Convicted to Love

John 16: 7 – 11

I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

I bet you have read these verses dozens of times. I, also, have read this passage many times. I did not always understand its depth and richness though, and truly, I probably still do not see all that Jesus conveys with these words. Let us look more closely for a few minutes.

First, if you read the previous verses, you discover that Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the starting place for all of this. Jesus then describes part of the impact of the coming of the Spirit. First, he will convict the world concerning sin. Concerning sin, the Spirit convicts the world because they do not believe in Jesus as the Christ. These are the words which stopped me this week.

I thought he convicted the world concerning their sin, i.e. adultery, usury, lying, idol worship, etc. Shock of the week, that is not what the scripture says. I should have known better. God is love. Duh! The Spirit convicts people’s hearts about Christ. Guilt and Satan convict them about their behaviors. Do you see the subtlety? The Holy Spirit is preaching Christ. He is preaching the love of God.

Are we nuts? Revelation 12: 10 tells us that Satan is the accuser of the beloved. What are we thinking? Somehow, we turned that on its head and made the Holy Spirit he who condemns us and the world. How wrong can we possibly be? It is frightening how far we have twisted the scriptures. We have certainly been deceived.

The Holy Spirit preaches Jesus which, as we know, is the good news. How did we even turn the sending of the Holy Spirit, and his coming, into a negative? It is only because of the brokenness of our own hearts. The Spirit has come to continue the work of Jesus. We would all agree to that, wouldn’t we? That commission is to spread deliverance, truth and the loving, redemptive grace of the Father.

I will never see this scripture the same again. Perhaps you will say the same. The Holy Spirit didn’t come with a whip, He came with a heart, the heart of the Father. We know that heart to be one of love and compassion. When we receive the Spirit in his fullness, then our hearts will be full of love and compassion as well. Our hearts will be mended of their scars and the injuries therein healed. The healing must begin with us, then we will be able to tell the world of the love that saved and healed us. Then we will be able to spread the good news to all people. The good news is attractive; as Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself,” (John 12: 32). Amen!

Forlorn, Weeping and Mourning

Psalm 35: 11 – 16            NIV

Ruthless witnesses come forward; they question me on things I know nothing about. They repay me evil for good and leave my soul forlorn. Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting. When my prayers returned to me unanswered, I went about mourning as though for my friend or brother, I bowed my head in grief as though weeping for my mother. But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; attackers gather against me when I was unaware. They slandered me without ceasing. Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked; they gnashed their teeth at me.

David wrote this psalm from his soul. His anguish is evident. Although we don’t have King Saul hunting us down and trying to kill us at every turn, none the less, I feel confident that most of us have experience with the emotions and thoughts David was experiencing.

David loved Saul. He served him faithfully. What was his reward? Jealousy, suspicion and unwarranted aggression. Can you relate to that? The very person you spend your blood and breath praying for is the one who hurls the javelin at you. When they are sick, when they are hurting, you put on your sackcloth and pray in earnest, even in deep travail for them. You pour out your soul to God on their behalf and then at the first opportunity they plot your demise. It just does not seem right, does it? Sometimes the people that you help the most turn on you. Notice also that these people who repay our good with evil are not the ungodly. David writes that they act like the ungodly. They are likely the people who know better.

These people, these accusers do not tell the truth either. We know that because David called them slanderers. People will lie about you, will frame things in a less than favorable light in order to misconstrue and to give others a wrong impression of you. They are masters at deception and will easily lead others astray so that the naïve will believe their rhetoric although it is all false.

It will take three installments of the Word of the Day to go through the 35th Psalm and see how David dealt with this issue. I think it is worth the time to follow David through this experience. Hopefully by the end you will have a new revelation on this situation. At the very least you will know that you are not alone and will likely feel akin to David.


Revelation 12: 10

Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down.

Who is the accuser of the brethren? It is he who has been thrown down. It’s Satan, right? God is not the accuser of the brethren. We have already seen that He is the rewarder of the brethren. God is not judging us. He sent salvation and the salvation and power that He sent threw down the accuser. “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8: 1). Christ, our savior, rescued us from judgment and condemnation. That is why our Father does not want us judging and/or condemning each other. He does not want tattle-tales.

Jesus said, “Judge not lest you be judged” (Matthew 7: 1). Well, that sentence could just as easily end with “Judge not.” Satan is the accuser of the brethren. Jesus is the savior of the brethren. He has restored us in His glory and majesty. That is why he hates to hear us judging and criticizing each other. He knows our weaknesses. That is why we needed a savior but despite our faults we are the beloved.

If God isn’t judging us, and we saw that to be true in Monday’s Word of the Day (John 5: 22) and Jesus isn’t judging us (John 3: 17) then where do we get the goofy idea that we are allowed to judge anyone? In doing so we are doing the devil’s work because he is the accuser. This is really huge. Since God and Jesus have foregone their legal right to judge, condemn and sentence us then anyone who does judge is usurping their authority. This is exactly why you see verses in the Bible against gossip, backbiting and strife. We are playing with the devil’s toys when we engage in those acts.

Whatsmore, judging others invites calamity upon ourselves. That is one of the big reasons Jesus doesn’t want us to judge. Remember he said, “Judge not lest you be judged.” Look at Luke 6: 37, “And do not judge and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.” The degree to which we accuse our brethren and judge them, that is the amount of judgment seed we sow and hence by that measure we will receive judgment. It isn’t that God is judging us. We have already seen that is not the case. No, it is that we will just reap judgment and condemnation from the people around us. If you think people are judging you, it might be because you have been judgmental. Jesus wants to save you from yourself.

Whatever you have thought about criticism, accusation, judgment and condemnation in the past should now be tempered by what you know from the Word. God has not called us as judges but rather as believers. He has not asked us to tattle on our sisters and brothers. He is explicitly saying to us that this is an area which is forbidden to us. Satan stands accused for this very thing. He is the one who holds our sin up before the Father but God has condemned him for his acts.

Free yourself from Judgment. It is too heavy a load to bear.