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July 22, 2017, 5:00 AM

What would it look like for you to “go and live”?

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They 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. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At 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. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:1-11


Scripture doesn’t tell us what happened to the woman caught in adultery. We don’t know if this encounter with Jesus changed her infidelity to devotion, her lust to true love and her sin to a sincere desire to know the one who said, “I do not judge you.” But, you have to believe this encounter shook her to her core. She had been caught in an act that was punishable by death. She had been drug across town into the temple courts and cast before a group of people to be judged. Punishment was inevitable. She knew it and the crowd knew it as well. But, then she encounters Jesus and she is now free.


Jesus enters in this situation and upsets the normal course of events by accepting the woman without approving of the sin. Jesus doesn’t bring up the act and start talking about adultery or the other sinful things she has done. His focus is on the future. It’s a picture of love and forgiveness where the charge is “I’ve forgiven you. Now go walk in it.”  This is a message we all need to hear. Many of us struggle to understand the concept of grace, especially when it comes to past shortcomings and failures in our relationships. Sometimes forgiveness seems almost unobtainable.


 There are those who operate every single day from a place of constant condemnation, whether it is from themselves or others. They carry the baggage of past relationships with them into the future. They also hold onto their guilt and shame while at the same time try to walk with God. The problem with this is that when one lives under this constant condemnation they cannot have life. They are incapable of living freely. Why? When the junk that we have created in the past frames our lives, we are imprisoned to live a life shaped by fear, guilt, and shame. What does this story mean for YOU? Where do you see yourself in her story? If you were to remove the particular circumstance of her position, and enter yours, aren’t you in the same position as she was? We are all in need of that same Savior. Jesus entered the picture so that we don’t have to live like this anymore.


When Jesus said, “Go now and leave your life of sin,” He wasn’t saying “Go and earn back your life,” He was saying you have been given life, now go and do something with it. Take what you have encountered through me, allow it to shape who you are, and live it out. Let it spill out into every area of your life. This doesn’t mean from this point forward that we aren’t going to face fear, or feel pain when we see those who have carried the stones in the past. What it does mean is that we are no longer defined by it. We are to live freely under the authority of God and His grace. The demands of the law are replaced by grace. This is what should now define us. God is saying to us all: now go and live. What would it look like for you to “go and live”?


This is my Prayer: Father God, help me to go and live. Lord allow me to walk and trust in Your freedom. Jesus teach me to view myself through my new identity in You. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.

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