Tuesday – February 23, 2016
Day 14 – John 7:53-8:11
Focus: vs. 8:7
8:7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Have you ever felt the touch of condemnation on you? Has there ever been a time when something you did caused others to stand against you? If we were honest, the most likely answer would be a yes. Have you ever thought you were doing what was right only to discover that you never really understood what it was you were trying to get across with your actions? I have been there and have felt the conviction that comes by the Holy Spirit. Our devotional today has to do with something none of us likes – guilt.
The story we read about in these verses is a familiar one and is usually used to show that we all carry our share of sin around and so have no basis to judge someone else. Secondarily, it shows that Jesus has no desire to condemn us for our sin. The sin may be real but the point is, it can be forgiven and the condemnation removed. This is a classic case of the pot, or pots, calling the kettle black. The truth was, as Jesus effectively pointed out, all of them, and us, are black with sin. Because of this we have no right to point the finger at someone else. Besides, judgement is reserved for the Judge, not us. We, however, are far too quick to jump in and condemn.
Where are you today in your spiritual walk? Sometimes we can become so self-righteous about how we are living our lives that we get the tables turned on us as we step outside the role we are supposed to play. Our role as a believer is to be an encourager, not a finger-pointer. Barnabas should be our example, not the Pharisees. The sinner is usually quite aware that they are a sinner and do not need you to point that out to them. It is the Holy Spirit’s task to do that and unless He unmistakably tells you to do so it is not your task. Think for a bit about how you think of your neighbors and friends and their spiritual life. Are you condemnatory or an encourager? Do you point out their faults, their sins, or do you encourage them to become acquainted with the Great Encourager who is Jesus? Remember that Jesus was pointing out in this passage the simple fact that we are all guilty. There is some area in our life that does not match up to the righteousness of God. That being the case we cannot condemn.
Prayer Focus: Lord Jesus, please show me if I have been condemnatory toward others. I ask for Your forgiveness and for Your help to move in a more positive direction with regard to how I see and treat those around me. Help me to walk more in tune with Your Holy Spirit. Thank you for loving me, no matter what. AMEN.