I was recently in a group where we watched John’s gospel story of the woman caught in adultery. The pharisees were plotting to trap Jesus and they brought a woman to him, accusing her of being caught committing adultery. Now there are few interesting points about this story such as how can you catch someone committing the act of adultery and wanting to punish them without bringing the other party to justice.
Anyway enough of that tangent. They asked Jesus what he would advise them do seeing as the law said to stone her. He went quiet and started to write on the ground. We don’t know what he wrote, or who long he went quiet for. And so I won’t speculate here either. He then said, “Who ever is without sin, you cast the first stone!”
The crowd who had been earlier baying for her blood in pious self righteousness went quiet and slowly went away. The woman looked at Jesus, who said to her, “Woman, where are your accusers?” and she replied, “Sir, they have gone away!” Jesus then said to her, “Woman, your accusers have gone and nor do I accuse you, go and sin no more!”
A couple of points where made in the resulting discussion in that Jesus was sinless. Among them all, he was the one who had the right to throw the first stone. But he didn’t; instead he showed her compassion and told her to go, forgiven. And from this story we deduced that we shouldn’t throw rocks at others.
BUT a new thought come to me – we ourselves are so good and perhaps some of us have perfected the art at throwing rocks at our selves. Jesus is saying to us, “Hey guys, stop throwing rocks at yourself also.” Now Scripture does call for us to be sober in our self reflection and its right and proper for us to reflect truthfully about how we are doing. But, we are also told to take captive our thoughts and make them captive to the will of Christ…In other words stop throwing rocks at ourselves.
It’s often easy to be distracted or disinterested in disasters and human misery when we are not personally connected. The Philippines are one of Australia’s close neighbors and yet they are so distant and their culture so removed from ours, we really have little thought about them, as we go about our daily struggles to survive our own culture.
Yet Australia has close ties to the Philippines. We have a large population of Filipino people living here along with 3rd and 4th generations who have a Filipino back ground. I am blessed to know and count many as friends – both in the cyber world and as face to face friendships.
My bro also travels on a regular basis to the Philippines and is to marry his fiance there in March next year. She is a beautiful girl with a really kind and gentle heart – which is so typical of that culture. At the moment we don’t know if he is there or here in Australia – but we have strong reason to believe he was on his way there the night before the typhoon hit.
Historically this area has suffered 19 / 20 typhoons a year, with the majority of them blowing out at sea and thankfully only some hitting land. It’s debatable whether or not the one that hit in 1991 is worse then this – and its debatable whether its happened because of climate change or not. And sadly I have been involved in a number of conversations where people have had the attitude See I told you so, its happening. |
This disaster is not the time nor place to politically grandstand on debatable issues. What is not up for debate is the need for our prayers for this nation and the needs for us to truly consider how we may help on a practical basis. Whether it be physical, financial or spiritual they need our help.
A friend of mine who comes from the Philippines suggested to me that this org is a great one to financially support to help over there. http://www.convoyofhope.org/go/headlines/entry/help_headed_to_philippines/
The media have been reporting civil unrest in many places where people who are normally law abiding – have resorted to looting to remain alive. A Red Cross Convey was mobbed, over turned and looted before it got into one of the more worst hit areas.
Father, I pray that you will cause peace to settle over this island. Keep disease at bay and grant wisdom for all so that the best response can be put into action. Cause provision for all who are in need. Bring about a miracle of weather and hold back the winds and the rain allowing response teams to be unhindered. In Jesus name I pray.
I have been thinking and reflecting on 2 Peter 1:3-11 a lot lately. Yesterday in my reflective time, I was reflecting on the fruit of the Spirit and how there are 7 fruits. However, It hit me that there isn’t 7 fruits of the Spirit of God at all. In fact there is only one fruit of the Spirit. And the fruit of the Spirit is all contained in the one package of the Spirit of God working in and working through and working over our lives.
So the fruit of the Spirit in our lives is that we will become more like God and exhibit his characteristics and nature.. and his nature is one of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith gentleness, self-control. And so just as there is one God who works over all, through all and in all – there is only one fruit which can be described as…
All too often within the sphere of cyber space and even in real life, we forget that those we interact with are real people, with real struggles, with real lives, with real issues, with real hurts and real victories and bleed when hurt.
Today I had the pleasure of skyping, talking, laughing and praying with a brother in Christ. While its true we are nearly as far apart as the east is from the west within our theological convictions on certain matters; its likewise true that the distance between our theological differences is only as far as the ends of the right and the left cross beam of the cross. For Christ is not divided and we are one in Christ.
Greg, I want to say it was a sheer pleasure mate. And I look forward to doing it again.
A friend said this morning… “I just don’t know what to think about some people!”
My reply was – “When you don’t know what to think about some people; start praying for those people – after all, God already knows what he thinks about them. “
My friend Becky Black went home to glory last night.
It’s a mixture of joy and sadness. Joy in that she is no longer in pain, and that she is now to experience the fullness of the resurrection. But, its terribly sad and I shall miss her.
Please pray for her husband, her friend, her confident of 30 plus years. Please pray for her family and friends. And pray that the ministries they started will continue to flourish.