"When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her" - John 8:7 (NIV).
It is a story well told. "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” (John 8:3-6). Jesus being God knew everything about these self righteous accusers of the fallen woman. He knew all their secrets.
He bent low and asked, "let anyone of you who is without the sin be the first to stone to her" and then "At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there" (vv 9). Left alone, Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (vv 10-11).
Times have not changed much; and just as then, on occasion some weak and defenceless person is hauled before the law, accused of some sexual indiscretions, and condemned. After the suspension of schools was lifted in Uganda thousands of girls have returned while pregnant. One cleric has accused them "of messing themselves up" and hence should be blocked from school.
There can be good reason to hold pregnant girls back for a while as the school adjusts to receive them, perhaps with a richer counselling programe for both boys and girls.But condemning them of immortality shouldn't be expected.
Scripture says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Since in most cases we are not aware of how these pregnancies came to be, rather, we should show love and not condemnation. For the last thing someone already down needs is further crucifixion, something which may drive already broken girls to regrettable acts of desperation.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, in times as these, help us show compassion and love, to those whom society has condemned and rejected, to the glory of your name, this I pray in Jesus's name!
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!