facetime : Week 9

Day 1 – Rewind

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Throughout this week we will continue to wrestle with the tension that was introduced this past weekend between grace and truth. Jesus perfectly demonstrated grace AND truth to the adulterous woman. He showed her grace when, according to the truth of the law, her sin deserved severe punishment. However, Jesus does not dismiss sin in the midst of grace.

Let’s look again at the passage from the weekend as we get started in this week’s spiritual exercises.

John 8:1-11

1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 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.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 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. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

Jesus never shied away from the truth, as He granted forgiveness (grace). He also instructed her to live in obedience (truth) from that point forward. That’s the beauty of grace and truth – we are worthy of the penalty of our sin, but Jesus swoops in and says, “I’ve already paid the price, now go and walk obediently in the freedom granted by grace.”

On the weekend we were also introduced to how God demonstrated grace and truth and how we are to demonstrate it in the same way. In John 18:34 Jesus gives us a new commandment: “love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” Our ability to extend grace and truth is in direct proportion to our understanding of God’s love for us. When we fully understand His love, His grace, His mercy, and His truth, it changes everything in our ability to relate with others. Spend some time meditating on the words of the following song that we sang this past weekend and think through the questions below.

Lover of the Guilty

Lover of the guilty, Restorer of the filthy
Oh, hear our cry, won’t You hear our cry
Father of the orphan, Healer of the broken
Oh, hear our cry, won’t You hear our cry

With these hearts of stone
Melt and make them as Your home

Father, into Your hands we surrender
With praise pouring out for the wonder that You are, Holy God
Redeemer, You purchased our hearts for Your pleasure
As we stand in Your grace, our desire’s for Your name to be praised

You gave pardon to the guilty and garments to the filthy
You heard our cry, God, You heard our cry
You gave honor to the orphan and mending to the broken
You heard our cry, God, You heard our cry

Lord, our hearts You’ve changed
Now we bless Your name

We are falling at the feet of the Lord Most High
You heard our cry

Questions and Reflection

  1. After hearing the message on the weekend, what challenged your heart?
  2. Pastor Jimmy closed the weekend gathering by encouraging you to ask the Holy Spirit to help you ‘figure this out,’ speaking about the tension between truth and grace. Have you had a little time since yesterday to consider that question and talk to God about it? If so, how is He helping you?
  3. “Lover of the Guilty” displays the grace that God shows us despite the sins of which we are guilty. How might grasping God’s grace for you help you in extending grace to others?
  4. Today, spend a few moments thinking about your current relationships. Is the Holy Spirit leading you to extend grace to someone? Truth? Love? Begin walking in the steps of grace, truth, and love this week.

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