Welcome again to this week's word for the week. There is a story in the bible about a man and a woman being caught in an adulterous act. According to the law, both of them should have been stoned to death. While both of them were caught in the act for some reason they only brought the woman before Jesus. The Pharisees intended to use this moment as a trap for Jesus. They knew the letter of the law and apparently thought that they could use the compassion of Jesus against Himself. Well, it didn't quite work out as they planned and things took a different turn.
What was different is the question? Did Jesus change the law at that very moment? The answer is no. He did not change the law nor did He ignore that the law existed. He also did not try to deny the acts of the woman who was caught. Instead, Jesus simply said whoever was there and had no sin could be the first one to cast a stone. Ironically, the same crowd of people began to disappear one by one. When none of the woman's accusers remained Jesus told her to go and sin no more. Let's go further for the real point that applies to all of us.
Jesus did not condone the acts of the woman and He also did not condemn her. The reality is that the same group of people who said to stone her had issues themselves. That's our real point this week. We are not saved because of how good or perfect we were. We are saved by grace. Grace simply means unmerited favor. There's nothing about us that deserves it and yet God has given it to us anyhow. Have you ever asked how did God even allow you to be saved in the first place?
That by itself is one of the greatest challenges many sincere people face. The question is always in the back of minds of why did God save us? What did He see in us? How could He simply forgive us after all we've done? If any of us were standing there that day with Jesus and the woman we too would have been forced to leave. No matter how much we try we will fall short of the glory of God. Should we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid is how the bible answer that question. We should always be striving and that leads to our real point this week.
Regardless to what people know about your past never forget that God knew too but He also knows your future! None of us are defined by the mistakes we've made unless we allow them to do so. You have to find a way to pick yourself back up and that way is in Christ. You have to know for yourself that God didn't bring you this far just to leave you. Yes, you face trials and tribulations but the Lord will deliver you from out of them ALL. There is nothing too great for God to handle in your life. All you need to do is surrender.
This is the season where great things are suddenly happening for those in the body of Christ. Many find themselves being pulled out of what may have been a trap for years. While it may seem sudden to you make sure you know that the timing of everything is according to the plan of God. Everyone has a past that has some shameful moments. The question is what are you doing now? Are you known today by what you've done yesterday? Make sure you understand the difference between being known and remembered. Remembered means they won't forget. Known means you're still doing the same thing.
Be encouraged in the power, strength, and might of the Lord. Spend less time trying to prove who are to others and spend more time trying to get closer to God. There was a time you didn't pray, study, and read rather it was the bible or something like this word of the week. There was a time when you were not in church at all and if you were you were so far away from God until it was like you weren't there. See yourself getting up. See yourself arising from what held you down. See yourself free. See yourself delivered and healed. Why do I say that? Because that's the way God sees you! Shake the dust off of your feet and move forward. The only person who gets the blame for you quitting is you so don't quit!
May the Lord continue to bless and keep you in His grace,
Bishop Carlos J. Lennon