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

[email protected]

twitter.com/JesseBirkey

http://www.facebook.com/jesse.birkey

http://www.amazon.com/author/jessebirkey

 

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.

 

 

 

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4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice

4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 305 Pages

Have you ever wished you could just sit down and have a long talk with the Lord? Wouldn't it be wonderful to move beyond having a theology that states that God loves you to actually hearing Him whisper words of love into your heart? When you're worried or confused, wouldn't you love to see the situation from His perspective and hear how He wants you to respond?


Price: $$12.95

4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice (hard cover)

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 305 Pages

40% off the suggested retail price!

For the first time EVER! Hardcover copies of 4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice. This is a magnificent, beautiful gift to give for any occasion. Retailing at $24.95, you can purchase it through our website at only $15.00! Bless people with the gift of spiritual intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ. Get a souvenir copy for yourself. Only 600 copies produced, so order while supplies last!

Price: $$15.00
4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice Audio CD Package

4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice Audio CD Package

By Mark Virkler | 4 Keys book | 10 hours of CDs | LEARN notebook

Have you ever wished you could just sit down and have a long talk with the Lord? Wouldn't it be wonderful to move beyond having a theology that states that God loves you to actually hearing Him whisper words of love into your heart? When you're worried or confused, wouldn't you love to see the situation from His perspective and hear how He wants you to respond?

Price: $$77.85
4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice DVD Package

4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice DVD Package

By Mark Virkler | 4 Keys book | 10 hours of DVDs | LEARN notebook

Have you ever wished you could just sit down and have a long talk with the Lord? Wouldn't it be wonderful to move beyond having a theology that states that God loves you to actually hearing Him whisper words of love into your heart? When you're worried or confused, wouldn't you love to see the situation from His perspective and hear how He wants you to respond? When things don't seem to be going your way and your prayers aren't answered the way you had hoped, wouldn't it be great to hear Him tell you where He is in the midst of it, and what He is working out in your life? Are you ever just a little bit jealous of others who say with such confidence, "The Lord said...."?

Price: $$87.75

Dialogue with God

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 296 Pages

This top seller for 30 years from Bridge Logos provides a narrative, right-brain presentation of the principles of how to hear God's voice. Especially enjoyable for personal use, it makes a great gift for introducing a loved one to the voice of God. This book teaches the four keys to hearing God's voice in readable style, and also devotes two entire chapters to moving samples of people's journaling (i.e. their two-way dialogue with God).

Price: $$16.99
Hear God's Voice Guaranteed Package

Hear God's Voice Guaranteed Package

9 Books, 10 CDs, 10 DVDs now at a $30+ savings

Have you ever wished you could just sit down and have a long talk with the Lord? Wouldn't it be wonderful to move beyond having a theology that states that God loves you to actually hearing Him whisper words of love into your heart? When you're worried or confused, wouldn't you love to see the situation from His perspective and hear how He wants you to respond? When things don't seem to be going your way and your prayers aren't answered the way you had hoped, wouldn't it be great to hear Him tell you where He is in the midst of it, and what He is working out in your life? Are you ever just a little bit jealous of others who say with such confidence, "The Lord said...."?

Price: $$175.00

How to Hear God's Voice

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 317 Pages

We recommend that you order the newest revision of this book titled 4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice. It includes 95% of the content of How to Hear God's Voice but is reorganized so it fits perfectly with the 10 DVDs on this subject by Mark Virkler. In addition, it gets you started using the four keys earlier in the book and gives you more journaling samples and exercises. Since we have removed the large margins, it is a smaller and less expensive book.

Price: $$19.95
LEARN 4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice Notebook

LEARN 4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice

by Mark and Patti Virkler

This 49-page Life Enrichment And Review Notebook (previously called a "Seminar Guide") is designed to go along with the CD/ DVD series and/or PowerPoint presentation. If receiving training in a group, we highly recommend that EVERY member of the group have their own copy. It offers you the following four benefits:

Price: $$4.95
Prayers That Heal the Heart

Prayers That Heal the Heart

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 320 Pages

Act Now to save at least 25% off any of these:

You can even take 50% off the School of the Spirit e-learning module! Sale ends June 15th.

Prayer counseling that breaks every yoke! Everything you need to experience deep healing of your soul and spirit.

Did you know that you don’t need to be continually plagued by negative thoughts, feelings, pictures or memories?

Price: $$14.99

Counseled by God

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 146 Pages

Act Now: 

Have you ever been defeated by negative emotions such as anger, fear, guilt, inferiority, condemnation or depression? Have you tried to fight them off unsuccessfully? Is there an answer that is deeper than simply trying to mentally reason yourself out of these emotions? Is there a way that Jesus can speak a word of life into the depths of your emotional despair and bring healing on a deep level? Is there a form of Christian counseling that begins and ends with the movement of Christ within your heart, rather than simply with the words of man?

Price: $$9.95

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