Friday, June 18, 2010

Stop It!

I cannot count how many times that I’ve heard or read the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11.

1 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives,2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them.3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
  4 "Teacher," they said to Jesus, "this woman was caught in the act of adultery.5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?"
  6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger.7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, "All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!"8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
  9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, "Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?"
  11 "No, Lord," she said.
  And Jesus said, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more."

The story’s main focus is usually about all of us being sinners.  There’s not one of us that doesn’t have a blemish or fault.  There are so many different aspects of this story as well, such as the observation of Jesus.  He’s so calculated, patient, and loving.

Last night in my weekly men’s group, a different focus was given and kicked me in the stomach!  The last sentence: Go and sin no more.  Jesus recognizes our sins.  He forgives our sins.  Most importantly, he wants us to STOP!

Go and sin no more!  I think, actually, I’m pretty certain most of us receive forgiveness from Jesus and just GO!  However, we miss the last part of that commandment – and sin no more! 

Yes, it’s a challenge!  It’s going to be hard!  But so is everything else that’s worth it.  Getting a college degree is hard; but you study, take tests and do it.  Running a marathon is hard; but you train, eat right and do it.  The hard part is… stopping.  I know!  However, God always gives ways out of situations when we’re temped. (see below – 1 Corinthians 10:13)  Grab for His hand each and every time and He’ll help you stop.

13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

If you’re struggling with any type of repetitive sins, addictions, or anything that God would not be smiling about… STOP IT!  Go and sin no more!