Devotional 1: The Woman Caught In Adultery

Then the scribes and pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do you say?” “This they said, testing Him, that they might having something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them. “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first”. And again, he stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
            She said, “no one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” Then Jesus  spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

John 8:3-12

I read this account so many times in the wake of my adultery. What grace, mercy, kindness, gentleness, masculinity,  protection, power, control, patience, trust, wisdom, truth, what justice Jesus Christ extends in this passage! There is so much to pull from this scripture, but in my recovery process, I would often rehearse Jesus speaking this directly to me. It wasn’t hard for me to relate to“being the midst,” because there were times that I was completely exposed and vulnerable, standing in front of pointing fingers, expecting the worst reprimanding and highest law. But just as in this biblical situation, Jesus never responded to me that way. He held my face in His hands and spoke words of truth, protection, and healing. He used others to do it, and He also spoke it audibly to me. He is the great shepherd; when He finds one of his sheep that has been lost, what does he do? Luke 15:15 says, “And when he finds [the lost sheep], he joyfully puts it on his shoulders.”

What? He doesn’t beat it all the way home and say, “Bad sheep! How dare you get lost, you knew better than to wander away!” No, with joy, love and trust, comforting the sheep safely on His shoulders, He says,  “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.”

That is powerfully healing! Read this again and again. Let this sink deep into your bones and let its truth reverberate in your being. This is how The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit see you. This is what they have revealed about themselves to you. They have no greater joy than to see you walking in the truth (3 John 1:4). The truth is that you are forgiven, loved, accepted and pleasing to God.

Did you notice that He did not require an account or repentance from the woman thrown in the midst? He did not address her as or see her as, the woman caught in adultery. He saw the act as sin, something that every other person standing there was guilty of in their own way.  Jesus simply comforted her by saying; I do not accuse you. He called her sin, sin, and told her to keep moving forward and not to do that anymore.  It is my heart’s cry to send that same message to you as you read this book.  This thing, this adultery, is what you did; it is not who you are. Jesus sees you as who you really are. Righteous, pure, and spotless in Him. It goes against all of our feelings and it goes against the judgements of others. It takes faith to believe it is true and to line yourself up to it, but cling to its truth as much as you are able and ask God to help you with your unbelief regarding it.

He simply says; go and sin no more. He still calls it what it is: sin. David said in Psalm 51, “Against you [God], you only, have I sinned.” This was after David committed adultery and had the woman’s husband sent into battle, knowing that he would be killed. But God forgives us when we ask, when we turn away from walking in the direction of sin, and turn to Him again. His Holy Spirit was left here for us as a counselor, comforter and a keeper of what God has entrusted to us until the day of redemption.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). I choose every day to believe this is true, to cling to Jesus, and to walk in truth. As I have done that, He pulls off the grave clothes of my sin and lets me dance in freedom. God does a thorough job of cleansing and healing our wounds. He always wants us to heal and is always ready to reveal deeper things about Himself through our situations. He is the great physician and the lover of our souls, and He knows every hair on your head. Put your head in His kind hands, and lay in the lap of His love and freedom.

Let’s Pray!

 Father God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, thank you for your unfailing love to me. Thank you that it is your kindness that leads to repentance, and that your mercy is new every morning. Thank you that you are so slow to anger, but so rich in mercy. Thank you that you trust me to make the right decisions and the right choices. Thank you that you have plans to prosper me and not harm me. Thank you that you have a future and a hope for me. Thank you that you want to use me in the lives of others to lead them into truth by your Holy Spirit. Thank you that you love me with an everlasting love, that you will build and rebuild me. Thank you that you never tire of or give up on me; you are always waiting with your arms open and expectant. Thank you that there is rejoicing in heaven when one of your children repents. Thank you that what the enemy intended for evil can be turned for good by your supernatural power and that you cause all things to work for good for those who love you and who are called according to your purpose. Thank you that if I suffer while I do good, it is used for your purposes. Thank you that there is now therefore no condemnation in Christ Jesus! Thank you that I can walk in right standing with you, by what Jesus has accomplished on the Cross. Be glorified and magnified through my life, Amen.

Thank you for reading<3 You can read more in my new book: That’s Not Who You Are, available on Amazon

Meet Me In A Forgotten Corner Of My Heart

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Be Still and know that I am God

Be still and know that I love you…that I hold you in the palm of my hand…that I have counted the hairs on your head…that you are the apple of my eye…that your name is written in my heart…”Do not be afraid it is I.”

There is nothing in us that needs to be hidden from God’s love. Our guilt …our shame…our fear…our sins…He wants to see it, touch it, hear it…and make Himself known. There is no other God than the Lord of Love.

Be still and know that I am God. God is not in the storm, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but in the still, small voice , the gentle breeze, and the sheer silence…

Be still and know that I am God. Take these words with you in the week to come…let them be like a little seed planted in the good soil of your heart and let it grow…

Be still and know that I am God.                                                                  – Henri Nouwen

There Was A Traveler

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There was a traveler who at first saw nothing of the light that was shining in the wood

After a while the thought moved softly-“I am with you all the days and all the day long”.

But just as a flower never presses it’s sweetness upon anyone but freely gives to him who desires it, and to him as often as he will,

So that thought of peace did not force itself upon the traveler,

and yet it did offer to his lips a cup of healing.

And then, but how it came to be so has never yet been told,

the gloom of the darkness was gone,

the light in the wood shone forth,

and the glory thereof.                                                                                       – Amy Carmichael

 

The Pearl of Great Price; Being Fully Loved.

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The following is an excerpt from Henri Nouwen’s, The Inner Voice of Love, titled, Stay With Your Pain.

 

When you experience the deep pain of loneliness, it is understandable that your thoughts go out to the person who was able to take that loneliness away, even if only for a moment. When, underneath all the praise and acclaim, you feel a huge absence that makes everything look useless, your heart wants only one thing- to be with the person who once was able to dispel these frightful emotions. But it is the absence itself, the emptiness within you, that you have to be willing to experience, not the one who could temporarily take it away.

It is not easy to stay with your loneliness. The temptation is to nurse your pain or to escape into fantasies about people who will take it away. But when you can acknowledge your loneliness in a safe, contained place, you make your pain available for God’s healing.

God does not want your loneliness; God wants to touch you in a way that permanently fulfills your deepest need. It is important that you dare to stay with your pain and allow it to be there. You have to own your loneliness and trust that it will not always be there. The pain you suffer now is meant to put you in touch with the place where you most need healing, your very heart. The person who was able to touch that place has revealed to you your pearl of great price.

It is understandable that everything you did, are doing, or plan to do seems completely meaningless compared with that pearl.  That pearl is the experience of being fully loved. When you experience deep loneliness, you are willing to give up everything in exchange for healing. But no human being can heal that pain. Still, people will be sent to you to mediate God’s healing and they will be able to offer you the deep sense of belonging that you desire and that gives meaning to all you do.

Dare to stay with your pain, and trust in God’s promise to you.