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No Excuse

No Excuse

18 October 2018

GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Jim Stephens

Scripture: John 15:22-25 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)

22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24 If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. 25 This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.’ (John 15:22-25 NLT)

Jesus makes it clear that awareness of truth brings responsibility! Jesus came to his own people and showed them what God is like! He taught them what really matters to God. He demonstrated God’s power and God’s redeeming heart.

When he lived and taught and demonstrated God’s goodness and power among them, the leaders of the Jewish people became responsible to listen, to learn, and to be willing to change their minds so that God could change their hearts. If they had not had the opportunity to receive the truth of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, they would not have been guilty. But they did have the opportunity and for all their reasons of pride, insecurity, their determination to protect their system and personal power at all costs, they rejected the Truth. They rejected Jesus the Truth and in doing so they rejected God.

This says a lot to me about our heart condition, friends. If we’re simply plugging along in a sort of “religious practices, keep the rules and regulations, try not to be the worst, don’t bother me with a bunch of uncomfortable truth”, kind of way, that’s disappointing, but maybe not “guilt-making.” But when Jesus shows up and confronts our prejudices, our insecurities, our selfish ways and self-centered attitudes, and we reject the Truth in Jesus and refuse to respond to the Spirit of Truth who comes to teach us…. That moves things to another level!

It’s one thing to be ignorant of truth because of a lack of opportunity to hear. It’s another thing entirely to be intentionally ignorant of truth because we’re unwilling to change our minds and let God change our hearts! I’ll plan to write something sweet tomorrow, friends, but this is a pill I need to swallow! How about you?

Prayer:

Father, I love you and I love your Truth! Forgive me for self-will and resistance to change. I’m changing my mind so you can change my heart! For Jesus’ sake, Amen!

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