A VOCABULARY OF LOVE
by David Sisler
Charles was a mean-spirited, critical man. He disguised his disparaging spirit in the robes of piety and holiness. With a word or a look, Charles could cast doubt on the sincerity or the faith of anyone he opposed.
His favorite attack was to say, “I don’t want to question your honesty or your sincerity, but...” Once he had uncovered his “but” Charles wounded and scarred many innocent victims.
Over 300 years ago Friedrich von Logan wrote a poem entitled, “Retribution.” Its most famous line says, “Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small.” When God finished grinding Charles, the things he so harshly condemned in others were discovered to be secret practices in his own life!
How unlike the Christ, Charles claimed to follow.
A woman was caught committing adultery. To have discovered her in such a compromising situation, the enemies of Jesus were either very lucky to have been peeping in her window at that precise moment, or they knew her character and waited for the right moment.
I think they sat a trap – for the woman and for Jesus.
When they threw her at Jesus feet, they demanded, “Moses said adulterers are to be stoned. What do you say?”
If He answered, “Stone her,” Jesus would have been violating Roman law, because only Rome could pass a death sentence. To simply release her, would have violated Jewish law.
Jesus paused for a moment of reflection and wrote something on the ground. When He had gathered His thoughts, He looked at the woman’s accusers and said, “The one of you who, at this moment, does not have any sin in his life, cast the first stone.”
Beginning with the oldest, those who knew themselves the best, they lowered their heads and filed out. Then the only man on the face of the earth who was without sin said, “Don’t sin any more. Call a screeching halt to the direction of your life! But I do not condemn you.”
The older I become, the more I see an uncritical Christ. He meets people where they are and He meets people who know where they are. We do not fool ourselves. We certainly do not fool Jesus.
John the Baptist was discouraged. Locked in prison, awaiting his eventual execution, he sent word to Jesus, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we look for another?”
John expected the ax to be laid at the root of the tree. He expected sin to be immediately eliminated. He did not expect the grace of God to postpone judgment.
Did Jesus condemn John for wavering. No, He sent John a simple message: “The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.” So no one would hear His words as a condemnation of John, Jesus said, “There was never a man born of woman, who was greater than John the Baptist.”
Over and over you see it in the ministry of Jesus. Zacchaeus was a crook, but when Jesus touched his heart, Zacchaeus said, “I’ll pay back four times what I’ve defrauded.” To which Jesus’ only reply was, “This day is salvation come into your house.”
A man with a demon-possessed son said, “Lord, I do believe you can heal my son. Help thou my unbelief.” No words of criticism came from the lips of Jesus, only the words, “Your son is made whole.”
Thomas said, “Unless I, personally, stick my hand into His side, I will not believe.” Instead of condemning Thomas, Jesus said, “Thomas, if that’s what it takes to restore your faith, here is my side. Stick your hand in it. I want you to believe.”
If you are weak, Jesus wants you to feel His strength. If you are guilty, He wants you to feel His forgiveness. If no one loves you, He wants you to feel His love. If you turn by faith to Jesus, you will find, condemnation is not in His vocabulary.
Copyright 2002 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.
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