the 8th chapter of John, a story is told that while Jesus was teaching a
crowd of people in the temple one day, the scribes and Pharisees
brought a woman to Him and said that they had caught her in the very act
of adultery. That must have been embarrassing enough, without being
brought before a crowd only to be embarrassed again. They then proceeded
to tell Jesus that according to the Law of Moses, she ought to be put
to death by stoning, and wondered what He had to say about that. They
asked Him this to trick Him, but instead, He turned the tables on them.
He bent down and using His finger wrote on the ground. He then stood up
and said, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.” You know the story, they all left one by one and with no one left to condemn her, Jesus said two things to her, “Neither do I condemn thee,” and then the words, “Go and sin no more,” or in other words, “don’t do it again.”
the old covenant, sins committed weren’t remitted. A sin under the old
covenant could only be pushed back till Calvary and the cross, because
the blood of an animal isn’t, wasn’t, and never will be capable of
remitting sin. We deserve death when we sin just as that woman caught in
adultery, but because Jesus died for our sins, there’s not a stone cast
in our direction. The only accusers we have are ourselves and the
Our covenant however is one of remittal. Jesus when he instituted communion and holding the cup said in Matthew26:28, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
At His table, we examine ourselves and if we do a through examination,
we then have to admit and we have to confess to sins that we have been
caught in the very act while doing. There’s not a sin we can commit that
can be done in secret. God sees all and knows all. According to 1Cor
11:31&32, as we examine our selves, we judge ourselves so we won’t be condemned with the world. And because of the blood of the New Covenant, Jesus says, “neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more,” or in other words, “don’t do it again.” It sounds impossible, “Go and sin no more.”
But Jesus wasn’t telling her she had to go and live a sinless life; he
was telling her not to commit adultery again, not to continue living in
the immoral situation she was in.
don’t know about you but to me, it’s an embarrassment to stand before
Jesus during the examination time of communion and confess to the same
sin week after week and promise week after week to repent of the same
sin. We sing a song with the words, “I stand amazed in the presence, of
Jesus the Nazarene.” Sometimes I feel as if I should sing, “I stand
embarrassed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene.” So, if you feel
anywhere close to where I’m coming from, after you’ve eaten and drank of
His precious body and blood, tell him “Jesus, thank you for not
condemning me and I will go and sin no more. I promise I won’t keep
committing this same sin. And this time Jesus, I’ll keep my promise.”
One day, a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming
that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley.
crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There
was not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed it truly was the
most beautiful heart they had ever seen.
The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart.
Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said, “Why your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine.”
crowd and the young man looked at the old man’s heart. It was beating
strongly ... but full of scars. It had places where pieces had been
removed and other pieces put in ... but they didn’t fit quite right and
there were several jagged edges.
In fact, in some places there
were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing. The people starred ...
how could he say his heart is more beautiful, they thought?
The young man looked at the old man’s heart and saw its state and laughed.
“You must be joking,” he said. “Compare your heart with mine ... mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears.”
said the old man, “Yours is perfect looking ... but I would never trade
with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given
my love..... I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them ... and
often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty
place in my heart ... but because the pieces aren’t exact, I have some
rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we
“Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away ... and
the other person hasn’t returned a piece of his heart to me. These are
the empty gouges ... giving love is taking a chance. Although these
gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for
these people too ... and I hope someday they may return and fill the
space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?”
young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked
up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart,
and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling
The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and
then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound
in the young man’s heart. It fit.... but not perfectly, as there were
some jagged edges.
The young man looked at his heart, not perfect
anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man’s
heart flowed into his. They embraced and walked away side by side.
an attitude of peace and calm is priceless. It’s an attitude that
says, “I’m trusting God,” and it speaks powerfully to people. But it
takes time, focus and the grace of God to be consistently peaceful.
way to develop consistent peace is to learn to live “in the now.” We
can spend a lot of time thinking about the past or wondering what the
future holds…but we can’t accomplish anything unless our mind is focused
The Bible tells us that God gives us grace for each day that we
live. I believe that grace is the power, enablement or energy to do what
we need to do—and He gives it generously, as we need it.
We need to make a decision every morning to say, “God has given me today. I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
The Real Source of Stress
Too often our stress level is tied up in our circumstances. You
could be stressed because you’re always busy or you’re struggling
financially or because you’re not getting along with someone you love.
It could be a number of things, but what’s interesting is that these situations are not the cause of your stress. Stress is really caused by your reaction to each situation.
We don't have to work at trying to get rid of every stressful situation. We need to learn how to embrace peace.
See, we’re always trying to get rid of everything that bothers
us. But the Bible says that in the world there will be tribulation.
That’s why Jesus said, “Cheer up, I have overcome the world.”
We don’t have to work at trying to get rid of every stressful situation. We need to learn how to embrace peace.
7 Ways to Practice Peace
I believe that one of the keys to maintaining peace in your life
is to take small steps toward peace every day. Here are a few tips for
having a more peaceful lifestyle.
1. Be selective with how you spend your time. You may be trying to do too many things and end up doing none of them well. Hurrying is trying to do more than the Holy Spirit is leading you to do. Be led by the Spirit. 2. Be prepared to say no nicely. Sometimes we take on things we know we shouldn’t, just because we’re uncomfortable saying no.
If you feel this pressure, ask God to put your spirit at rest and
give you loving words to speak that will take away the
unnecessary awkwardness of saying no. 3. Resist the spirit of procrastination. It’s the attitude that says I’m going to sit here and wait until I feel like doing what I need to do. But God’s Word tells us to exercise self-discipline. Do what you need to do now so you can fully enjoy your times of rest. 4. Eliminate key distractions.
If you know you are easily distracted, set some guidelines for
yourself. Don’t let them keep you up late at night so you
oversleep the next morning and end up setting yourself up for a
hurried, stressful day. 5. Set appropriate boundaries for interruptions. Life
is full of interruptions, but we can learn to set boundaries that
help us manage them in healthy ways. Schedule times when you are
“off-limits.” Let your calls go to voicemail, turn off your email, and
decide to get back to people after your “off-limits” time is over.
Trust the Holy Spirit to tell you when there is a true emergency. 6. Modify your life.
Ask God to show you “out-of-the-box” ways to save time and
trouble. For instance, when I don’t have time to do the dishes, I
use paper plates. And if I’m having a birthday party for one of my
kids and don’t have time to make a meal, we just have cake and
ice cream. 7. Listen for the Holy Spirit. If you
can see that your plan is not producing peace, go back to God; pray
for peace and for wisdom to make changes that will benefit your life.
If you can learn to trust God “in the now,” receive His grace as you
need it, and you can become a truly peaceful person. Now that’s
Once upon a time there was a painter who had just completed his course
under disciple hood of a great painter. This young artist wanted to
assess his skills. So he decided to give his best strokes on the
He took 3 days and painted beautiful scenery. Suddenly
an idea flashed in his mind and he decided to display it on a busy
street-square of that small town he was resident of. He wanted people's
opinion about his caliber and painting skills.
He put his creation at a busy street-crossing. And just down below a board which read–
I have painted this piece. Since I'm new to this profession I might
have committed some mistakes in my strokes etc. Please put a cross
wherever you see a mistake."
While he came back in the evening
to collect his painting he was completely shattered to see that whole
canvass was filled with X's (crosses) and some people had even written
their comments on the painting.
Disheartened and broken
completely he ran to his master’s place and burst into tears. Sobbing
and crying inconsolably he told his master about what happened and
showed the pathetic state of his creation which was filled with marks
everywhere. Such was the state that colors were not visible, only things
one could see were crosses and correction remarks.
artist was breathing heavily and master heard him saying "I'm useless
and if this is what I have learnt to paint I'm not worth becoming a
painter. People have rejected me completely.. I feel like dying"
Master smiled and suggested "My Son, I will prove that you are a great artist and have learnt a flawless painting."
disciple couldn't believe it and said "I have lost faith in me and I
don't think I am good enough.. don't make false hopes.."
"Do as I say without questioning it.. It WILL work." Master interrupted him.
paint exactly similar painting once again for me and give it to me.
Will you do that for your master?.." Master instructed.
artist reluctantly agreed and two days later early morning he presented a
replica of his earlier painting to his master. Master took that
gracefully and smiled.
"Come with me." master said.
reached the same street-square early morning and displayed the same
painting exactly at the same place. Now master took out another board
which read –
"Gentlemen, I have painted this piece. Since I'm
new to this profession I might have committed some mistakes in my
strokes etc. I have put a box with colors and brushes just below. Please
do a favor. If you see a mistake, kindly pick up the brush and correct
Master and disciple walked back home.
visited the place same evening. Young painter was surprised to see that
actually there was not a single correction done so far.
master wasn't satisfied as yet and he told his disciple "May be one day
was too little a time for people to come up with ideas and take out time
out of their busy schedules to correct it so let us keep it here for
one more day. Tomorrow is Sunday, so we can expect some corrections
Next day again they visited and found painting remained untouched..
They say the painting was kept there for a month for no correction came in!
It is easier to criticize, but difficult to improve
A man was sitting by a lake. He was throwing small pebbles into it from
time to time. A young boy happened to cross by. He was intrigued to see
that after every few minutes or so, the man would toss a pebble into the
The boy went up to the man and said, "Good pastime, this
stone throwing, he?" "Hmmm," said the man. He seemed to be deep in
thought and obviously did not wish to be disturbed.
Sometime later, the man said softly, "Look at the water, it is absolutely still."
The boy said, "Yeah, it is."
The man tossed a pebble into the water and continued, "Only till I toss a pebble into it now do you see the ripples?"
"Yeah," said the boy, "they spread further and further."
"And soon, the water is still again," offered the man.
The boy said, "Sure, it becomes quiet, after a while."
man continued, "What if we want to stop the ripples? The root cause of
the ripples is the stone. Lets take the stone out. Go ahead and look for
it." The boy put his hand into the water and tried to take the stone
But he only succeeded in making more ripples. He was able to
take the stone out, but the number of ripples that were made in the
process were a lot more than before.
The wise man said, "It is
not possible to stop the movement of the water once a pebble has been
thrown into it. But if we can stop ourselves from throwing the pebble in
the first place, the ripples can be avoided altogether!”
too, it is with our minds. If a thought enters into it, it creates
ripples. The only way to save the mind from getting disturbed is to
block and ban the entry of every superfluous thought that could be a
potential cause for disturbance. If a disturbance has entered into the
mind, it will take its own time to die down.”
conflicting thoughts just cause more and more disturbances. Once the
disturbance has been caused it takes time to ebb out. Even trying to
forcibly remove the thought may further increase the turmoil in the
mind. Time surely is a great healer, but prevention is always better
Before you allow a thought or a piece of information
to enter your mind, put it through the triple filter test of
authenticity, goodness and value.
During a war, a soldier was separated from his unit. The fighting had
been intense, and in the smoke and the crossfire he had lost touch with
Alone in the hills, he could hear enemy soldiers
coming in his direction. Scrambling for cover, he found his way up a
high ridge to several small caves in the rock. Quickly he crawled inside
one of the caves.
Although safe for the moment, he realized that
once the enemy soldiers looking for him swept up the ridge, they would
quickly search all the caves and he would be killed.
waited, he prayed, "Lord, if it be your will, please protect me.
Whatever your will though, I love you and trust you. Amen."
praying, he lay quietly listening to the enemy begin to draw close. He
thought, "Well, I guess the Lord isn't going to help me out of this
Then he saw a spider begin to build a web over the front
of his cave. As he watched, listening to the enemy searching for him all
the while, the spider layered strand after strand of web across the
opening of the cave. "Ha," he thought. "What I need is a brick wall and what the Lord has sent me is a spider web. God does have a sense of humor."
the enemy drew closer, he watched from the darkness of his hideout and
could see them searching one cave after another. As they came to his, he
got ready to make his last stand. To his amazement, however, after
glancing in the direction of his cave, they moved on.
he realized that with the spider web over the entrance, his cave looked
as if no one had entered for quite a while. "Lord, forgive me," prayed
the young man. "I had forgotten that in you a spider's web is stronger
than a brick wall."
We all face times of great trouble. When we
do, it is so easy to forget the victories that God would work in our
lives, sometimes in the most surprising ways.
Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Psalm 5:11
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.
I once read a comic
book which showed how a man lusted after a woman, then died of a heart
attack and went to heaven. In heaven, he saw a big screen showing
everyone present a recording of all the sins which he had committed
while on earth, including the last one. How embarrassing!
Don’t worry, that is not going to happen to you in heaven. There is
no big screen with front-row and circle seats for everyone to sit and
watch your past sins. There is no video recorder in heaven recording
your sins right now. Because your lifetime of sins has already been
punished in the body of Jesus, God declares to you, “Your sins and
lawless deeds, I will by no means ever remember!”
This is true even for the Old Testament heroes of faith such as
Abraham, Moses and David. If you read Hebrews 11, which was written
after the cross of Jesus, you will notice that there is no record of
their sins or failures. Yet, their life stories tell us that they were
far from perfect.
Abraham lied twice about his wife Sarah. He told Pharaoh, and later,
King Abimelech, that she was his sister to protect his own life. Moses
killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew, and hid the body in the
sand. David committed adultery with Bathsheba and later arranged for her
husband to be killed in battle. Yet, their sins were not recorded in
Hebrews 11, only their deeds done in faith!
God is showing you that He does not record your sins or failures
today. Instead, He records your faith confessions and deeds done in
response to what His Son has done for you. Every time you sin, every
time you waver in your faith, God does not record it. But every time you
believe Him and respond in faith, He records it! That should not make
you want to sin more. It should free you to love God more!
So don’t be conscious of your failures. If God Himself does not
remember them, who are you to remember them? Be conscious instead of
your righteousness in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21), and you will reign in
life! (Romans 5:17)