“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:11
As I looked at the number on my phone, I knew this was the call I had been anticipating. A few days earlier, I participated in the second interview for a full-time ministry position. As I picked up the phone, doubts formed in my mind. The enemy tried to discourage me by reminding me of things I had done in the past and at that moment I wondered if my past excluded me from this type of position. For those few seconds, I had forgotten what Jesus offers.
In John 8 we find the story about an adulteress woman.
“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 anyone of you who is without sin is the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 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.”
Let’s take a quick look at Jesus’s interaction with this woman. As Jesus was teaching at the synagogue, the woman was dragged through the streets on public display and thrown down at his feet. What did he do?
He allowed for the interruption in his teaching and then stooped to write in the sand.
Many individuals believe he was writing the sins of the religious leaders in the sand, and he may have been. However, I heard a pastor say that he felt it was so Jesus could be on the same level as the woman.
Although he could have pointed out her sin, shamed her by having her publicly admit it or even condemned her to death. Instead, He cared for her pain.
At that moment and on her level, he showed compassion, offered comfort, and connected to her wounded heart. Then what did he do, called her forth.
Like this woman, I can get caught up in sin. Jesus always meets me there and offers forgiveness, compassion, and comfort. And because of it, I”m able to let go of the shame, change my stinky attitudes, and once again accept the forgiveness that He freely gives. Then I can obediently step into what He is calling me to.
When I answered the phone that day, I was offered the position and called forth into His plans for this season in my life.
What is standing in the way of Jesus calling you forth? Take five minutes today and list those things which are holding you back. Then pray through your list and complete one action step that moves you forward.
Jesus, Help me today to acknowledge what is holding me back from being called forth. If it’s a sin, Lord, forgive me. If it’s a wounded heart, heal me. If it’s unforgiveness, help me forgive and let it go. Thank you, Jesus, for your comfort, compassion, and love. Amen.