Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Go. And Sin No More.

JOHN 8:11 - "go, and from now on sin no more."

Place yourself in the sandals of the woman caught in adultery. You have many excuses you could make.
  • The Pharisees are just using me to trap Jesus. I was set up.
  • Where is the guy who was sinning with me? Why isn't he in trouble?
  • I know most of these men who are accusing me. None of them are perfect either.
Jesus didn't give her any space to make excuses. He made it clear that what she had been doing was sin.

AND HE FORGAVE HER!

We cannot receive God's forgiveness until we are willing to acknowledge our sins. And once we do confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us!

Jesus is really giving two commands to the woman here. He first says, "Go", which is to say get on with your life; don't stay stuck here; keep moving. Secondly He says, "sin no more" which is to say something needs to be different; you can't be who you were; growth is the result of change.
This is one of those commands that is worth writing on an index card and taping on your bathroom mirror. Or you could scratch it out on a piece of masking tape and stick it to the steering wheel. Get it in front of you in a place where it reminds you every today.

"Go. And sin no more"

GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE. DON'T STAY STUCK.
KEEP GROWING. KEEP CHANGING.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The More Quickly You Judge, The More Likely You'll Be Wrong

JOHN 7:24 - "Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly."


As the two teams warmed up, I watched the different players, sizing them up, trying to decide who the better players were and which team was the better team. In a few minutes, I would be officiating the game and it is often helpful to have an understanding of the different players' skill levels.

What I saw was one team with several large players who appeared confident and coordinated. Their warm-ups were crisp, they were well-organized, their uniforms were sharp. By all appearances, they were the better team. Their opponents were much smaller. Although their jerseys were the same colors, they sported a variety of shorts and socks. They were disorganized and didn't even appear to know or like each other.

I don't remember the final score, but it wasn't close. The small and disorganized team ran circles around the favorites. They dominated from beginning to end. I was wrong because I was deceived. I was deceived because I judged merely on appearance rather than waiting to observe the teams' skill level.

In John 7, Jesus told the crowd to stop judging based on appearances. They misunderstood Jesus because He didn't fit with their previous experience. They were unable to comprehend who He was because they were unwilling to consider they might have been wrong about something in the past.

Today would be a great day to reconsider your assumptions about people around you. I bet you will come into contact today (or this week) with a few people you may have judged wrongly. Reconsider why you feel the way you do about them. Choose to give them room to change (or change your opinion about them). Stop judging them by what you think you have seen and start getting to know them a little more intimately. You might be surprised!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Why is everyone angry at everyone else?

JOHN 6:43 - "Do not grumble among yourselves."

Have you noticed how angry everyone is? It's not just politics. People are angry about religion, about education, about the weather and even about sports. Did you know that one city sued the NFL because their team didn't get into the Super Bowl?

How did we get to this place where everyone is angry all the time?

I think we got here ONE GRUMBLE AT A TIME.

The dictionary defines grumble as, "to complain or protest about something in a bad-tempered but typically muted way." Grumbling is when we hold on to our disagreement with someone or something and allow it to simmer inside us.

Many years ago, I was cleaning out a church's youth room and discovered, in a cabinet, a cup that had once been a quarter full of coffee. That appeared to have been years ago. When I found the mug, it was full of mold and other suspicious looking growth. I quickly threw it away and washed my hands for about 10 minutes.

This is what grumbling does to our soul. When we hold on to our disagreements and complaints, they sour us and infect us and ultimately take over our life. We become bitter and unapproachable people.

Jesus told the Jewish people to stop grumbling. They were upset that He was teaching with authority they didn't think belonged to Him. Jesus wanted them to stop focusing on their anger and start focusing on His truth.

We often need to hear Jesus' command. We are daily faced with the temptation to grumble about our circumstances or the way we've been treated or our government or someone who disagrees with us or whatever else might not be exactly what we want.

We need to hear Jesus' command when we are tempted to grumble to and with others. When we are tempted to grumble about others. When we are tempted to hold on to our grumble rather than forgive and let go.

This is such a powerful truth. Don't let your grumble infect your life. Let go of your negative perspective and seek the see the best in every person and situation.

Do not grumble among yourselves.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Embrace The Extra In Your Life

We collect change in our house. It all goes into one container and we save it for special occasions. I'm always surprised by how much "extra" we have when we finally count it up.


After Jesus fed the 5000, everyone was surprised by how much extra they had when they finally counted it all up.

This story reminds us that Jesus always provides us with everything we need AND He always provides us with MORE than we need. We are surrounded by an ABUNDANCE of blessings and if we will only take the time to "gather up the leftover fragments."

Take some time today, look around and notice the extra God has provided for you. You'll probably have more food than you will need. Most of us have not just one car, but multiple cars (one car is more than most of the world). Open your closet and be reminded of how God has provided far more clothing than you need (don't forget the shoes!). The fact that you are reading this email on a computer, phone or tablet means you have an ABUNDANCE of blessing.

It is easy to live with a scarcity mindset. We think we barely have enough and we need to cling tightly to what we have so that we don't lose any. God has blessed us abundantly so that we will allow those blessings to flow over into the lives of everyone around us. Don't lose sight of this truth.

Look around. Make note of all the leftovers Jesus has provided. Choose to focus today on GRATITUDE and GENEROSITY!