“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Turning My Page: Conviction Overturned by Love
I trembled as the sentence was pronounced.
The death penalty was on the table.
“Overturned by my Love!”
A collective gasp, some shouted praise.
Others cursed this Judge who lets sinners
go unpunished. I went to my knees grateful.
Turning Your Page
When was the last time you hurt another person, lied, stole, shirked responsibility, but instead of receiving what you deserved the offended party extended grace? Did you experience relief? Did you rush out to tell everyone about the turn of events? Did you quietly savor freedom? There isn’t a single one of us who hasn’t wronged another person. In a time when there is a lot of side picking and pointing fingers, grace, love, and forgiveness may feel like foreign words. We seem so eager to condemn one another. But God set up from the moment we fell a way for redemption.
Jesus addressed both our sin and the proper way to address sin when the woman caught in adultery was brought before him for judgment:
And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
John 8:7,9-11 ESV
This woman probably went away living and loving others differently.
Anyone who experiences a conviction overturned by unconditional love is bound to be confronted by both their worth and the drastic damage of the sin patterns in their lives. When the future apostle, Peter, encountered the filling of his empty boat of fish, he fell to his knees and cried out, “Depart from me, I am a sinful man.” Encountering the unmerited love of Christ changes us. If you have experienced undeserved grace, forgiveness, or someone else took your punishment, spend some time journaling on the experience.
- What was your response to unmerited grace?
- How did others treat you?
- How did your heart or actions change towards others after the experience?
Lord, I don’t deserve your kindness, and yet you are kind to me. I have been your enemy and yet you accept me now as your child. Thank you for not treating me as my sins deserve and teach me to love others as you have cherished me. Amen
(There is a difference between sin and human mistakes. It is important to develop an understanding of what constitutes sin.)