Written and preached by David P. Nolte
On my desk are three stones. One of them is rough and abrasive.
One is small, smooth and painted blue. It has the words, "I Love You"
painted in white. The other is a larger rock, painted purple and it,
:"I Love You!" The first rock I got behind the building. On it are the
words, "The First Stone." It is a good hurling rock. It would do some
when striking the target. Today I want to talk about the three stones,
beginning with the one I found behind the building.
- THE FIRST
STONE: THE STONE OF WRATH:
- Under the Old Testament Law, certain offenses, including
adultery, were punishable by death by stoning. After a fair trial, with
at least two honest witnesses, and a sentence had been declared,
stoning would follow.
- In this case, there was no fair trial, there was no
co-defendant (where was the man???), and no duly authorized judge to
pronounce sentence. It was a kangaroo court, with a mockery of justice
and a sham pretense of righteous indignation.
- But in the midst of hatred and wrath, hypocrisy and
self-righteousness, Jesus teaches a great lesson:
- He implied, "All right, stone her. But let those who have
never sinned throw the first stones!" John 8:7 (NLT). Be
you are guiltless before you stone the guilty.
- He teaches us to examine ourselves before we criticize or
judge another. "And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when
you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, 'Let me help
you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the log
in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye;
then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your
friend's eye." Matthew
Take care of your own sins first.
- Justice hurls the stone of wrath, but only innocence
qualifies the hurler. The woman, by Law, deserved stoning; but the only
One qualified to do it, didn't! Jesus put the onus on the guiltless -
and there was not one to be found in that malevolent mob.
- A boy stood before the justice of the peace accused, and
guilty, of stealing watermelons from a farmer's patch. The justice
looked stern and disapproving. He said, "Do you have anything to say
for yourself before I pass sentence?" The boy said, "Sir, didn't you
never steal a watermelon when you was a kid?" Suddenly, the justice
remembered that he had and gave the boy a firm lecture, ending it by
saying, "I'm giving you another chance, but son, don't steal anymore
melons!" To the woman, accused, and guilty of,
adultery, the sinless Jesus said, "I don't condemn you, but go and sin
So that brings us to a second stone:
- THE SECOND
STONE: THE STONE OF LOVE:
- When she was 7 years old, my daughter, Keri, painted this rock
for me. I have had it for 29 years. It is priceless. I would rather
have it than a gold nugget its size! It is precious because it says, "I
you!" It is the expression of a child's heart to her daddy. You can't
a price on that rock. It is a stone of love.
- Jesus knew the woman was guilty. No doubt about that. He knew
the motives of the mob were not justice or righteousness. They were
setting her and Him up for a fall. But love won the day. "Where are
your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?" and she replied,
"No, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more." John 8:10-11 (NLT).
- No stone of wrath, but a stone of love thrown at her.
- Not condemnation, but a second chance.
- Not compromise with evil, but conquest over it.
- Not lowering of the standard, but lifting the fallen.
- If you are going to hurl a stone at someone, let it be a stone
of love - an action of kindness, a deed of mercy, a gift of compassion.
- Jesus felt toward this desperate woman what a missionary felt
toward another woman. She had longed to manifest Christ's love to
others but was finding it extremely difficult to have genuine affection
for the worst outcasts of society. One day she had to face the issue in
a police court. A dirty and unkempt woman to whom she had previously
witnessed had just been sentenced to jail. As the Christian saw this
wretched soul sobbing bitterly, she was filled with compassion and
wanted to help her. Quickly going to her side, she put her arm around
her and kissed her. Never having been shown such love, the distressed
woman was deeply moved. It wasn't long before she was led to the Lord
Jesus for cleansing and salvation. Later, being released from prison,
she was nursed back to health by the mission worker,
who took her into her own home until she was fit to return to society.
Not only was that needy sinner rescued from an evil life, but the
Christian who helped her was brought into a deeper relationship with
So that brings us to a third stone:
- THE THIRD STONE: THE STONE OF IMITATION:
- This stone was painted by my, then 7 year old granddaughter,
Alisha. She had been interested in the blue stone which her mother
made. She decided to make one, too! She imitated her mother - and
a message of love.
- Imitation is a form of compliment, actually. Imitation is not
entirely bad, in spite of the epithet , "Copy Cat! Copy Cat!" Imitation
can be desirable provided:
- You imitate the right person. If you imitate a sinner in his
/ her sins, you have made a poor choice of mentor.
- Solomon says, "Do not envy violent people; don't copy their
ways." Proverbs 3:31
- And, "Do not carouse with drunkards and gluttons, for they
are on their way to poverty." Proverbs 23:20-21 (NLT).
- Paul could say, "Be imitators of me, just as I also am of
Corinthians 11:1 (NASB). I.e., "insofar as what
you see in me is like Christ, imitate it!"
- "For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the
love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in
still ministering to the saints. And we desire that each one of you
show the same
diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,
you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and
inherit the promises." Hebrews 6:10-12 (NASB).
- "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; Ephesians 5:1 (NASB).
- You imitate for the right reason: you know that the person
sets a good example and your imitation will improve your live!
- You imitate without losing your own creativity and God-given
individuality in the process.
- Who is your role model? What is the example you follow? What
pattern do you emulate? What sort of things should we imitate in others?
- When you see someone loving, especially loving the unlovely,
learn from that example and imitate it.
- When you see someone being generous and sharing, get in step
with that person and imitate that giving.
- When you see someone witnessing for Jesus, join in and become
an imitator of that evangelism.
- When you see someone exercising self-control, learn from that
- When you see someone forgiving another, deem that a worthy
model and imitate it.
- During the French Revolution a howling mob surged through the
streets of Paris bent on violence and destruction. Soldiers with their
glistening bayonets were unable to stop them. The people even defied a
loaded cannon aimed in their direction. Suddenly a white-haired man
dashed into the square and signaled for attention. "Halt! That's De la
Eure!" cried the leader of the disorderly crowd. "This man's character
has been pure and blameless. Let's listen to him!" Immediately the
rioters were silent. What weapons could not do, a single person who had
lived a consistent Christian life
was able to accomplish. Through his appeal the uprising was stopped.
what kind of role model are you to others" And who is your role model?
What is the example you set and what is the example you follow? What
do you show and what pattern do you emulate? Is it the angry accusing
crowd? Or is it the merciful, loving and kind Jesus? It makes all the
difference in the world as to how you treat others, and what kind of
person you become.
When you remember the stone of wrath, you know that you can
convict and condemn - but if you do, be absolutely sure of your own
innocence. When you think of the stone of love remember to be kind,
compassionate, generous, merciful and forgiving. Be as gracious to
others as you want God to be to you. And when you recall the stone of
imitation be sure you imitate Jesus - don't follow my steps, I may lead
you astray. Don't follow my example, I may set a bad one. There are
worthy examples in the world - but none so perfect and worthy and right
as Jesus. Be like Jesus, for "To this you were called, because Christ
suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His
steps. 'He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.'
When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He
suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to
Him who judges justly." 1 Peter 2:21-23 (NIV). Remember
the three stones. And then, remember, there is another rock. The Rock
of Ages. The rock in which we can hide ourselves when life overwhelms
when enemies throw stones of wrath and judgment at us; when we need to
sheltered and secured and safe. Come to that rock, Come To Jesus, the
Living Stone. He'll welcome, embrace, save, and secure you.
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