Everything I have run across in the last couple of weeks keeps sending me back to Romans 8. Devotionals, Facebook posts, church, etc. It must be time for me to spend some time there again. In the meantime, I read this recently and thought that I would share it with you.
Condemnation is a heavy burden to bear. No matter the source of the condemnation and no matter the reason, condemnation crushes the life out of us all when given the opportunity. Many of us live our lives condemned because we have been unable or unwilling to permit that burden to be removed. Sometimes the condemnation is self-imposed, and we just cannot forgive ourselves for what seems to be, in our own estimation, some great failure. Sometimes the condemnation comes from outside ourselves for failures in the eyes of others. Whether these failures are relatively insignificant or enormous, the burden of condemnation is hard to bear. Therefore the words of Jesus–“neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again” (John 8:11)–are music to our ears. To know that we do not need to carry the failures of the past into the future is good news indeed. Jesus came not to condemn the world but to save the world (John 3:17). The good news for all of us declares that the chains binding us to past failures can be broken; we can be set free to live all our tomorrows without condemnation.
Stop and think for a moment about all those memories that keep invading your consciousness to convince you that you are condemned. And then remember these words of the New Testament: “Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us” (Romans 8:34). There is no condemnation for those who walk with Christ.
Today offer all the condemnations of the past and present–silly and substantial–to God in Christ Jesus and hear the words of Jesus addressed to you: “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.” And now give thanks to God that you are free of the burden of condemnation.
–Rueben P. Job in A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God
A good reminder for those of us who tend to carry guilt and condemnation from various places – both internal and external – that we are not condemned in Christ Jesus. Remember that as you start a new Monday morning today.