“A Gift of Love”
Jesus went to a Pharisee’s house
As his invited guest.
A sumptuous table there was spread—
For Christ, the very best.
But the host forgot the courtesy
Of washing Jesus’ feet;
His dinner guest was unrefreshed
As they sat down to eat.
Then a woman came without a word
And stopped at Jesus’ couch.
With streaming tears flowing down her cheeks,
She then began to crouch.
She had brought an alabaster box
Of very rich perfume;
Breaking the seal, on His feet she poured,
And the odor filled the room.
The ointment mingled with her tears,
And in humility,
She wiped His feet with her own long hair
In meek servility.
The Pharisee grumbled in his heart
And doubted if Christ knew
The wretched, sinful wickedness
Of this disdainful shrew.
Not only did the Savior know
The status of her heart,
But He also knew the judging thoughts
On Simon the Pharisee’s part.
He spoke up with a parable
To help them all to see
That God forgives both great and small.
We love to the degree
That we have felt forgiveness reach.
The ones who love God most
Are those who know without His grace
They have no cause to boast.
Then turning to the woman, He
Spoke comfort to her soul.
“Your sins are all forgiven, and
Your faith has made you whole.”
The people marveled at this sight
And at the Savior’s word,
But nothing is impossible
For Jesus Christ our Lord.
Based on Luke 7:36-50
As cute as babies are, we all want them to grow up in due time, gain new abilities, mature physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally, and move toward independence. This progression is normal and natural.
Just as we expect babies to grow, we also expect baby Christians to grow to be increasingly more like Christ. This too is normal and natural, but many Christians remain in the baby stage for years on end. Why? Because they never come to the end of themselves. They think they can serve God in their own strength, they can muscle through the hardest trial—with God’s help, of course.
But God doesn’t want to help us.
That’s right. God is not interested in helping you through life’s lessons, helping you through trials and tests, helping you in your service for Him.
God wants to do it all.
He is not your assistant; He is your instructor.
He is not your co-pilot; He is your pilot.
He is not your advisor; He is your Maker.
This woman loved Jesus deeply because she had yielded herself to Him in absolute surrender. She recognized her helplessness and His almighty power. Simon the Pharisee did not. He was a religious man. In fact, he had likely served God from his youth. He knew all the lingo, he did and said the right things when people were watching. Very likely he too had trusted in Christ for salvation, for Jesus does not suggest that he did not have salvation, only that he had little love for God because he had experienced little forgiveness. Was it because Simon was less a sinner than this woman? No. It was because Simon did not recognize himself as a man in dire need of forgiveness. He knew he wasn’t perfect, but he thought he was pretty good, especially compared to some—such as this woman. But Simon was wrong. He would never be all that he ought to be until he humbled himself, just like this woman, and emptied himself of self so that God could fill him with the Holy Spirit.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
To will… God gives us the desire to please Him.
To do… God gives us the ability to please Him.
When I was young, I remember my Aunt Mary Ruth teaching me how to float in the pool. She said, “Just lay back and relax, and the water will hold you up. If you try to make yourself float, you will sink. But if you just relax and lay there, then you will float.”
That’s just like the Christian life. I could do nothing to save myself, and I can do nothing to keep myself saved. God tells me to rest in Him, and He will sustain me.
Psalm 37:7a Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him…
Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never allow the righteous to be moved.
Are you trying to hold yourself up on the surface of the water? Let go and let God have His way.
He who has power to redeem you from hell
Will surely sustain you in this life as well.
Next week: Tamar, wife of Er
Photo courtesy of estall of Pixabay
“A Gift of Love” and “Almighty God” Copyright © 2018 Angela Umphers Rueger – All Rights Reserved