Condemned not ∙
From this day on, I will bless you. – Haggai 2:19
3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger.
7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”
8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.
10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
11 “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
Charles Dederich was a reformed alcoholic and a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. In his day, Alcoholics Anonymous did not accept people who were addicted to anything other than alcohol. Dederich wanted to help everyone with any drug addiction, so he started his own program named Synanon. During this time, he coined the phrase, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life” (https://theredheadriter.com/).
The story in John 8 relates to the woman caught in the act of adultery and presented to Jesus for judgment. Most readers of the New Testament are familiar with it. There was no question about the crime or the guilt. The issue was what to do next. The Lord Jesus Christ reset the clock and gave her the opportunity for a do-over. Essentially, he said, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”
John 8:11 Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on, sin no more.”
Consider for a moment, “As the judge in her case, He showed more interest in her prosecutors than in her guilt. Without prosecutors, Jesus dismissed the case. This was His prerogative as her judge. He only issued her a warning. She would have to stand before Him again in the future, but this was not the time that He wanted to pass judgment on her (cf. John 3:17). He gave her mercy and time to change her ways” (Constable).
Through redemption and forgiveness, each child of the King is given the same opportunity. What you make of that opportunity is yours to decide.
REFLECT & PRAY
Because of His great love, the Father often issues only warnings rather than tickets. What an example He sets for His children.
Father thank You for loving me, forgiving me, and allowing me to begin anew, change my ways and make better choices.
Having been given a second chance, what will we do with it? Modifying our lives and changing our patterns of thinking and behavior are uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Even though we are often chained to our old habit patterns, and they make us miserable, they still die hard. Starting over and creating new patterns of behavior are often more frightening and disconcerting than continuing in the misery that we have grown accustomed to and comfortable with. The degree of difficulty increases with age and the harder it is to make changes.
Several requirements must be met to overcome our old life patterns.
- You must recognize the need for change.
- You must be humble enough to admit the need to change.
- You must seek help to make the change and allow others to help you.
- You must stop doing whatever you are trying to abolish from your life.
- You must constantly think about the process of changing to ensure you don’t let your guard down to old habits.
- You have to forgive yourself for the past.
- You have to replace the old with the new (https://theredheadriter.com/).
Each of us is allowed to go and sin no more.
At the time of Haggai, the children of Israel found themselves in challenging circumstances. As a result of their disobedience, the Father cursed their land and their husbandry.
But in due time, they repented. They experienced a change of heart and direction. Because of their inner heart transformation and their new direction, their future is brighter than their past.
8 The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry, and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
13 The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.
The Father asks for our obedience today so that He may bless us tomorrow. The Father’s blessings for obedience usually do not appear as soon as we obey. But the Father works for those who wait for Him (Stanley).
© Dr. H 2022