The Power of a Forgiving Heart


The Power of a Forgiving Heart

We have been having awesome, power-packed, Holy Ghost filled services at Truth Harbor. Brother Zorich is in the house and he touched on something that has weighed heavy on my mind. I would like to share some thoughts with you.

In John chapter 8, we start out reading about Jesus teaching at the temple. But, by just the 2nd verse, the tone changes.

Suddenly the Pharisees show up with an adulterous woman in tow. There they thrust her into the midst of all these people gathered to hear the teaching of the Lord.

Vs. 4 “They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.”

And then they proceed to tell Jesus exactly what HE should do with the woman.

Vs. 5 “Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?”

Now here’s where it starts to get good. As we all know the story, we also know the initial response of Jesus.

He ignored them.

He stooped down and wrote in dirt on the ground with his finger (wouldn’t you just love to know what?) and acted like he did not even hear them.

Of course, this had no effect on them. It usually doesn’t. When someone has a heart of judgment, judgment is all that satisfies.

Vs. 7 “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

And he again took to writing on the ground, ignoring those that called for judgment.

It is a terrible place to find oneself in, when you look down to realize you hold stones in your hand, waiting for the convenient moment to cast your judgment on someone who is already broken.

Let me mention here that the Bible speaks of another stone.

John 21:42 “Jesus saith unto them, “Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?”

At all times we should take GREAT care when we proceed to cast stones of self-righteous judgment in the name of the Lord.

Vs. 44 “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever, it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”

I think about this woman. The Word of God speaks nothing about her circumstances. Now, mind you, I make no excuses for sin (just as I would make no excuses for the man who was obviously a part of her adulterous act, though not mentioned). I don’t know what drove her to that position, whether it was simply lust or something deeper, like loneliness.

Whatever her reason, she sinned. And as she lay in the midst of the people, she lay there a fallen woman, broken before the Lord and all of those around her.

And that’s OK. God specializes in broken things.

It seems to me it would be a fine line here to walk. It would be one thing to find someone in their sin, and bring them to the Lord and lay them at His feet, than to take His Word and use that to cast our own stones on someone in need.

Matthew 21:44 states, “BUT on whomsoever, it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”

You would never be able to repair something that broken. Can you understand that?

John 8:9-11 continues her story. These that would accuse her, “being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.”

See, this is where it gets really good. If we will bring these to Jesus, lay them at His feet and then leave them alone with Him ( in other words, let Him work on the problem since He really doesn’t need our assistance) then something powerful happens.

Vs. 10-11 “When Jesus had lifted up himself and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more.”

Most people stop there when reading this story. But let me take you a little further.

In verse 12 we see the power of letting Him be the judge. ” Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

If we continue on, we find the key to this story beginning in verse 34-36.

“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you. Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

That is the power of a forgiving heart…FREEDOM.

Freedom from our past, from our mistakes. Freedom to begin again. Freedom to stand in the presence of a Savior and have HIM repair the broken places. Freedom to look past our past and into a future.

And since we are not the ones who have the power to give this freedom, we need to take care that by our continuing to cast stones at someone who has already fallen, someone who is already broken, we do not grind them into a powder that can never be mended.

If He can forgive if He can forget, who am I?

Who am I, but someone who was once so very broken, lying at His feet, depending on His mercy to put me back together?

So when I see a broken person, I always remember that I, too, was once reshaped at the Potter’s hand. I, too, have been broken in my past sins. But left at His feet, left in His hands, my vessel is mended, my heart is healed, my life restored.

There is power in forgiveness. The power to give someone the chance to heal in His Grace, to move on in His mercy.

I am thankful for the power. Thankful for forgiveness. Thankful for a Savior who casts no stones.

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