Our Bible verse for today: “Then neither do I condemn you. Go and leave your life of sin.” John 8:11 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Forgive them”
In recent days we’ve been considering what a powerful thing the love of God is. As we intentionally serve as a conduit for it to flow through us, God impacts the lives of the people we encounter. We are the hands and feet of Jesus. Jesus loves the world through us. He shines His light, brings His healing, and administers mercy and kindness through the lives of His followers.
But a lack of forgiveness on our part can restrict the flow of God’s love through us, perhaps cutting off that flow altogether. Forgiveness is powerful. Forgiveness freely given opens the spigot wide for the love of God to flow. Forgiveness withheld can be like a closed spigot that limits or eliminates the flow of God through us to the person before us.
In John 8:1-11 we read that famous scene where the Pharisees brought to Jesus the woman caught in adultery. It reads as if there was a circle of men, and this woman was forcefully thrown to the ground in the middle of them. In righteous anger the Pharisees described her sexual sin and then call for Jesus to pronounce judgment on her. The woman fully expected to be stoned to death in accordance with the law of the Pharisees.
Instead, Jesus spoke words of mercy and forgiveness. He chastised and embarrassed the Pharisees, chasing them away, and then He offered grace and forgiveness to this frightened, cowering young woman. What a powerful scene! What a totally unexpected act of love and grace and forgiveness! Although the text doesn’t tell us what happened after that, the implication is that the woman’s life was changed forever.
As the followers of Christ, we have a power within us that changes lives. We have the love of God in us and flowing through us. When we choose to extend mercy and grace and forgiveness to others, they can then experience God’s love channeled through us.
Or not. We can withhold it as easily as we can give it. But why? Why would we withhold it – because they don’t deserve it? You don’t deserve love and mercy and forgiveness from God either but He doesn’t withhold it from you.
We are to forgive others as God has forgiven us. Jesus is our example. The woman in this scene is just one of countless examples of a life that was changed forever because of forgiveness, mercy, grace, and love.
I encourage you to be the person who forgives instead of condemns.