Every Day With Jesus

Daily Devotionals from Pastor Quintin Stieff

No Condemnation

Today's Scripture

Read John 8 (NIV)

 

1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.
3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group
4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”
6 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.
7 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.”
8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 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.
10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Today's Message


NO CONDEMNATION

 

The Pharisees were delighted with condemning people.  They saw that as their job and calling in life.  Find sinners.  Confront them.  Condemn them.

 

 

Jesus took a different course:  Find sinners.  Love them.  Transform them.

 

 

Jesus did not condone the woman’s adultery.  Far from it.  But he wanted her to see that she was not alone in her sin.  The truth was that everyone there that fateful day was guilty of sin.  Everyone admitted as much by walking away.

 

 

Jesus did not condemn her. But he did call her to a holy life.  He called her to trust in him and walk in the light.

 

 

Inside every one of us is a sinner and a Pharisee.  Since we are sinners, we are encouraged by the words of Jesus.  He does not condemn us, but by grace he calls us to a godly life.

 

 

Since we are also Pharisees, prone to judge others, we are challenged by the words of Jesus.  We are cautioned about being too hasty or happy with judging and condemning others.  We are asked to examine our own lives first.

 

 

So, today, take both words to heart:

 

- He who is without sin, cast the first stone.

 

 

- Neither do I condemn you.  Go and leave your life of sin.

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Monday, February 19, 2018 | 0 comments

The First Stone

Today's Scripture

Read John 8 (NIV)

 

1But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.
3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group
4and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
5In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?"
6They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
7But 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, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
8Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9At 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.
10Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
11"No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

Today's Message


THE FIRST STONE

 

This is a significant statement about judging others. Because Jesus upheld the legal penalty for adultery, stoning, he could not be accused of being against the law. But by saying that only a sinless person could throw the first stone, he highlighted the importance of compassion and forgiveness.

 

 

When others are caught in sin, are you quick to pass judgment? To do so is to act as though you have never sinned. It is God’s role to judge, not ours. Our role is to show forgiveness and compassion. Jesus didn’t condemn the woman accused of adultery, but neither did he ignore or condone her sin. He told the woman to leave her life of sin. Jesus stands ready to forgive any sin in your life, but confession and repentance mean a change of heart. With God’s help, we can accept Christ’s forgiveness and stop our wrongdoing.

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Sunday, February 18, 2018 | 0 comments

Mercy!

Today's Scripture

Read John 8 (NIV)

 

1But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.
3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group
4 and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?"
6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
7 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, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 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.
10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
11"No one, sir," she said."Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

Today's Message

 

MERCY!

 

When we read this passage, we can shake our heads and say, “Can you believe those Pharisees?  What a bunch of hypocritical, fault-finding judges!  Where’s the mercy?”

 


Of course, when we do so, we conveniently forget the many times when we have done the very same things.  Of course, we’ve never dragged out an adulterer to be stoned to death.  But we’ve thrown our stones nevertheless.  We’ve judged.  We’ve gossiped.  We’ve felt morally superior.  We’ve been quick to jump to conclusions.  We can be awfully hard on people.

 

 

So where’s the mercy?

 

 

Jesus says, in essence, “Try this on for size.  If you feel that you are morally qualified to judge, go right ahead.  If you can honestly say that you’ve never been guilty of sin, then throw out the first pitch.”

 

 

The truth is that all of us have been guilty… countless times.


Our response to the failings of others should be to extend mercy.  This does not mean condoning sin.  (Note that Jesus told the women to leave her life of sin.)  But we all should be quick to remember our many faults, failings and sins.  And when we do so, we suddenly find our hearts tenderized.  Compassion begins to stir.  And rather than throwing stones, arms of mercy are extended to the one who has failed.

 

 

That’s what Jesus wants us to do.  Mercy!

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Saturday, February 17, 2018 | 0 comments

Keepers of the Truth

Today's Scripture

Read John 7 (NIV)

 

45 Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, "Why didn't you bring him in?"
46"No one ever spoke the way this man does," the guards declared.
47"You mean he has deceived you also?" the Pharisees retorted.
48"Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him?
49No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law--there is a curse on them."
50Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked,
51"Does our law condemn anyone without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?"
52They replied, "Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee."

Today's Message


KEEPERS OF THE TRUTH

 

Nicodemus confronted the Pharisees with their failure to keep their own laws. The Pharisees were losing ground—the Temple guards came back impressed by Jesus (7:46), and one of the Pharisees’ own, Nicodemus, was defending him.

 

 

With their hypocritical motives being exposed and their prestige slowly eroding, they began to move to protect themselves. Pride would interfere with their ability to reason, and soon they would become obsessed with getting rid of Jesus just to save face. What was good and right no longer mattered. It is easy to think that we have the truth and that those who disagree with us do not have any truth at all. But God’s truth is available to everyone. Don’t copy the Pharisees’ self-centered and narrow attitude.

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Friday, February 16, 2018 | 0 comments

We Already have All the Answers

Today's Scripture

Read John 7 (NIV)

 

 

45 Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, "Why didn't you bring him in?"
46 "No one ever spoke the way this man does," the guards declared.
47 "You mean he has deceived you also?" the Pharisees retorted.
48 "Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him?
49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law--there is a curse on them."
50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked,
51 "Does our law condemn anyone without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?"
52 They replied, "Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee."

Today's Message


WE ALREADY HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS

 

There’s a dangerous trait in some religious folk.  It’s a tendency toward thinking that we already have all the answers.  The Pharisees were smug in their self-righteousness.  They were arrogant about their biblical knowledge.  They were overly-confident in their spirituality.  They viewed themselves as infinitely superior to the uneducated and unrefined crowds.  They even cursed the “mob” who they felt “know nothing.”

 

 

But their self-righteousness caused them to be blind to the True Messiah when he finally arrived.  They actually rejected the One they had been awaiting all their lives.

 

 

Beware of a prideful spirit like the Pharisees.  It’s easy to look down on others who you feel know less than you do about spiritual matters.

 

The truth is that God often chooses to reveal himself to the simple and to the poor.

 

Somebody who already has all the answers can never learn anything from God.

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Thursday, February 15, 2018 | 0 comments