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Extending Dignity

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
February 4, 2024 7:00 pm

Extending Dignity

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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February 4, 2024 7:00 pm

Maggie’s guest showed up in church shockingly dressed. No one should have been surprised though; her young friend was a prostitute. Maggie’s visitor shifted uneasily in her seat, alternately tugging at her much-too-short skirt and folding her arms self-consciously around herself.

“Oh, are you cold?” Maggie asked, deftly diverting attention away from how she was dressed. “Here! Take my shawl.”

Maggie never evangelized in the traditional sense. Yet she introduced dozens of people to Jesus simply by inviting them to come to church and helping them feel comfortable. The gospel had a way of shining through her winsome methods. She treated everyone with dignity.

When religious leaders dragged a woman before Jesus with the harsh (and accurate) charge of adultery, Christ kept the attention off her until He sent her accusers away. Once they were gone, He could have scolded her. Instead, He asked two simple questions: “Where are they?” and “Has no one condemned you?” (John 8:10). The answer to the latter question, of course, was no. So Jesus gave her the gospel in one brief statement: “Then neither do I condemn you.” And then the invitation: “Go now and leave your life of sin” (v. 11).

Never underestimate the power of genuine love for people—the kind of love that refuses to condemn, even as it extends dignity and forgiveness to everyone.  

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Thanks for joining us for today's encouragement from The Our Daily Bread Devotional. Our reading, titled Extending Dignity, was written by Tim Gustafson. Maggie's young friend showed up in church, shockingly dressed.

No one should have been surprised, though. She was a prostitute. Maggie's visitor shifted uneasy in her seat, alternately tugging at her much-too-short skirt, and folding her arms self-consciously around herself. Oh, are you cold? Maggie asked, deftly diverting attention away from how she was dressed.

Here, take my shawl. Maggie introduced dozens of people to Jesus simply by inviting them to come to church and helping them feel comfortable. The gospel had a way of shining through her winsome methods.

She treated everyone with dignity. When religious leaders dragged a woman before Jesus with the harsh and accurate charge of adultery in John chapter 8, Christ kept the attention off her until he sent her accusers away. Once they were gone, he could have scolded her. Instead, he asked two simple questions. Where are they, and has no one condemned you?

The answer to the latter question, of course, was no. So, Jesus gave her the gospel in one brief statement, then neither do I condemn you. And then the invitation, go now and leave your life of sin. Never underestimate the power of genuine love for people, the kind of love that refuses to condemn, even as it extends dignity and forgiveness to everyone.

Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from John chapter 8, verses 2 through 11. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the law, Moses commanded us to stone such a woman. Now what do you say?

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. 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.

Again, he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 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. Jesus straightened up and asked her, Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?

No one, sir, she said. Then neither do I condemn you, Jesus declared. Go now and leave your life of sin. Let's pray. Dear gracious God, help us to remember that the gospel is good news for everyone. Please forgive us for having a judgmental spirit and help us to show others your love and grace. Thank you, Lord. It's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Thanks for listening today. I'm Stephen Tabor, and today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-09 10:41:02 / 2024-02-09 10:42:48 / 2

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