Daily Devotional “Wounded by the Word to Bring Purity”

Daily Devotional
Be different!
June 29, 2022

Have you ever read a verse scores of times and yet never had it effect you? Then you casually pass by it again and—zap!—it hits you squarely between your heart and mind.

There are times when you welcome the Spirit’s intrusion. The new insight makes you smile. Out of nowhere you can see what God means. A bright new idea opens up.

At other times, there are no smiles at all. The new insight only brings a groan or tears. You’re convicted of manipulating a friend. You’re crushed over snubbing a new co-worker. Shamed for gossiping about a neighbor. You’ve been wounded by the Word of God, and you have no excuse not to obey from then on.

Andrew Murray put it this way: “Jesus has no tenderness toward anything that is ultimately going to ruin a man in service to him. If God brings to your mind a verse which hurts you, you may be sure there is something he wants to hurt.”

That’s the way God works. He is so very exacting. That’s because he doesn’t want us to see our disobedience vaguely or in general. Specific verses have a way of convicting us specifically.

It happened to me just the other day. I was reading through the third chapter of John and came across a verse I’ve glossed over at least 189 times. But on that day, the words of Jesus stung me like a whip:

“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life”

vv. 14-15
It all started with an odd question from the Spirit: Do you like snakes?

Snakes? I hate them. They’re repulsive. Disgusting. Detestable. I want to run away every time I see one. But what does this verse have to do with snakes?

You tell Me, I sensed the Spirit prodding.

Well, Jesus must have had a reason for using the words “snake” and “Son of Man” in the same sentence.


So I guess he was likening himself to the brass serpent which Moses put on a pole—a serpent which mortally wounded people gazed upon in order to be saved.

So Jesus made Himself to be a serpent…a serpent of sin.

Jesus likened to a snake? Never! Snakes are too disgusting. Too…evil.

Ah, but Jesus BECAME sin for you. Just how do you think the Father looked at his Son—his Son who had become sin?

That’s when it hit. I t suddenly dawned on me why Jesus used a snake to describe his own pending crucifixion. When the Father turned his back on his Son, he was repulsed over the loathsome object of sin Jesus had become—a despised servant of sin. Little wonder God turned away from his Son, forsaking him. Perhaps God felt the same way I do when I want to turn my back on a disgusting, repulsive snake, slithering along the ground.

Sin is loathsome, horribly offensive to God. And when I consider that my sin—individual, particular sins like snide remarks, deliberate exaggerations, prideful actions—drove such a wedge between the Father and his beloved Son on the cross…I am heartbroken. Overwhelmed. Humbled.

God wounded me with those verses from John 3. I’m sure there was something he wanted to hurt: my tendency to view disobedience as a vague generality. You see, I’m less likely to correct my disobedience when sin comes plain-wrapped as generic wrongdoing, obscure and ill-defined. I’m more likely, however, to correct my offense when the Spirit pinpoints a particular sin.

Our specific sins hurt Jesus specifically. Understanding what our disobedience did to Jesus, and seeing how our disobedience repulsed the Father, we should want to make certain we keep our lives pure. Doesn’t it make your heart break? Overwhelm you? Humble you…just a little?

I hate snakes. I only wish I hated sin half as much.

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