Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Posture of Grace

John 8 begins with a bang. 
An adulterous woman, caught in the act. I know many of us recognize sin in our life- but how many of us can say that the thing or things we are most ashamed about, we have actually been caught in the very act of doing, and then had it announced in the town square before religious leaders?! 
Let that sink in a fat minute. 
This is a for real moment in this woman's life. As in- how do you even stand up under the weight of all that shame? But they stood her before Jesus and her community and declared her sin for all to see. 
What strikes me is what Jesus does: he stoops low. He bends down. 
He took the posture of Grace. 
Philippians 2 reminds us of that:

“And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross! Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name,”
Philippians 2:8-9 AMP

He lowered himself so she could stand in the midst of her accusers. 
And that is what the cross and empty grave have done for you and me. 
All her accusers dropped their stones and walked away, "...until only Jesus was left with the woman, standing there."(John 8:9) 
Only Jesus. Alone in His presence. That's when you see the truth of who He is and who you are in His eyes.  
I'm afraid that as soon as the stones fell, I would have run away in shame, bearing the weight of the condemnation that brought me to that place. 
But she remained...and in doing so let Jesus declare the opportunity for new life over her.
"...And Jesus said, I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more." John 8:11
In the same place they declared her sin and shame, JESUS declared her righteous through His grace. 
When I am accused, when I am judged- right or wrongly- how do I respond? 
Do I run from Him or to Him? 
Do I dare remain as this woman did and glimpse this unconditional Love? 
Am I willing to position myself to receive grace from the One who is postured to issue it? 
Only then can I step into who HE says I am- when I allow His declaration of truth to redeem me. 
Jesus disarmed her accusers to arm her for LIFE. 
That is the power of Grace. 
Let that marinate in you so it can pour out through you in every place you enter. 
Let's position ourselves for Grace, but let's take a posture of Grace in our lives so that others can see this crazy love of Jesus. 
I am asking the Holy Spirit to help me embrace it AND live it. 
That's my prayer for you today, too. ~Julie 
@first5 #first5 @proverbs31

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