LESSONS FROM THE BEACH: A note from Jesus
This past summer, I had the privilege of going away for a week with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. It was a girls-only trip and I had a wonderful time. I have to admit, it was a little out of my comfort zone. I have never left my family for a week before. I almost never go on trips without my husband. Although, I had a tummy full of butterflies, I followed my sweethearts urging, and went to the beach for seven days. I read books, ate at great restaurants, watched movies, slept in, enjoyed the ocean and the pool. With all the fun I was having, I tried to keep my eyes open for God to speak to me. He is everywhere. He wants us to notice Him. I can say He did not disappoint this time. God gave me three specific lessons while vacationing. All while I was enjoying leisure time in the sand and under the summer sun.
My first lesson came when I was walking on the beach. I would look at the sand. I saw seashells, dried seaweed, washed up debris, and of course the occasional abandoned sandcastle. As I was enjoying my walk one sunny day, I was reminded of a very important story in the Bible. In John 8:1-11, the Bible tells us that the Pharisees brought a women to Jesus, who was caught in the act of adultery. They reminded Jesus, as if He needed reminding, that the law commands that she be stoned. He stooped down and began to write in the sand. They continued to provoke Him and push for this women to be stoned. Jesus then stood and said some very powerful words, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” These words are quoted by believers and non-believers. The lesson these words teach is that we should not condemn others because we ourselves are full of sin. And though there is much truth in this statement, I want to focus on what comes next. In verse 8-9:, “And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one...”
Many people have speculated what Jesus was writing in the sand. My husband believes it’s not included for a purpose so that we can apply this story in a personal way. While we read this incredible story, we can fill in this portion. Some believe He listed the sins of the Pharisees. Others believe that what he was writing was not of importance to the story. There are a few that say He started listing the Ten Commandments. We can all speculate. As I walked down the beach that day, God spoke so clearly to me. I knelt right there and wrote the word forgiven in the sand. I captured this moment in the picture above. God did not tell me that He wrote forgiven in the sand. However, God did remind me that I am forgiven. Just like that woman caught in adultery deserved to be punished according to the law, I too deserve to be punished for my sins. Many people from my past and my present can list my sins and charge me honestly. When viewed through the eyes of humans my sins are grievous and some unforgivable. The glorious news of the gospel is that, in my Saviors eyes, I am forgiven.
Friend, do you have a weight of sin on your shoulder? Does the “accuser of the brethren” remind you of all your wrongs? Are there people in your life who make you feel broken and damaged by your sins? I am here today to declare what Christ declared to this precious woman hundreds of years ago. “When Jesus had lifted up himself, and he saw none but the woman he said unto her, “Woman where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?” She said “No man, Lord.” And Jesus said unto her “Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more.” Once we accept the gift of salvation, we are FORGIVEN. God no longer remembers what we have done. We are no longer defined by our sins. We are a child of the King and Jesus is our advocate. So many of us live in a place of condemnation, when Christ desires us to live in freedom.
Today, I encourage you to remind yourself of how God sees you. If you are not sure of your salvation, please reach out to me. I would love to share how you can have a personal relationship with Jesus. If you are saved but you are caught up in the lies of the enemy, I challenge you to fight back with truth. Write forgiven down and place it somewhere you will see it everyday. Maybe inside the door of your closet, the corner of your mirror or on the refrigerator. The important thing is that you remind yourself who you are in Christ and that is all that matters!! We are forgiven!!!
Your friend, April Minnix, daughter of the King