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no one…

170314Then each of them went home, while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.” (John 7:53-8:11, NRSV)

Jesus was in the temple and the leaders brought a woman caught in the act of adultery. Now, why only the woman, because that was the mind frame of the time, and the woman was guilty, but the man, well. But they bring this woman who should be stoned to Jesus and ask Him what should they do.

Jesus looks at the leaders and says, “Let the one among you, who is without sin, cast the first stone.”

And one by one I imagine they drop their rocks and walk away with their heads down.

And then Jesus asks the woman where are those who were condemning you? And they were gone, no one was found to condemn her. And the one who could have cast the first stone says, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.”

Jesus came to save us, not condemn us. The law is about love, to fulfill the law, we love others.

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condemn or save

170312Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:1-17, NRSV)

This is a great passage of scripture that raises many questions. It also has one of the most quoted Bible verses John 3:16. I don’t think that John 3:16 is complete without 3:17 though.

You see Nicodemus knows that Jesus is a great teacher and so he goes to Jesus at night to hide his seeking. Their discussion goes deep and Nicodemus wonders about birth of water and Spirit and how all fo this happens. But you see Jesus did not condemn Nicodemus for not getting it. He kept telling him things to try and help him. And if we follow Nicodemus through the gospel of John we see him growing as a disciple. He comes first under darkness here in chapter 3, then in chapter 7 Nicodemus speaks in Jesus’ defense at the high council meeting, and then we see him in public removing Jesus’ body from the cross and helping to put Him in the tomb. Slow steady growth.

For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son, that who so ever should believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. This is true, God loved us so much that He sent His son to die so that we can have life in Him. But God did not send His son to condemn us, God sent His Son so that the world might be saved through Him. Jesus came to show us how to live as God’s children and to help us embrace our lives as God children, not to tell us once and when we don’t get it to condemn us. No Jesus came to save us all.

 
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Posted by on 2017/03/12 in Biblical, Devotional, Discipleship, Lent

 

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condemned

Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God. If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”? All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings. These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence. (Colossians 2:16-23, NRSV)

Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but He did not come to make us follow the rules made by man either.

Jesus came to show us how to live into the law and into the lives that God wants us to.

If you eat food used in idol worship, then that is not someone elses concern. Although I would like to know where you are getting food used in idol worship…

The Body is held together by Christ, and we are all apart of one another because of Him.

And we are all there because of Him, not because of the rules we keep, or the things we do.

Jesus is the reason we are not condemned. There for let Him judge others. Love them, as He loved you!

 

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Condemn ~ Day 14 ~ Photo a Day Challenge Lent 2014

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Who do you serve?

“As for you, O house of Israel, thus says the Lord God : Go serve every one of you his idols, now and hereafter, if you will not listen to me; but my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts and your idols. “For on my holy mountain, the mountain height of Israel, declares the Lord God, there all the house of Israel, all of them, shall serve me in the land. There I will accept them, and there I will require your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your sacred offerings. As a pleasing aroma I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered. And I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your fathers. And there you shall remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves, and you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord God.” (Ezekiel 20:39-44 ESV)

Serve me or serve your idols…

We all know that you can not serve 2 masters. Even if someone is a double agent, they take orders from one agency, but only so they other agency can get insider information. They only serve the one agency.

So who do you serve?

Here God says that if you are not going to serve Him then you can just go serve your idols. And in the end you will not be judges by your sinful and evil ways, but you will be judged by the sake of His name.

Our deeds will not save us or condemn us, our only hope is in Jesus and following after Him and doing what He is calling us to do. So lay your idols down and follow the one whose name can save you.

 

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Worry about

20121227-093058.jpgAnd after saying this he said to him, Follow me. Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, Lord, who is it that is going to betray you? When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, Lord, what about this man? Jesus said to him, If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me! So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true. (John 21:19b-24 ESV)

Follow me! Jesus tells Peter to follow Him and then…

Peter questions “what about this guy?” Jesus answers and tells him to follow Him. Jesus says that if He decides that another disciple should have a different future than you why does that matter to you? The important thing for you is to follow, not worry about someone else, but get your own life into a place where you are following Jesus and getting closer to Him everyday.

You see the biggest thing we can do in the here and now is not to tell someone how bad they are but it is to live our life so that Jesus is reflected in everything we do. We can help more people learn who God is by showing them then trying to convince them that their life is sinful. Plus God took you in as a sinner and changed you. God does the changing not any of us. You were changed by God, and that’s what happens to everyone. We live a life that shows them God and God does the rest.

We need to worry about our own lives and how we are following God and love our neighbor as He loves us… Not judging others and condemning them when that is to our job or place…

 

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