God makes promises to me. All his promises to me are about joining to me. It is about relationship but more. His promises are about love. Love for me specifically. When I accept those promises that is love fulfilled. What promises do I make to God. I think of the sacraments in some denominations. First communion, baptism, confirmation, weddings, these are all solemn promises to God, a joining of our love to his. So love is an action and a commitment. A ceremony that symbolizes a commitment. Some of us meant in our hearts those ceremonies, those commitments. My prayer is that we understand our agreement with God’s love for us, and our promise to love him and others. Their should be a ceremony when you come to understand your acceptance of God’s love, and make a commitment to put on that love and live it in this world. The vine promise, I could call it the vine promise.
John 8:11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”]
Looking in Leviticus 20 and the surrounding scriptures, I can see where the Pharisees were coming from. I mean it is in the law, in the letter of the law. Who is without sin, who has not violated the law in scripture. Jesus says if you think it, you have violated it. The weight of sin and guilt. But we are forgiven. What did Jesus write in the sand? Was it her protection? Was it ours? Why would he protect her? His heart of protection, of hope for her. I think of the woman at the well, the Samaritan woman, Jesus patiently, carefully explaining to her, offering to her. Did she get it? Did they get it? Can we know who will get it? Do we have the spirits/hearts to discern? I cannot cast the first stone, that is my truth. I see the law as protective, but I don’t see the letter. I much prefer Jesus and walking by the Spirit. Do not get me wrong, I have made hard choices along the way, hard choices because I had to choose against my own wants. The law of love was my guide. I would say I know the Law exists and I trust it, know it, it informs my actions, thinking, life. No not but, I was going to write but, but it is not a but. It is an is, I much prefer the Spirit of life, although I believe it is more exacting and larger. Now I am called to follow the heart of God, and who can know the heart of God. So I look at Jesus, wow, figure that out. I am that woman accused, I am that woman at the well, I am all the women and men he addressed in some profound ways, not exact ways. Not exact laws. When I confess now, it with a profoundly sorry heart that I cannot live up to the letter of love. I am really sorry, forgiveness is always ready and the hope of help. Help to come to that love, to understand and live it. I have hope of transformation and assurance of forgiveness.
1Jn 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 1Jn 1:7but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Joh 8:36 “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
Praying and seeking for understanding this morning. If we judge others we are condemned but ……so how are we to know who is good for us and who isn’t? This book of John opens with the statement; but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives, the others went home. I assume Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to pray and seek God.
Jesus is speaking to the Jews, the religious people in this section of John 8, these are the people he loves, the people who will eventually kill him. So I struggle with knowing, knowing how to judge and yet not judging. Jesus even says he does not judge. So they bring before him the adulterous woman. That is what they see. This is the fruit of their hearts. This judgment on this woman. They want to stone her, to death. It is horrific and murderous what they see, and sad what they don’t see. Jesus uses this scene as an object lesson, “He who is without sin may cast the first stone.” They, he and the woman find themselves alone.
OK so again he is with them, God’s chosen people, those who he loves. He tells them:
I am the light of the world, he who follows me will not walk in darkness.
He tells them I and the Father are one, he tells them. Jesus tells them. From the mouth of God standing before them. Oh heaven help me, I hope I would have seen.
They respond. Jesus does not mince words here in this exchange, he tells them they are from the world, then of the devil. When he says they are from the world, it is because they will not hear or see. Then they move into accusation, sin and finally their hearts are murderous. Jesus tells them they are slaves to sin, from their father the devil.
OK so the take away here is this. We must stay close to the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Our hearts need to be firmly there. Our minds and emotions there in that abiding place. Our spirits are there, the battle is in our hearts, minds and emotions. So first find that place of abiding, firmly rooted in Christ, established on the Rock. So that we are unable to be swayed and manipulated. Guard your hearts by being established in Christ. It is so easy to be manipulated by the world, by our emotions, by our pasts, by our desires, etc.
OK on the subject of judgment, don’t, only God is able to judge. By keeping your heart firmly rooted in God, you will be protected from judgment. Do not release your heart to this world, anything or anyone in it, guard and protect. Do not sin. Be set free instead.
Jesus was able to see their hearts, minds and motives. It is not as easy for us, because we are blinded by this world, our pasts, our motives and desires. Be in that abiding place with God. Go to your Mount of Olives, the place where you slay your earthly selfish self. Be set free and you are free indeed, free from your incessant self. Tricky business.
So I am praying this morning. I hear, “Tell them I see them, each one individually, they are precious and holy to me. My joy, my creation I yearn and desire fellowship with them.”
All good things come from God. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, compassion etc. come from God to us. Our eyes, your eyes are blinded. Matthew recorded that Jesus said,
Mat 13:13 because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
Mat 13:14 ‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND;YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;
Mat 13:15 FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL,WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR,AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES,OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES,HEAR WITH THEIR EARS,AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN,AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’
Mat 13:16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.
Open your eyes, the eyes of your heart and see, see that God is good. He likes you, loves you. Wants and desires a relationship with you.
Why can you not see, why would you not want to see goodness, beauty and truth? Your eyes are blinded. Blinded by the world, by evil at work in this world. I pray that
“Eph 1:18 the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,”
Forget all you know and read that with an open heart and mind. God loves you and wants to give you himself, wants to give you healing, refreshment, hope, a call and a purpose, rest and peace. So how practically do you do that; it comes from the inside out, the world works from the outside in. So ironically close your eyes and see. See with the eyes of your heart, what do your heart pictures look like? Ask to see a picture of God’s love for you. Try it.
Be joined to him and see Spring in your heart.
This is a blog about getting to know Jesus. He is not who I thought he was and not even who I think he is now. He is more. He is beauty, truth and that all illusive concept of love in a reality I am trying to learn about and make part of my consciousness. Over six years ago my pastor challenged me to spend an hour a day, every day with God. He declared it would change my life. I was attending Erie First in Erie, PA at the time. I tried it and still spend hours of time with God in the mornings when I can. About five years ago I came across the book; Dialogue with God by Mark and Patti Virkler. One of the books that changed my time with God in the morning. I can now discover God’s impressions to me, that I record in my journal. The most consistent message God has impressed upon me over the years is, to find myself in him. Lately he has been saying to see Him; see me. Also lately my current pastor has been talking about using our imagination to gain possession of our god given selves and be transformed from the inherited self we gained from just being alive in this world. Our pastor Greg Boyd, Woodland Hills Church, St. Paul, MN gave us homework to visualize daily or several times daily who I am in Christ, to bring Jesus into our most disliked characteristics and situations. By transforming the way I think I can see myself as I really am and let the world fall away. I challenge others to ask God this question and then without sensoring yourself or thinking too much record the impressions you receive. Do you love me, ask Him.