Stones and Open Arms

Jesse Birkey's picture

I squinted at the sun peaking over the tree line and angled my head so I could see the road better.  I’d just had an intriguing conversation with a friend and was driving somewhere I don’t even remember now.  But I do remember the voice that warmed my heart.

 

If they knew me, I mean really knew me, there wouldn’t be even a hint of fear or reservation about coming into my presence.

 

The Holy Spirit relaxed my body but my heart and mind were swirling.  I wondered how many times we come into the presence of God in prayer or quiet time assured that the only thing we’ll get is a fresh knowledge how much we’ve done wrong.  I wondered how many times we view the presence of God like a pointing finger wagging back and forth.  I wondered how many times I’d felt condemned and judged instead of loved and encouraged when coming before the Lord.  An issue that’s got nothing to do with him but rather what I’ve chosen to believe about him.

 

I mentioned in my last article that there are certain messages we just can’t hear enough.  Jesus is not the accuser, is one of those messages.

 

When Jesus raised Himself up, He said to her, Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you? –John 8:10

 

“Um, hello,” she might have said.  “He’s standing right in front of me.”  Or “Hey, I see that everyone has left,” Jesus could’ve said.  “I’ll be your accuser today.”

 

Of course neither of these things happened to the woman caught red-handed in a crime that is still considered one of the most despicable today.  There is no shortage of hatred and judgment when it comes to adultery.  But Jesus does something remarkable.  He ignores it.

 

They toss a woman in front of Jesus who has committed a crime punishable by death…and he starts writing on the ground.  He doesn’t wait for a confession or demand repentance.  He doesn’t start shouting or even wag his finger.  He simply tells the others to go ahead and throw rocks if they’ve never sinned.  The he tells the woman that he doesn’t condemn her and stop sinning.

 

Put out of your minds the thought and do not suppose [as some of you are supposing] that I will accuse you before the Father. –John 5:45

  

Jesus did not come to judge the world he came to open his arms in invitation.  He didn’t come to accuse he came reveal.  He came to reveal the true nature/character of the father and he came to reveal/nurture who we are in him.

 

Now, I don’t believe God doesn’t care about the sin in our lives.  Sin separates us from God.  I believe he cares a whole lot about sin and removing it from our lives.  I think the adultery of the woman in John 8 distressed him to a great degree.  But I don’t think that exposing sin in us is his primary concern.  I don’t think his #1 initial goal is removing it from our lives.  I think his #1 goal and primary concern is bringing us life-changing, hit-the-floor revelation of his love!

 

Paul says in Romans 2:4, It’s the kindness of God that draws men to repentance.  There’s a beautiful story in Zechariah 3 in which Joshua the High Priest is brought before the Lord while accusations are hurled in his face.  To paraphrase, the Lord is angry that accusations are being be made about one of his precious children.  He doesn’t argue the validity of the claims, he’s just upset that dirt is being slung towards one he loves so much.  Then he changes Joshua’s clothes from rags to flowing white garments. 

 

You see, it’s not a difficult thing for God to cleanse us from our sin but before any of that can happen we must realize just how much he loves us.  The more we understand that God is waiting to embrace us rather than give us that disappointed look, the more we’ll sprint to him instead of feeling dragged. 

 

And let’s always remember who the accuser really is. 

 

Then I heard a strong (loud) voice in heaven, saying, Now it has come—the salvation and the power and the kingdom (the dominion, the reign) of our God, and the power (the sovereignty, the authority) of His Christ (the Messiah); for the accuser of our brethren, he who keeps bringing before our God charges against them day and night, has been cast out! –Revelation 12:10

 

Blessings,

 

Jesse and Kara Birkey

 

www.jessebirkey.com

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Jesse and Kara Birkey are committed lovers of Jesus who seek to show others the extraordinary life of Jesus is available for everyone.  They have authored two books, been featured in films and seek to serve the Lord in whatever ways they can.  Follow their blog here.    

 

Bring Jesse and Kara to your venue.  Find more information here.

 

Get a sneak preview of Jesse’s upcoming fiction, Finding Home.

 

Life Resurrected, Extraordinary Miracles through Ordinary People has been endorsed by Sid Roth and Mark Virkler and is a collection of inspiring stories making it clear that the extraordinary life of Jesus is available to all who love Him.  It’s also the testimony of Jesse’s life, the road he travelled bringing him into the arms of Jesus. Get the paperback here.  Get the Kindle Version Here. View the trailer here.    

 

Marriage What’s the Point? One couple finds meaning in a crazy mess is the story of their marriage—The tragedy and the restoration.  They bear their hearts in an attempt to get others to bear theirs and finally receive the freedom they’ve longed for.  Get the paperback here.  Get the Kindle Version Here.

 

Jesse is also featured in the film DeadRaiser, a movie shining the spotlight on resurrection testimonies across the nation.  Find more information here.