Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Old Account Was Settled

Tomorrow we go to the voting polls and cast our ballot for possibly the next Prime Minister of Canada. Many will not even vote and I believe the reason why they won't is because of the confusion of information concerning the candidates and their platforms that is given in the media. One party leader attacks another and the trend seems to be to see how much dirt they can dig up about the person's past, sometimes even going back years and years to past offenses committed long ago.

I personally find it sad whenever anyone brings up a person's past with the sole intent to injure that person. How cruel! If you actually listened to the media, you would find that according to the commercials, there is no one who could be found worthy to run the country. How disheartening!

While I don't think we should condone sin, neither is it up to us to judge another. We need to leave them to God and allow Him to do the weighing and finding out who is found wanting in the balance. (Daniel 5:27) In the New Testament we read of the account of a woman found in the act of adultery. John 8: 1-11. Take a moment and read the story once again:
1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
   2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
   But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
   9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
   11 “No one, sir,” she said.
   “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Just imagine how this woman felt: embarassed, humiliated, angry, exposed, just to name a few of the emotions she was probably dealing with. She was guilty of the sin they accused her of, yet Jesus didn't accuse her. He just knelt down and began writing in the sand. What did He write? Did He write each man's sins for all to see? I don't know because the Scripture doesn't tell us. But it does say "let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."

Jesus was saying that all of us have been guilty of sin and who are we to judge one another? Only God can judge us. After all her accusers left, out of shame, I might add, Jesus told the woman to "go now and leave your life of sin". He didn't excuse her sin, but told her that He wasn't going to condemn her and that she had  to stop sinning. He didn't remind her of all the times she had sinned in her past. He showed her grace. He gave her forgiveness. He didn't hold her past against her. As Christians we are to follow Christ's example and I believe that includes how we handle another person's past. We need to leave it in the past and not bring it up to them anymore, that's between them and God and only them.

I know my sins and my past have been forgiven because I confessed my sins to the Lord and asked Him to forgive me. Since that day I have tried to live my best for Him. I have tried to follow Christ's example including showing grace to others. One of my favourite hymns says it all. The Old Account Was Settled speaks of the great debt I owed to God for my sin and how He paid that debt for me.

When I think of all that the Lord has forgiven in my life how can I hold another person's sins against them?

The Old Account Was Settled-- Frank M. Graham 1902

There was a time on earth, when in the book of Heav’n
An old account was standing for sins yet unforgiv’n;
My name was at the top, and many things below,
I went unto the Keeper, and settled long ago.

Long ago (down on my knees), long ago (I settled it all),
Yes, the old account was settled long ago (Hallelujah!);
And the record’s clear today, for He washed my sins away,
When the old account was settled long ago.

The old account was large, and growing every day,
For I was always sinning, and never tried to pay;
But when I looked ahead, and saw such pain and woe,
I said that I would settle, I settled long ago.

When in that happy home, my Savior’s home above,
I’ll sing redemption’s story, and praise Him for His love;
I’ll not forget that book, with pages white as snow,
Because I came and settled, and settled long ago.

O sinner, trust the Lord, be cleansed of all your sin,
For thus He hath provided for you to enter in;
And then if you should live a hundred years below,
Up there you’ll not regret it, you settled long ago.

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