Skip to content

In my ponderings, I ran across six of the saddest words I’ve ever read.

I found them right in the opening to the book of John.

…His own did not receive Him. - John 1:11 NASB

The “Him” here, thus far, has only been identified as “The Word” and “the Light.” We’ll learn later in the first chapter that the old apostle is talking about Jesus Christ.

John establishes first that Jesus and the God of the Jews are One in the same.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. - John 1:1-2 NASB

Next, He tells us that this same Jesus, the Word, is the agency through which all things came into being, He’s the creator.

All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. - John 1:3 NASB

But the heartbreak comes down in verse 11.

He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. - John 1:11 NASB

This creator of all things actually made a covenant with a people. He chose to reveal Himself to the Children of Israel.

He chose them

He brought them out of slavery

He established them in the land of promise

He protected them

He gave them a land and made them a people

But when He came to reveal Himself to His people

they rejected Him

they hated Him

they mocked Him

they scourged Him

they crucified Him.

There have been times when I’ve been unwilling to receive Him. Even as a child of God, even after He saved me and I received His free gift of salvation, there have been times when my heart closed up to Him. Has this ever happened to you?

He chose me

He revealed Himself to me

He delivered me from the power of sin

He blessed me with all spiritual blessings

He protected me from the punishment of sin

He joined me to a people who were not my people

And yet there are times when I don’t receive Him

When I set Him aside

When I don’t pursue Him

It is sad, isn’t it?

Lord Jesus. I am so thankful that you came, lived, and loved me/us. Forgive me and help me walk with my heart open to you today, moment by moment. I don’t want to be remembered like these you record in your Word who did not receive you, though you came to them.

You are a good, good Father, and I thank you for speaking through Your Word.

Don’t leave feeling guilty. Conviction comes from time to time to call us back to a place from which we’ve stepped away. Today is a good day to step back into the arms of the Father. He’s right there at the end of the lane, waiting with open arms. Every time we open our hearts to receive Him, He opens His arms to receive us…

…And great rejoicing ensues!!

Hallelujah!

Thanks for stopping by today.

See you again soon.

Ben

6

sin righteousness and judgment

And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; - John 16:8 NASB

But how?

I have heard this used as an excuse for all manner of condemnation – like:

Well – the Holy Spirit’s job is to convict the world of Sin and since He is in me, I need to get busy convicting the world of sin. So I am going to go to the sinners and start convicting them.

This passage does go on to talk in some more detail about what the Spirit will do in the life of a believer, but as I pondered how the Spirit might go about convicting the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, I thought of what Paul said the Spirit would do in the life of a believer.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23 NASB

I know I have said this here before, but the word fruit here is a singular noun. From Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words we have this:

…"the fruit of the Spirit," Gal 5:22, the singular form suggesting the unity of the character of the Lord as reproduced in them, namely, "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance," all in contrast with the confused and often mutually antagonistic "works of the flesh." [i]

I like to say the fruit of the Spirit is a love marked by joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

I am convinced that conviction will result as we live Spirit-filled lives, speaking as led by the Spirit and loving in a full-on fruit of the Spirit manner. [Tweet This] Jesus hammered away at the sin He found in the Church leadership – the Pharisees and Priests – but He tended to be more gentle and tender with those trapped in the hold of their unrighteousness. His love was compelling, and the outworking of the Spirit in His life brought many to the place where they were ready when the Church was born and the Spirit poured out at large.

He did not wink at sin, or downplay its dangers, but I believe He was helping get people to a place where they could see and receive the light He had to give. He preached repentance from dead works and faith toward God, and accompanied His preaching with works of compassion and provision.

John 16 goes on to tell us that the Holy Spirit will take what belongs to Jesus and disclose it to us. The basic idea is that filled with the Sprit, we will look like Jesus. As we walk like He walked (1 John 2:6) the world will be convicted of sin, righteousness and judgment.

Have you seen this in your walk? Have you seen your love for someone convict them? I would love to hear about it.

BN Writers Page 150Thanks for stopping by.

See you again soon.

Ben

 

 

[i] Vine, W. "Dictionaries :: Fruit (Bear), Fruitful, Unfruitful." Blue Letter Bible. Sowing Circle. 24 Jun, 1996. Web. 22 May, 2014. .

16

Condemned

In the midst of the strong words of Jesus, I want to take a minute and talk about how Jesus corrects His children. This is really important. It is really easy for us to get into a tailspin when we feel the rebuke of the Lord, and that is not His intention.

There are 2 parts to this issue.

The first thing is to distinguish Condemnation and Conviction.

The other important issue is how you deal with it.

Condemnation is vague. Perhaps it has spoken these words in your ear: “You will never get it right.” “You always hurt people.” “You call yourself a Christian?” These sound strangely like what the accuser once said to Jesus “If you are the Son of God…”

Condemnation leads nowhere but down and away from Jesus. It crushes your spirit and is not redemptive in any way. It is the voice Adam and Eve heard in the garden once they had eaten of the worlds fruit something told them they were naked – exposed – vulnerable – out from under the protection of their wonderful creator. Jesus says to them (yes, I know it was God, but anytime I see God in human form – like walking in the garden in the cool of the day, I figure it is Jesus) “who told you that you were naked?” The clear implication is that their whole cover-up was rooted not in the words of God, but another voice.

Condemnation’s voice is far different than that of conviction. It comes in the voice of the accuser. satan is called the “accuser of the brethren” and as such He is always pointing fingers.

Condemnation is the voice of hell!

Conviction on the other had is 100% redemptive.

Conviction is specific. The first indication that it is God speaking correction rather than satan speaking junk, is specificity (don’t try to say that out loud – it will get your tongue in a knot.) The Holy Spirit speaks to your heart in clear and actionable correction. If you have no idea how to fix what is wrong, after a time of prayer, seeking His face, it is probably not His voice.

Conviction is an invitation! (I wish I could some how convey what a big deal this is! Let me try just saying it again.)

Conviction is an invitation! (Let me try a different color.)

Conviction is an invitation! (Are you getting it – let me explain.) When the Holy Spirit convicts, it is a gift card to the repentance store.

Repentance is not something you can buy with your self-punishment, or with some period of time spent weeping, or feeling stupid or pathetic.

Repentance is a gift from God (2 Timothy 2:25,) and the exciting part is when God gives repentance it is the doorway to freedom. If you will accept the gift of repentance (change of mind – aka renewal of your mind) you will find yourself free from the pattern of thought or action that got you into this mess in the first place (see 2 Corinthians 7:10-11.)

This is sooo big – don’t miss it!

God’s gifts are completely effective. They never fall short. If you will accept the gift of repentance and fully walk it out, you will be free.

Let me recapitulate – Conviction is an invitation to FREEDOM! (not license – freedom)

Conviction points out areas of slavery in your life, and sets you on your own Freedom Road. [Tweet This]

For a detailed description of how to walk out repentance and break through to freedom check out my post “Repentance, The Path To Comfort

One caveat - There is a condemnation that comes from God - that is the condemnation resting on every man who has not given his life to Jesus Christ. (John 3:18, 36)

I pray this helps.

Thanks for coming by.

Ben

%d bloggers like this: