Luke 7:44-47 (NIV) – Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
What was Jesus pointing out for Simon to see? This woman’s beautiful and loving actions of broken and passionate thankfulness were evidence of the forgiveness she had received. She loved much because she was forgiven much.
What was Simon so blind to? His great need for forgiveness.
John Newton expressed, “I once was blind but now I see,” and it became evident throughout his life and till the very end as he expressed, “although my memory’s fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.”
Through the Holy Spirit’s ministry, let’s pray that we would continue to humbly see who we are before the Lord and know deeper “Christ is a great Savior!” Let’s also pray that today that we will live victoriously in our forgiveness reality, closing with this song, “Raised to Life” performed by Elevation Worship.
Luke 15:11-14, 17-18, 21-22, 24 (NIV) – Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father…
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ “
Though so undeserving and lost, our Father in Heaven saw us from a long way off and was filled with compassion and found us. Let’s prayerfully remember in thankfulness our Father’s heart for us as we listen to this song, “Prodigal Son,” by Keith Green.
1 Timothy 1:12-16 (NIV) – I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.
God’s grace was abundantly and powerfully at work if it could save the “worst of sinners” like Paul to becoming a servant of the Lord. For John Newton, he was saved from being a “wretch” to becoming a minister of the Lord. How great is our God’s salvation that he would not only save us from sin and death, but also, include us to participate in his salvation plan.
Let’s thank the Lord that he would save and call us out to be his very own servants. And for today, let’s pray for his kingdom to come and for his will to be done as we close with this song, “As It Is In Heaven” by Matt Maher.
Luke 7:37-38, 47 (NIV) – A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.
“She had discovered that with Jesus there is enough forgiveness for all our sin, even if we are the biggest sinners in the world. All of this was proven by the woman’s love. Jonathan Edwards rightly said, ‘All gracious affections that are a sweet aroma to Christ, and that fill the soul of a Christian with a heavenly sweetness and fragrancy, are brokenhearted affections. A truly Christian love, either to God or men is a humble broken-hearted love.’” [Ryken, Philip Graham, Loving Jesus More,Kindle Locations 696-700]
As we have experienced the sweetest “sound” of God’s forgiveness, let’s pray that our lives will also be a “sweet aroma to Christ.” Because our “many sins have been forgiven”, may our lives also show great love for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:4-5, 8-9 (NIV) – But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved…For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
“Amazing Grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found
Was blind but now I see”
These lyrics from the first verse of John Newton’s hymn “Amazing Grace” speak of his testimonial experience of God saving a “wretch” like him. The fact he referred to himself as a “wretch” reflects how he was fully aware of how “dead” he was in “transgressions.” But, because of God’s great love, John experienced the richness of God’s mercy after he cried out to God for mercy when he was nearly shipwrecked in the storm. How else could he describe it but as “Amazing Grace!”
We were once dead in our transgression, but it is the gift of God that we were saved through faith by His grace. This is amazing grace!
Let’s close in worship and prayer to the simplified version of John Newton’s hymn, “Amazing Grace,” sung by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.