Sunday, December 11, 2011

Do you love this much?

Last night I had the pleasure of bringing the ladies of Serenity Shelter to our church to share in our Christmas concert and then stay for a fun time of fellowship with our Serenity team. Some of the ladies have only been at the Shelter a short time, but I've been building relationships with others for a long time. Some of them fit the description of a woman once faced with the chance to make room for Jesus in her life. Any of us could fit the description of the city woman "who was a sinner," but I really want to do what she did when faced with Jesus.

Jesus received the invitation to dine with a pharisee at his table, in his house. Despite the fact that the "woman of the city" must've known how she would be looked upon by the host, the chance to be with Jesus overpowered any shame or shyness she felt. She took an alabaster flask, and she boldly went in to find the Messiah. Weeping with gratitude and awe, she knelt at his feet and washed them with her tears, anointing them with the ointment. Those who see themselves as they are and see Jesus as He is can't help but end up at the feet of the Savior.

How unlike the religious man who made the dinner invitation, a man who didn't even provide water to wash the Master's feet from walking with the crowds on the dirty roads. The woman's act of love was an outward expression of her inward repentance. Like the words used for the faith-filled centurion, Jesus told the the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace" (Luke 7:50). Her faith was her salvation. 

True faith IS bold. 

Faith is not reserved for the holy, but for the humble. The others around the table had a hard time understanding it, thinking the woman was unworthy to be touched and wondering who Jesus was to grant forgiveness of sins. But for the city woman, Jesus said, "Her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little" (Luke 7:47). 

 The more clearly we see our sin, the more clearly we see our forgiveness.  The more clearly we see our forgiveness, the more we love. The love of one forgiven much is a beautiful thing.

Let's prepare room for Jesus today by getting our hearts ready to pour out our treasures in love & gratitude for being forgiven much.  (Read the whole story of the woman of the city here.)

Ways to prepare Him room in your heart:
~ the holiday season is busy; take time to read God's Word & memorize a verse about His forgiveness
~ the holiday season is hectic; carve out quiet to talk to God & listen to Him, uninterrupted
~ the holiday season is noisy; listen to music about the birth of Jesus & be in awe!
~ the holiday season is demanding; ask God what He wants you to do for Him
~ the holiday season is expensive; list your valuables, & look for a way to give out of love

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