.

Yet, this is not true grace. It’s only our human standards, subject to change with each person’s rules. It is not an absolute standard of righteousness. Where does this absolute standard originate, if we are so subjective in our judgments? Yes, this is the question that comes to each of us at some time or another. Moral codes. And why don’t the animals have them as well? Is there a such thing as murder, incest, rape, in the animal world? So, we can already acknowledge that humans have a moral code and it has been placed within us. “For since the creation of the world, His invisible qualities, have been clearly seen, His eternal power, His divine nature-have been clearly seen, being misunderstood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

Today the sex scandal and tomorrow, something else. What do we expect? We are fallen beings, living in a corrupt world. We are subject to temptations every day, and what is the source of power to overcome?Or shall I say, Whom? It is not going come from a man-made system of religion. This story shows yet another person, trying to become sanctified by a form of religion and sinning at the same time, while pointing the finger at others. A perfect example of the Lords word to us, “Be careful how you judge, lest you be judged by the same measure, you use.”

Oh, I know, we all have done it. There is always someone, worse than myself. However, God does not look at things the same way, as we do. The sacrifice of our Lord, meant and open curtain between us and the Father, for us all. But in so doing, and this is the rub, we first must acknowledge that we just aren’t as good as we think we are. Yep, that’s the difficult part. How can we acknowledge this, if we are yet looking at someone else and saying, “I’m not as bad as that guy!”

This story in the news, is the same as all I have heard this past year. Sex scandals, drugs, greed. I watched the evening news the other night and the title was, “Who has disappointed us the most in 2009?” The mere title, gives the impression that we, have some courtroom and sit as the judges of all mankind. We know that judges in the courts, are also sinful men, as we have seen in our own government. No one is immune to this ‘sin disease.’

So, who are we to say that “We are disappointed?” I had a pastor state, that if God told us, “Listen, I’m going to pick 20 minutes of your life and show it to the world.” We would be hysterical about this. Wouldn’t we want to choose the portion that denotes all of our ‘good behavior? But if God told us, I will be the one to decide. I’m betting we would have the ACLU standing at the door!

I mean who does this ‘God” think He is? Violating my rights, like this! If He does this, it will show the world that I am just like them and then I will lose my self-appointed right to judge others by my standards!

Yes, this is it, isn’t it? It’s all about rights. I had someone speak to me recently about the rights of a person, and the person, she was speaking of, is in prison.  At some point, even in this world system of laws, we can lose our rights. Or a better explanation is that we choose, to give them up.

But while we decide, who’s rights have been trampled, we need to stop, and look at the cross. A man, who had done no wrong, died because He gave up His rights for us,. And He willingly did this, for the ones who could not be right in any way, shape or form, no matter how hard we tried.

As I read this story in the news bout this “scandalous woman,” I noticed that she  gave money to her church, which her sister pastored. I’m betting, she thought she was ‘buying some grace,’ to elevate herself. For some reason, we still try to assume God is like man. He can be bribed, to turning a blind eye to our deeds. This is mans way of doing things. Empty religion.

The Lord tells us, “They worship me with their lips, but their hearts, are far from me. The hold to a form of religion, but deny my power.”

Of course, this is a picture of everyone, before we reach the true understanding, of how sick all of us really are. This is why Jesus Christ, the great physician, has come. He came for the sick, not the healthy. And my joke has always been, “that if a man thinks he’s healthy…he the sickest of all!”

Every day, I must remind myself, I am sick, in need of the physician. When we lean on Him, and not our own strength, we allow the Lord to take these burdens. He will give us the strength to overcome. The law of sin and death is inherent, in every human being, and therefore, our choice will always be to follow our flesh…that is until we turn to the Lord. We just cannot turn from sin, before we accept Him, to be our master and savior.

When a person falls, and they are ‘shamed,’ I believe that they are closer to the truth, than most. It is this discipline that the Lord speaks about. “He disciplines those that He loves.” He also tells us, “be sure to know that your sin will find you out.” Oh haven’t I experienced that thousands of times in my life?

It isn’t pleasant, and it has caused some, to even jump from the tallest buildings, however, if you listen carefully, this is probably the Lord bringing you to a place of submitting. It is His love allowing this uncovering. What feels like punishment is His perfect love. “Fear has to do with punishment, but perfect love, casts out all fear.” He wants you to know this perfect love.

If you are reading this, yes, He’s speaking to you. You are not so great as you think you are. You think that you are better? Yes, so did I. You think perhaps, because you haven’t ‘killed anyone,’ or ‘raped anyone,’ that you have a loophole? Or perhaps you have raped or killed. Well, God wants all of us. He loves us and He knows that the reason we do terrible things is because we are trying to live without him. He wants all of His children to know Him and once we realize it is His blood that He shed, to allow us in we are forgiven. He tells us that “as far as the east is from the west, I will remember you sin no more.” (Psalm 103:13)

I had an interesting discussion the other day about those words. The Lord did not say, “the North from the South, because one we reach the North Pole we start to go south again, but East is always East and West is always West. It is infinity…and where our sins are cast when repentance comes to us.

But what about you? What is the Lord speaking to you this day? Are you finding yourself, disappointed in world leaders, or the idols of the world? Have they “let you down,” because you had the false hopes that someone achieved a ‘god status?’ Well, stop being disappointed. Only God can be this for you. And He is reaching out to grab you in you quietest moments. When you are alone with no one else, He is speaking to you. The Lord tells us that “No one, can come to me, unless the Father who sent me, draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:44) “So as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden you hearts.” (Hebrews 3:7,8)

This is your day, the first day, whether great or small, it makes no difference to the Lord, for He is no respecter of men. Turn to Him, and let Him be your rock and your shelter. He will never disappoint you!

Jesus Loves You….And So Do I!