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July 23, 2014 To understand is to love!

23 Jul

Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 33-34, Acts 24

To be understood is a universal desire, which SHOULD be obvious to everyone, but often isn’t obvious to any.  As you read through the narrative below in John 8, think about the fact that you are not perfect.  (Can we agree that no human being is perfect, except for Jesus? Therefore, no one in this crowd is “sinless” except for Jesus.)

woman2At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11“No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:2-11 (NIV) 

The only one in the crowd who was sinless was Jesus.  The only one in crowd who had the right to condemn the woman chose not to.  He chose to forgive.  Why?  Did Jesus want to “go easy” on her sin?  Was Jesus prepared to overlook her sin, “Don’t worry about it woman, it doesn’t matter!”  If that is the case would Jesus have said this?

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:17 (NIV) 

If sin doesn’t matter before God, then why would Jesus end up on a cross?

What if, when it comes to sin, God has something else in mind?  Instead of God looking away from our sins and pretending they didn’t happen, what if, for the sake of Christ, God now sees you who believe as innocent, blameless, and sinless? Is that possible?  You decide…

no condemnationTherefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Romans 8:1 (NIV) 

It is possible if you are “in Christ”.  It is possible if…

“…by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8 (NIV)

Could you receive a gift?  Of course you can.  Gifts come unearned and undeserved.  Gifts come because the giver wants to give them, not because the receiver deserves them.  Then, you could receive the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ!  And now, because of Christ, it is possible that God fully understands you and sees all of your life through the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.

The truth is:  NO one sought to understand as Jesus did.  In fact, the very reason He came into our world was that He may understand us completely. AND He came into our world so that we would know He truly understands us.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. [16] Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.4:15-16

Unlike every other human being in this world, only Jesus will ever be able to fully understand you and more … He cares.  Christ came into the world to understand us, and to understand is to love. And…Jesus is love.

Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind. Jesus does not envy, Jesus does not boast, Jesus is not proud. 5Jesus is not rude, Jesus is not self-seeking, Jesus is not easily angered, Jesus keeps no record of wrongs. 6Jesus does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7Jesus always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Jesus never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV) 

Do you understand?  Love is Christ.  And Christ is love.  To believe is to be loved. For you who believe in Christ are loved.

Father, we praise You for the gift of Your Son, our Lord Jesus, whose understanding life and death has made our salvation a reality.  We thank You, Lord Jesus, for coming into our world, becoming flesh and blood, that You might understand us, and You understood our greatest need for forgiveness, life and salvation.  While Your life and death passes all understanding, we can understand Your love for us in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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