Sometimes we accept the forgiveness of Jesus and assume it’s simply a one-sided act. He does all the work and we reap all the benefits.
It’s like changing the lyrics to the old song that goes: “Jesus paid it all.” And with this we agree. “All to Him I owe.” Uh, not so fast. I’d rather just take the forgiveness and go home.
But that’s not how it works in the Kingdom of God. In John 8 we see a woman forgiven by Jesus and left with the following command: “Go and sin no more.” Did you ever wonder why He said that to her?
To find out more, keep listening.
The following is a study on John 7:53-8:12.
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Guilty as charged.
No minister is worthy of his calling. Every preacher is vulnerable to the charge of hypocrisy. In fact, the more faithful a preacher is to the Word of God in his preaching, the more liable he is to the charge of hypocrisy. Why? Because the more faithful a man is to the Word of God, the higher the message is that he will preach. The higher the message, the further he will be from obeying it himself.
From The Holiness of God by RC Sproul.
You know, discouragement comes to all of us at one time or another. And when it does, the following words from Gary Wilkerson can serve as a reminder about what is truly important and what we think is important.
Be encouraged, as I was, when you read the following.
Discouragement can hinder but it can never halt God’s plan for victory. Gideon fought against 100,000 enemy soldiers with his band of 300 and won such a massive victory that only 15,000 of the enemy were left. After the victory some of his brethren asked him, “‘What is this that you have done to us, not to call us when you went to fight against Midian?’ And they accused him fiercely” (Judges 8:1).
The people of Gideon’s own nation questioned his leadership, his decisions, his motives and his actions. Some of our most disheartening, soul-wrenching struggles often are not out in the battlefield of life but are in the fellowship of believers. Sometimes our own brothers and sisters hurl accusations at us and seem to find much to complain about. We expect such things from our enemies but we can be caught off guard and surprised when one of our own brethren fiercely accuses us.
Gideon was not discouraged, distracted or diminished in his faith, however, when he was questioned— He stayed in the battle! I love what he did: “And he said to them, ‘What have I done in comparison with you?’” (8:2). Gideon was saying to his accusers, “What are my victories compared to yours?” Instead of getting upset and into a fight with them, Gideon did what Nehemiah had done when he was building the wall and his enemies said to him, “Come down here. We need to discuss what you are doing.” Nehemiah responded to his enemies, “I don’t have time to discuss what I’m doing; I’m too busy doing it” (see Nehemiah 6:1-9).
The Bible says that Gideon and his 300 men “. . . came to the Jordan and crossed over . . . exhausted yet pursuing” (Judges 8:4). Gideon chose to get back into warfare with the enemy. He crossed over to the other side of the river and got back into the battle God had called him to fight. When you live out the mission that God has called you to; when you are not discouraged and dissuaded by what others say about you; when it is your holy ambition to do what God has called you to do— that becomes your victory.
Stay focused on your battle, stay focused on your calling, and God will give you the victory!
One of the most chilling verses in the book of Matthew is this:
Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
In this verse, the He is Jesus and the there is Nazareth and the truth is that because of their unbelief Jesus was not able to do what He wanted to do among those He loved. He had to cut His revelation to them short because they would not receive what He was offering them. And the results of their unbelief were damning.
Do you think you have ever walked in their shoes? Probably so.
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Let me give it to you straight— no beating around the bush and no soft-pedaling. The sin that makes God cry is being committed daily, not by pagan workers of iniquity but by multitudes of Christians— the sin of doubting God’s love for His children.
Do you think it makes God sound too human and vulnerable to say that He cries? Then ask yourself how a God of love could not cry when His own people doubt His very nature. Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, and according to the book of John He wept when those closest to Him doubted His love and concern. That was God incarnate at the tomb of Lazarus, crying over friends who failed to recognize who He was.
Time and time again Christ’s dearest associates on this earth doubted His love for them. Think of the disciples in a storm-tossed boat that was taking on water. Jesus was in the stern of the boat, sound asleep. Fearing for their lives, His followers shook Him awake and then accused Him of outright unconcern. “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (Mark 4:38). How their accusation must have grieved the Lord! That was God Almighty in their boat! How could He not care? But whenever men take their eyes off the Lord and concentrate instead on their circumstances, doubt always takes over. Jesus was astounded! “How can you be afraid when I am with you? How can you question My love and care?”
Christians today grieve the Lord in this matter even more. Our unbelief is a greater affront to Him than the unbelief of Mary, Martha, and all the disciples, for our sin is committed against greater light. We stand on a higher mountain and see more than they could ever see. We have a completed Bible with a full and detailed record of God’s trustworthiness. We have the written testimonies of almost twenty centuries of Christians, generation after generation of godly fathers who have passed down to us unshakable proofs of God’s love. And we have countless personal experiences that testify to God’s tender love and affection for us.
Let us look for His exceeding mercy and love, admit the sinfulness of our unbelief, and recognize who He is!
By David Wilkerson
(May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011)