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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mercy - The Woman Caught in Adultery

By Ruth Grigg

I would like to share with you an incident from the
New Testament, where Jesus extended grace and mercy to a woman caught
in adultery, when others around her wanted to judge her, stone her,
condemn her. This woman could be me or you or anybody who has sinned.

This
woman was brought to Jesus by the Jewish leaders, dragged before him,
so they could trap him. She was to be judged by their religious
standards.

Others judge us by their standards, by religious laws
or principals, by culture and tradition. Jesus looks at us with
different eyes. People wanted to stone this woman to death, to pour
judgement - to make her look bad and themselves look good. They showed
no care or mercy for the woman involved. She did not matter - not to
them. They put the law above mercy, but Jesus said he desires mercy,
not sacrifice (Matthew 9:13). They did not care what circumstances led
her to this or why. She too was aware that she was a sinner. She knew
where she stood. Although she did not matter to these people, she meant
a great deal to Jesus. He knew her story. He could read her heart. He
spent his time with the outcasts of society - the unrighteous, the tax
collectors, the prostitutes, because these people mattered to Jesus.

When
questioned about what to do, to stone her or not? Jesus replied
(eventually) "let him who has never sinned cast the first stone" (verse
7). He extended GRACE to her. Grace is undeserved mercy and
forgiveness, kindness and generosity. Grace accepts us where we are
now, acknowledges our weakness and sin and offers mercy and forgiveness
in the place of punishment we deserve. Grace releases us from justice
and judgement. He, our God and Father is gracious and compassion,
ABOUNDING in mercy (Psalms 145:8). It's because of His compassion that
he offers us grace! He turns justice to mercy, and mercy to grace and
compassion. And He pours that over us when we come to him and ask for
forgiveness!

But people wanted to judge her and condemn her.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:5, that we are not to be hypocrites! We are to
take the log out of our own eye first before we take the speck out of
our brothers! We may have huge logs in our own eyes/hearts and they
have blinded us so we can not see our own failings. We may accuse
others but fail to see ourselves as we are. 'Logs', if unconfessed,
causes spiritual blindness, and causes us to have callous hearts - that
are unyielding, judgemental, unforgiving, selfish, ungracious. Is this
the kind of heart we want? Is this what God sees when he looks at us?

Thank
God He is merciful. Thank God He is the one who takes away the heart of
stone and gives us a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). We may try to hide
in the darkness but his light WILL shine on our lives, our thoughts,
our deeds and actions. (1 John 1:5-7). Thank God that through
repentance and confession we are made new. He opens the eyes of our
hearts and gives us understanding (Ephesians 1:18). He gives us eyes to
see ourselves as we truly are, then he shows us a way out of the
darkness into the light and truth. The people in the crowd, ready to
throw stones and to judge the woman, had a revelation of their own
hearts that day. They saw for the first time their own hearts were
sinful, therefore they were not in a place to judge. They had to put
the stones down. The only one left standing there was Jesus, who could
throw a stone, if he wanted too. He was the only one had the right to
judge her, to condemn her or to stone her. But that was not the reason
he came. The reason he came was not to judge and condemn the world, but
to be it's Saviour (John 3:16-17). He said, "Where are your accusers?
Is there no one left to condemn you? I do not condemn you either... go
and sin no more." He came to bind up the broken hearted! He came to
proclaim freedom for the captives! He came to release the prisoners and
release us from darkness! (Isaiah 61:2)

Some of us have said and
done things that you are really ashamed of. Some of us have felt really
condemned and judged by others. Some of us have condemned ourselves.
Some of us have been accused and condemned by Satan, who has constantly
whispered lying thoughts in your ears and mind, telling you that you
are bad, no good to society etc. Some of us have felt condemned because
of things that have happened to us - may be you have been abused,
raped, or forced into prostitution, or forced to steel and lie, so you
have felt ashamed, dirty and naked.

Some of us, for the first
time, have felt a real sense of conviction, of knowing that we have
sinned and need God's forgiveness and mercy. This is the work of the
Holy Spirit convicting us of sin. We have all sinned and fallen short
of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). It is the work of the Holy Spirit to
convict of sin, not man. If this is happening to you, then the Holy
Spirit is calling you to 'come' and confess your sins and turn from
them - then to go and sin no more.

To those who have felt
condemned and ashamed by things that have happened to us, and convicted
of sin, Jesus says, I DO NOT CONDEMN YOU..... BE RELEASED. He knows
your story and he reads your heart. He offers forgiveness, cleansing
and healing. He offers reconciliation. He offers peace. He offers
release. He offers freedom. He offers grace.

He offers CLEANSING
from all our sins - our actions, words, and deeds. He offers release
and cleansing. He offers cleaning from accusing words and curses and
condemnation put on us or spoken over us. He offers cleansing from self
condemnation. He offers cleansing from the enemy's accusations through
our conscious thoughts, and sub-conscious thoughts and dreams. He
offers cleansing from self-hate and self-harm. He offers cleansing from
the pain and sin committed against you. He offers cleansing from the
past and cleansing in the present. He washes us thoroughly and
completely and heals us when we COME to him and ASK him. We need to
COME. Anyone CAN COME. Anyone who comes to Him, He will NEVER turn away
(John 6:37).

He takes us through the CLEANSING RIVERS and then
the HEALING RIVERS.* Those of us who have been wronged, sinned against,
need to release forgiveness to those who have hurt us. By releasing
them, it releases us from pain and torment, and it releases the Holy
Spirit to come and work his cleansing and healing within us.

I would like to share a vision that I had, which is relevant to cleansing and healing rivers.

I
saw a river and God asked me to put my feet in it. As I put my feet in
the river joy started to rise right up through my feet and over me!

Then this rapid torrent of a river came down stream, over my feet,
and I was right in it. The river, He said, came directly from his
throne. A scripture came to me: "There is a river whose streams make
glad the city of God." (Ps 46:4)

He showed me other rivers. He
showed me a deep and dangerous river that I will have to walk through,
I may even go 'under' but He will be guiding me through and bring me
out. Then he showed me a cleansing river, where sin, pain and sickness
is cleansed and released. I need to enter the cleansing river before I
could go through the healing river. He showed me healing rivers, where
I am restored, healed, strengthened and renewed. He showed me a quiet,
almost still river where I receive peace (Psalm 23). He said I will
take you through many rivers and the Holy Spirit will guide me along.

He
showed took me back to the rapid torrent, and he said, 'jump in the
river of joy!' Others were jumping in also. There were shouts of joy
and praise. He called us to "Come, come into the river".

He said,
"you will take this river with you - it will proceed you and follow
you." "Call my people to come into the river. The enemy cannot touch
you in the river - he won't get in!" He showed me that Jesus walks in
the river with us.

He spoke to me and said, that in the river
there is liberty, freedom, there is joy unspeakable, abundance life,
peace, grace and truth. Let the rivers flow into the land. He said,
"Call my people to soak in the river! The river is released."

If
you need God to touch you, all you need to do is call out to him, and
tell him what is on your heart and mind in your own way, using your own
words. He will hear you and answer you. If you want the Lord to forgive
you, you just need to ask. If you feel or have been condemned and
judged, release forgiveness to others then you will be released. The
Lord wants to give you grace and mercy and the fullness of His love.
Ask Him and he will hear you. Draw near to Him and he will draw near to
you.

Prayer

"Father I pray for anyone who has been judged,
condemned or accused and has felt dirty, sinful, unaccepted and is
seeking you now. I pray you will show them your great mercy and love
and that as they call on you now, you will hear their cry and you will
answer them, and that you will pour out your love, your passion on them
and heal their hearts. I pray they will know you as Lord and Saviour,
healer and King, and I pray you will release them from all curses, all
condemnation, all judgment, all fear and all sin as they come close to
you. In Jesus name, Amen.

If you have prayed this prayer, I
strongly recommend that you seek out a Christian church and Christian
people for further guidance and counsel, so that you may begin your
journey with the Lord.

Please visit http://www.releasingwords.com for further teaching and prayers.


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