Friday, August 21, 2009

No Condemnation

Read John 3:1-21

John 3:17 "For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

We often go through the day feeling as if someone is looking over our shoulder ready to judge our actions. My husband probably wonders why dinner isn't made yet...My boss is thinking I'm taking too long with that project...Amber's teacher doesn't understand why we were late this morning...This isn't how Mom would have done it...And perhaps the voice we hear the most is our own: Why aren't you good enough?
Even if others praise us, the pressure we put on ourselves can drown out the latest acclaim. We put pressure on ourselves to do more-and do it better and quicker How could God be pleased with us, we wonder , when we feel so weak?
Listen to the words in this chapter of John's Gospel. God wants a relationship with us-not to condemn us, but to free us. He offers redemption through Jesus-not because we have done something to deserve it, but because he loves us.
Though we may read those words again and again, they can be hard to believe. But try to wrap your brain around this truth: God does not condemn you. None of the pressure you feel throughout the day is from God. In truth, you may be trying to please others or achieve your own goals more than you are tying to please God. You may feel guilty because you keep changing the standard.
Richard Foster writes, "The less we are manipulated by the expectation of others, the more we are open to the expectations of God." Yes, we are weak. Yes, we often fail to meet our own expectations. But what does god expect of us today? To believe in his Son who set us free from sin. To believe that he is stronger than our doubts, fears, pride and ambitions. To believe that he does not condemn us for who we were before we met his Son. To discover who we are in the light of his love, freedom and grace.

  • How have you experienced self-condemnation?
  • Reread the words and personalize them by filing in your name: "God did not send his Son into the world to condemn _____________, but to save __________ through him."
  • How often do you feel judged by others throughout your day? Remember whose opinion really counts. Ask God to show you who you are in the light of his love.
Related Readings:
John 5:24
Romans 8:1-4
1 John 3:19-24

-Devotions from various writers, New Women's Devotional Bible, pg: 1288

**Scripture taken from the HOLY BILE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bile Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.**

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