Lifelines August 16, 2020

It seems that the whole world is poised, rocks in hand, searching for an offender to stone into oblivion.  A target is not hard to find.  Wrongdoers are everywhere, including among the stone throwers.  There are no innocents.  Jesus knew.  Only the sin-free are qualified (John 8:7).  One-by-one their stones hit the ground as they wandered away.  None were thrown. 

Criticism is easy and provides justification for that fast ball, or rock, as the case may be.  “Do not judge so that you will not be judged (Matthew 7:1-5).”  The self-appointed judges set standards that they themselves failed to meet.  The Lord had a word for them: hypocrites.  Their potential victims had a speck of what they were blinded by.  It would be best to hold fast to that condemnation until they did a self-assessment.  Someday that same measuring stick will be used on them.

There is a never-ending barrage of both literal and verbal stones hurled around our nation these days, each intended to condemn and damage someone.  It is awfully easy to get swept up in the emotions of the moment and grab a rock.  As we reach for one that really sends a message; let’s stop, drop the rock and think about what our actions will say about us.  What purpose does it serve?  What do we hope to accomplish?

God saw the state of the world.  His chosen people had strayed far from their purpose.  They had His law, His house, His priesthood but they just didn’t have His heart.  The externals were in order and their words had a religious ring to them, but they stood at an internal distance.  They emphasized the insignificant and ignored the important.  If anyone ever had a right to fling a rock in disappointment, it was God.  He didn’t.  He sent His Son. 

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:17).”  The Creator has an immense love for His creation demonstrated in the gift that He gave to retrieve us from the ravages of sin.  His first response was not stoning but saving. 

The Son came on a mission to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).  Sin leads us down a path that we cannot begin to comprehend.   It will cause us to do extensive damage not only to ourselves but to those around us.  Relationships are wrecked, beginning first with our heavenly Father.  Others follow.  Jesus came to save us from our wayward wanderings.  There were no rocks in His hands, only nails. The time for judgment will come.  Eventually this world will end for all of us, and eternity will begin.  The Lord’s perception is beyond this world.  Ours should be, too, for ourselves and our neighbors.  They don’t need stoning.  They need salvation.  We follow His steps and throw lifelines not rocks