Grace That Sets the Captives Free
When women come to Redeeming Life Maternity Home, one of the first glimpses they have of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, can be found in the Love and Grace displayed by the staff toward both the pregnant women and their unborn babies. Most of the new residents have a fearful expectation of being condemned and constantly reminded that they are responsible for their chaotic, unstable lives and that their pregnancy is nothing but the natural consequence of their sin. These fears are abated as they are welcomed into the maternity home by a staff who know through personal experience how a life can be touched and transformed by the Grace of God.
From the very first day, they begin to hear how much the Lord loves them and has a plan for both them and their baby from the Scriptures.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Unfortunately, even after hearing the Scriptures and the testimonies of the faithfulness and loving-kindness of our Lord, many still doubt whether the Lord would ever accept them into His Family. Some have asked, with tears streaming down their faces, “How can a God who is so holy love someone like me?”
I wonder if this same thought crossed the mind of the woman whose story is recorded in John 8:1-11?
One day, as Jesus was teaching in the Temple, the religious leaders of the day brought a woman to Him that had been caught in the very act of adultery; an act which, according to Mosaic Law, brought with it the penalty of death. (Leviticus 20:10). Imagine the humiliation and sheer terror that she felt, as her sin was recounted for all to hear, by men whose sole purpose was to execute judgment for her sin by stoning her to death outside the city walls.
What thoughts do you think were running through her head as she heard the men ask Jesus over and over what He was going to do about it? Do you think her life flashed before her eyes? Do you think that she wondered if today would be the last day that she would rise early to watch the golden beams of sunlight break forth from the dark horizon? Or was she wondering if this Rabbi that they called “Jesus” would be the final vote that sent her outside the city to face death by stoning? The Scriptures do not tell us for sure what she was thinking, but imagine being in the same position, what thoughts might be racing through your head?
Then something unexpected happened. Instead of answering the hounding questions of the religious leaders, Jesus stooped down and began to write in the dirt with His finger. I can almost see the look of bewilderment on the religious leaders faces as He looked them in the eye and said, “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.” The barrage of accusations and hounding questions came to a halt as Jesus began again to write in the dirt. One by one, the faces that once demanded justice for the woman’s sin fell as their own conscience reminded and convicted them of their personal sins.
As the last leader walked away, the woman was left alone with the only One with the power and authority to condemn her and cast that first stone. The seconds must have seemed like hours as He slowly raised Himself from the ground. But when His eyes met hers, she did not see the look of condemnation and judgment she had seen on the religious leaders faces not so long ago. Instead, she saw a gentleness and compassion that she had never seen in a man’s face before.
As they stood there it was as if nothing and no one else in the world existed. Gently, He asked her, “So who is left to accuse you?”
Captivated by the Love and the Grace that she saw in His eyes, she uttered the three words that would change her life forever. “No man, Lord.” In those three words she acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of David, the Son of God, the One promised to come throughout the generations. Her acknowledgment of Him as her Lord not only set her free from the sins of her past but set her free to live a new life.
In response Jesus proclaimed, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”
The woman was set free!
This is the precious hope that we have for the women that pass through the doors of Redeeming Life Maternity Home. We pray that by extending the Love and Grace the Lord has shed on us to our residents, they will come to know personally the loving-kindness, gentleness and compassion the Lord has for them. For it is only when they come to know Him, and accept His greatest gift of Love for them, the exchange of His life on the cross for theirs, that they can truly be set free to live a new life.
“For whom the Son sets free is free indeed.” John 8:36
Redeeming Life is a Christ-centered maternity home that provides a stable environment for single women with unplanned pregnancies. Our structured program provides mentoring, counseling and life skills education to help them become independent and provide for their children as single mothers.