WE RECEIVE GREATER PROTECTION WHEN WE FACE OUR SINS

WE RECEIVE GREATER PROTECTION WHEN WE FACE UP TO OUR SINS

A boy walks into the kitchen one day and sees a tray of cookies that have just come out from the oven. Now, he knows who baked them. And Mommy also left strict instructions that they are not to be eaten. They are special cookies, baked as a gift for Grandma when she comes over later that evening. But the aroma was just too tempting and dinner was still too many hours away for this growing boy. Best thing is, Mommy had gone off to the store to get more supplies for the party later and there was no one around to see. So he takes a couple and gobbles them down.

Just then, he hears Mommy’s car pull into the driveway. She’s home! He needs to get out of there in a hurry. So he bolts out of the kitchen and straight into his room.

From his room, he hears Mommy come through the kitchen door, and from the rustling of the grocery bags, he knows she’s just put her things down on the counter top. Then he hears the words which he knew would come sooner or later, ‘Has someone been eating the cookies?’

The penny’s dropped, the theft has been discovered, and the boy has two options, hide or face up. And if he chooses to face up to his mom, he could either deny it all or confess, putting himself at the mercy of his mother’s nagging. Now let’s pause for a moment and ask ourselves, what would we do? Raise your hands, all of you who would choose to hide or deny taking the cookies?

Sin has that effect on us, doesn’t it? It makes us want to run and hide; deny everything. After all, society dictates that the responsibility of proving our crime lies in the hands on our accusers. And as long as we play our cards right and leave a clean scene, we don’t have to admit to anything.

While that may be a good axiom to keep yourself out of unjust courts of law, that is certainly not the way we should behave with God. You see, with God, there is no point in hiding, because He knows everything. As the Psalmist says,

“O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.” Psalm 139:1-4

“For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.” Luke 12:2, 8:17, Matthew 10:26

So remember how Adam and Eve responded when they were found out? They ate from the tree that they were not supposed to eat from, didn’t they; a bit like how our little boy in the story wasn’t supposed to eat the cookies. And what did they do when God came a-knocking?

“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”” Genesis 3:8-10

Seriously, what’s the point? God knew and that was why He came looking for them. What good is hiding going to do?

Then what about running away? Oh we had a runner in the Bible, didn’t we? His name was Judas; and boy he was a sprinter. For when he realized the severity of his sin in betraying Jesus, “…he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.” Matthew 27:5

So consumed by guilt, Judas took matters into his own hands and left no room for reconciliation with God.

Let’s be honest. We run because we fear God’s wrath. We are worried about what He will do to us now that He has found out that we have sinned. So if we can delay His judgement upon our lives for one more day, that’s one more day we can delay the inevitable.

But you know what? We’ve got God figured out all wrong. We think that if we can delay His judgement for one more day, that is an extra day of peace that we get. But you know what, beloved, the reality is, the longer we delay, the more we are keeping ourselves from our peace of mind. Let me show you why.

“Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” John 8:2-5

This is our worst nightmare. Caught red-handed by the best of our peers and brought into the presence of the only infallible dispenser of justice in all of existence. Yet we all know how this episode turned out, don’t we?

““So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”” John 8:7

And instead of stoning her,

“Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. …” John 8:9

Until, Jesus was the only one left standing with her, and the crowd of onlookers of course, and

“He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”” John 8:10-11

Did she run? No. Did she hide? No. Did she deny her actions? No. She just placed herself at the mercy of the Son of our living God; and Jesus didn’t disappoint, did he?

Did He deny her sin? No. Did He excuse her sin? No. But did He punish her sin? No. In fact, that was the point when Jesus left us these famous last words.

“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12

Jesus is the light of the world. That means that when we come to Him, we will be keenly aware of our shortcomings and our sin. We will plainly see where we have gone wrong and what needs to be set right. And as we continue to walk with Him, we will always have His light shining on our paths, guiding us away from trouble and into the good that has been prepared for us to walk.

But we know this. And really, this is not the bit that we are worried about. We are worried about the punishment that needs to happen before we are allowed to walk with Jesus again.

Well, if this is you, then I urge you to look at the woman’s episode again. Was her sin revealed? Yes. Was she given insight into the kind of life that Jesus wants her to live? Yes. Will she go away with a clear understanding of how to stay away from sin? Yes. And was there punishment? No!

Yes, God knows us intimately. Yes, God knows all that we have done, are doing and are going to do, even before we do them. But our Father has also,

“…hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:5

Or in another words,

“You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.” Psalm 139:5 [NLT]

When your child is mischievous and you know he will get up to no good, do you wait for him to misbehave and then punish him? Of course you don’t. Instead, you go ahead of him and you follow him, you watch him like a hawk; and the moment you even sense that something is going awry, you swoop down to prevent it, so that your child will not sin and need not be punished. And you only know to do this because your child sinned first and showed you that he had this propensity to commit those wrong acts. So ironically, it was your child’s sin that caused even greater protection to come upon him, right? So then tell me,

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:11

Beloved, Jesus is the light of the world. And in His light, no sin can be hidden. But at the same time, we need to remember that

“…God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

Instead, “…God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

When Jesus died for you on the cross, He brought with Him the new covenant in His blood, “which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28

So when you believed, you received, in full, Jesus’ gift of redemption, once for all, and that is why, when Jesus, the light of the world, shines on your life and your situation, not only is He revealing your mistakes so that you will know to stay away from them, He is showing you the way forward.

But most of all, His light of righteousness has eclipsed any darkness that might be in you, so that all our Father sees is His Son’s righteous light shining on your behalf.

Beloved, the thing that we must always remember is this; Jesus did not come to condemn you. He came to save you. And the sooner you realize that, the sooner you allow Him to watch over you, like you would your own children, and swoop down to arrest any and all situations which might cause you to be led into sin again.

So don’t be afraid of His light, for indeed, “He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12

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