Pastor Stephen Dedman

The First To Throw A Stone

The First To Throw A Stone

And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
‭‭John‬ ‭8:7‬ ‭

Guilty But Not Condemned

A woman caught in an adulterous act was brought before Jesus by the Scribes and Pharisees. They were testing Him to try to find a way to discredit His authority.  The Pharisees were disciples of Moses because they knew God spoke to Moses.  They could not believe that Jesus was the Messiah.  So this was a test to see what Jesus would say and do.  According to the Law, the punishment was stoning to death.  However Jesus turned the situation around.  He made the Pharisees realize they were sinners as well.

The Pharisees tried to destroy the woman but Jesus restored her.  Jesus wrote a message in the sand that no one knows.  Then He said for the one without sin should be the first to throw the first stone.  One by one the Pharisees walked away.  Jesus then asked the woman who was there to condemn her and her answer was “no one.”

This is a great lesson for all of us. First, who are we to pass judgment upon someone else. We are all sinners in need of God’s grace. We should never throw stones of judgment upon anyone else. And second, we should never try to destroy someone else but instead we should help restore them. If we witness a person living a life of sinful behavior we should take the needed time to disciple them with love and care. This is what Jesus would do.

Prayer

Lord, help me to restore and encourage people today. Help me not to condemn or discourage anyone.

Into A Pit

Into A Pit

So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. And they took him and threw him into a pit.
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭37:23-24‬a

No Way Out

Joseph was a victim of circumstances.  He told his family about the dreams he had of them all bowing down before him.  His brothers were jealous and his father showed him favoritism by giving him a special colorful robe to wear. He was eleventh in line of inheritance but the first son of Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachel.  No doubt Joseph was hated by his brothers and getting rid of him was their choice of action.  Instead of killing him they all agreed to throw him into a waterless pit.  He didn’t stay in the pit long though before he was sold to a passing caravan of Ishmaelites and then sold into Egyptian slavery.

God had a special plan and purpose for Joseph.  He was treated harshly for simply sharing about the dreams he was given. Sometimes we find ourselves in a pit just like Joseph.  We simply mind our own business and evil things happen to us while we don’t deserve them. This is the reality of life.  As we live in an evil world, evil things will happen to good people.  The most important thing we can do is keep our head up and our minds on Christ.  Even though we cannot control some of our circumstances, we can control our attitude and behavior.  We can keep shining the light of Jesus as we suffer so others will see Jesus in us.

God might have you in pit right now for a reason.  If you find yourself in a bad situation make sure to make the best of the situation by keeping a positive attitude and pointing others to Christ.

Prayer

Lord, I pray my life will be an example for others to see who You are and to show Your glory and grace.

Daily Devotional

Going Fishing

Going Fishing

Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
John 21:3

Fishing For The Familiar

It’s amazing how quickly we can forget our mission and purpose in life.  As Christians we are commanded by Christ to make disciples.  But sometimes we lose focus of the big picture and lean toward seeking fulfillment of what we “want” to do.  Especially when we face discouraging moments.

This was the case with Peter.  Peter was facing a difficult time.  On one hand he knew he was suppose to serve Christ and fulfill the mission of sharing the gospel with others.  But on the other hand, he was dealing with guilt and shame because he denied Jesus.  Peter started doing what he use to do.  He went fishing because he lost his mission and vision of serving Christ.

For over three years Peter had followed Jesus close enough to know that he was a soul winner and no longer a fisherman.  Jesus told him that he was the “Rock” that would build the church and the gates of Hell could not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)  But sadly, when Jesus was distant, Peter went back to fishing again as he did before he met Christ.  It was the easy thing to do.  When he started battling discouragement he gave up and retreated to something familiar.  But notice they caught nothing all night.  He wasn’t a fisherman, he was still a fisher of men.

Let’s stay focussed on what God has called us to do and keep making disciples.

Prayer

Lord, help me to focus on Your love and keep me in your loving arms.