Laura Ashley dresses are back in fashion. So I hear. I bought my Laura Ashley labeled dress in the eighties, since then it has lived in my closet hidden away from fashionable eyes. So much life has happened since I first wore that dress. I’ve changed not only in character but also in size…just a few pounds ha ha! The eighties label no longer suits me. I’ve outgrown both style and dress.
Funny how we hold onto things from our past not only in clothing labels, but also labels in life that were attached to us by others or assigned by ourselves. Since receiving Christ as our savior those labels no longer fit. Yet, we tend to hold onto to them afraid to let go, wearing them hidden from discerning eyes. In Jesus we can not only be freed from the labels of our past, but also live life beyond the label.
You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore Psalm 16:11
The noon sun was hot not exactly a good time to collect water, but what choice did she have?
She needed water today just as she did the day before, and the day before that.
She felt the sting of isolation as she made her lone walk to the well but heck she was accustomed to it; this was nothing new.
The women of the village drew water earlier in the day when it was still cool. It wasn’t however thought cool to be seen with that woman. She was the woman who had five husbands and her latest conquest was not married to her. So she walked alone missing out on fellowship with the other women of the village.
She was a labeled woman until….she met Jesus.
The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will
explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, I who speak to you am he.” John 4:25-26
She left her noonday water jar at the well and ran to tell the people of the village about the Messiah. No longer did she avoid contact but rather ran towards them with the good news of Jesus.
“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ? They came out of the town and made their way toward him” John 4:29-30
Twelve years of bleeding non stop had left her feeling physically weak. Doctor visit after doctor visit yielded no results. She was sick and tired of being sick and tired. Something had to give.
When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Mark 5:27-28
She was a labeled woman until…she met Jesus.
Pushing her way through the crowd she came in touching distance of her only hope. With all the strength she could muster she stretched her arm and grasp hold of the edge of his clothes. “Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.” Mark 5:29
No Stoning Today
They gathered to hear Jesus teach, to hear his words of wisdom. They would not be disappointed though it was not in the manner they thought it would come. All eyes were on her as the teachers of the law and the Pharisees ushered her into the temple court and made her stand before the group. “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.” John 8:4
She was labeled woman until…she met Jesus
They brought her to Jesus not because they cared to be enlightened or cared about the woman. It was all about the Law of Moses for them; her punishment was death by stoning. Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground. Scripture doesn’t tell us what he wrote. Some say it was the sin of those who accused her.
When they kept on questing him, he straightened up and said to them, “If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Starting at the eldest the accusers all took their leave. Speaking to the woman, “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”(John 8:11)
When we spend time with the Son of God. We are changed forever.
Three woman changed forever in the presence of Jesus. That’s what happens when we spend time with the Son of God. We are changed forever.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8: 1-2
Because of Jesus we no longer have to wear labels that once held us captive.To live life beyond the label we need to know Jesus and renew our minds in His truth. That is exchange our old way of thinking for His way of thinking.
Here are six scriptures to help you renew your mind in Christ.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear
again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
“Forgetting the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Philippians 3: 13
Brothers and Sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Psalm 34:5 (My personal favorite)
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame
Dear sister-in-the-Lord, I pray this brief devotion has been a source of encouragement to you. We can through Jesus leave the old labels behind, and live instead in our new identity in Christ. Just like the three women we talked about, we too are changed in the presence of the Lord.
Live Radiant in Christ
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