Read John 9
Be aware of what you see when other people come into view. When the disciples looked at the blind man, they “saw” a hypothetical question: “Hmmm … I wonder why he is blind? Did he or his parents sin?” When the religious leaders saw the man, they saw someone “born a total sinner” (v.34 NLT).
When Jesus looked at the man he saw...well, what did he see?
And what do you naturally, automatically see when you look at your spouse, your roommate, your children, your neighbors, your workmates, other commuters or the people on the evening news? Observe yourself observing them, and take note of what you notice. The task is to try NOT to see in any certain way. It is just to notice what you see when you see.
WATCH THE VIDEO
So lets examine Travis from the video
Here’s the question with which we must wrestle: Is God for Travis? Is He for a pimp who sleeps with and sells girls? Is He for this guy who betrayed his wife and left his kids without a father in the house?
Read John 8: 2-11
Here is how Vince, the Pastor, follows up the John 8 story:
There was an Old Testament law. The law said that someone guilty of adultery was to be stoned to death. We learn in this story that, according to Jesus, the only person fit to condemn and punish someone for breaking the law is someone without sin.
That makes sense.
I mean, we don’t actually live that way. We condemn people all the time for their sins, despite being guilty of plenty of our own.
We judge the girl who strips off her clothes in the club, despite the fact that we strip people of their dignity when we talk down to them like they’re less important than we are.
We condemn the guy who lusts over pornography, despite the fact that we lust after money and popularity.
We disapprove of the unmarried couple living together, despite the face that we live in marriages that doesn’t honor God because we don’t love one another as Jesus loved the church.
We denounce the girl who wears a low-cut shirt that reveals too much of her body, despite the fact that we gossip and reveal secrets we promised to keep.
We castigate the smoker inhaling nicotine during his work break, despite the fact that we’ll inhale three donuts during our work break.
We vilify the man dealing drugs on the street corner, despite the fact that we deal half-truths in business transactions.
I’m not saying that stripping, looking at pornography or living together isn’t wrong. It is. It’s rebellion against, and violates the nature of, a holy God. It damages the lives of others. If we do it, it demeans us and leads us to live less-than lives. I’m not saying any of it isn’t wrong.
I’m just saying that we’re not in a place to cast stones.
Well, actually, I’m not saying that. Jesus did.
What’s is your reaction to Vince’s words?
In his book, Vince described when Travis heard about God’s love for the first time. “Travis started weeping. Uncontrollably. Inconsolably. A few minutes later, just after the service ended, I met Travis for the first time. He walked up to me and tried to speak, but I couldn’t understand a word he was saying. He was broken up. Finally, he calmed himself down enough to say, ‘I didn’t know I could be loved like that.’”
Attempt to sit quietly in the Father’s love for you, as if sitting in a pool of light and warmth. Don’t try to do anything, be anything or say anything. Just imagine being bathed in compassionate, unconditional concern and interest.
How do you feel?
Don’t you want your family, friends, strangers to feel this way? To let them know the simple truth that they too “Can be loved like that”.
Simon’s bit: Over the last 6 months we have talked increasingly about our Frontlines. These people in Las Vegas have Frontlines on a totally different level to many of us. God calls us all to be witnesses to His love. There is no avoiding it and how can you want to avoid it? How can you not want to be a light in the darkness. How can you not want to bring others to the simple truth of Gods love. That’s the thing that has really struck me from these videos. People finding His love and saying they didn’t think they were worthy of it or they didn’t think they could come into a church as they wouldn’t be accepted for who they are. GOD LOVES EVERYONE. WE JUST NEED TO TELL THEM. As the Meerkats say on the TV - “SIMPLES!”
Please share your thoughts and reactions. We are a scattered (and isolated) church at the moment but we can still keep in touch by phone and by digital media.
This text is based on extracts from the book and study guide “God For The Rest Of Us”. If you would like a full study guide please contact me. The book is available in various formats from Amazon. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rest-Vince-Antonucci-Kyle-Idleman/dp/1496407164/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1584870057&sr=1-1