Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Forgiven Much

Luke 7:47

Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”  Luke 7:47

In the context of the above passage, Jesus was eating with a Pharisee when a sinful woman heard of it. This woman came to Jesus weeping. She wet Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. She kissed His feet and anointed them from the alabaster flask of ointment which she brought with her. This was a broken woman over her sin. The Pharisee questioned Jesus’ judgment saying to himself, “if He were a prophet, he would know what kind of a woman she was, a sinner.” Jesus knowing his thoughts, answered him by telling a story of two debtors with debts which could not be repayed. One owed much more that the other yet both were forgiven of their debts. Jesus asked “which would love more, the one forgiven of little, or the one forgiven of a lot.” The Pharisee answered correctly in saying, “the one who owed more.”

The thing is each us who are saved has been forgiven of a massive debt which we cannot repay. Oftentimes people compare themselves to someone evil, like a serial killer saying, “I am a good person. There is not much to forgive, at least I have never killed anyone or robbed someone at gunpoint.” You or I may have never murdered anyone, but have we ever hated someone? If so, Jesus said that we are guilty of murder in the heart. Ever stolen something? I know I have. I remember a time many years ago when I needed a spare tire, so a friend and I stole one out of someone’s truck. It was just sitting there in the back of the truck, so we took it. The owner had to work a few hours to buy this; then we come along and stole it leaving him to have to work more hours to replace it. Does God look at my sin and compare it to the serial killer and say, “at least you did not do that, so everything is ok?” I think not. Actually I know not. For each and every one of us who are saved, our sin cost Jesus His life. He went to the cross to pay for it. Do we really appreciate what Jesus did for us? Or do we just take it for granted, like it is no big deal that we are forgiven? The thing is, the more thankful we are for what Jesus did for us, the more we love Him for it. The more we love Him, the more we love and respect His Word. The more we love and respect His Word, the more we are changed and want to glorify Him with our lives.

A Sinful Woman Forgiven

36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
So he said, “Teacher, say it.”
41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”
And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.". 
Luke 7:36-50 NKJV

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Revelation 3:20 I Stand At The Door And Knock

Revelation 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
(Revelation 3:20 NKJV)

Often people use the above verse when witnessing to the unsaved. While I suppose one may do this, however in the context of this passage, Jesus is speaking to the church, not the unchurched. What a sad thing it is when Jesus is outside of the church trying to get in. Even individually, this may often be the case. Some may figure they are right with the Lord because of what they do, such as singing in the choir and attending church regularly. For many, they are busy serving and going through the motions, but their hearts are far from Him. Thankfully, Jesus gives us two solutions to our lukewarmness in His message to the church at Laodicea in Revelation 3:18. The first is to buy from Him and clothe ourselves with His garments. The second is to anoint our eyes so that we may see. What does this mean? Simply put, we purchase these garments from Him with our faith, (See Ephesians 2:8-9)  and anoint our eyes with His Word. (See Romans 10:17) We must always remember, “I can do nothing apart from Him.”

The Lukewarm Church

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”
(Revelation 3:14-22 NKJV)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

When I Am Weak, 2 Corinthians 12:10

2 Corinthians 12:10

The Thorn in the Flesh

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NKJV

Oh how easy it is when one is going through some difficulty to think; "I must solve this with my own strength." I know that I do this, even if I pray, I become tempted to just rush through the prayer and get on doing what I feel as I should do on my own. Even churches and various ministries will often times trust in self rather than God. For example, a church might get focused on growth and want to figure out ways to fill the building. Then political correctness sets in and the Gospel goes out the window. The problem is that Jesus is not in this. He is the one with all the power, and authority. He knows what is right. Why in the world would we want to solve a problem we face or perform some sort of ministry work without Him? It really makes no since to do that, now does it?