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. Luke 7:38
There is a great story in Jesus’ ministry about Him visiting a Pharisee for dinner. As He is there, a woman of the night comes in and she is crying, wetting His feet with her tears. Do you remember that story? She dries His feet with her long, dark hair.
The Pharisee is thinking, “If this man was a man of God, he would never allow this sinner to touch him. When she touches him, she defiles him.”
Jesus knows this is what the Pharisee is thinking, so He tells a little story.
He says, “Do you see this woman? Her sins, which are many, are forgiven because she loved much.”
You see, that is where we breakthrough the mold – where we as Christians stand out. There must be love — not intolerance, not indifference — pouring from within us. Love is our nature. Nothing could be more normal than to love in this way. It even is more than normal for us Christians.
The expression of love actually prepares us for many challenges. None of us go through life without experiencing one or many “thorn in the sides (or flesh)” as Paul describes his challenge.
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2Cor 12: 7-9
We are human beings, and we go through all manner of pain whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, just like every other human being on this planet. You cannot just push it aside and put it behind a smile. But within the “thorn” is the part of the “challenge”which is the journey, and that is rather remarkable. Your closer walk with God is progressing. You feel a closeness to God.
Many gifts are given at this time (during that time of “pain”). One is a feeling of the nearness of God. It is wonderful. We have a great sense of freedom. We might have insights into our humanity, situations, spirituality; the “voice” still and small, and imagination may be activated as God pours Himself through it.
Sometimes we allow fear and negative thinking that we thought was behind us pull us down again. Behaviors that we thought were long gone rise up again. No earthly thing can ease the pain the soul feels because if we lose our sense of connection with God, and, especially if we have the feeling it will not come back again, we may be lost. That is real pain.
But because of God’s love and forgiveness and our deep love for Him, that lifting of God’s work comes quickly and without our effort, except we can pray and follow His Way.
If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7: 14
In the Bible story of Job, this was the man who had everything–wealth, family, prestige, and so on. He lost his wealth. Then he lost his family. Then he lost his health. Then he lost his friends.
Then he felt like he was losing his God. (Read the Old Testament Book of Job.)
If you follow the story, do you know what happens eventually? He decides, even though he has lost everything, that he will not forsake God; that he will love and praise God even though he seems to have lost it all. Then in the story it all returns to him. He was humbled and then he was raised up.
Your desire to love God is what you must do to lift any challenge that eventually comes upon you.
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11
It is giving oneself, totally, to love. It is really coming to a point of being true to our nature and what we really are.
Think for a moment whether it is true that there is a great oneness of soul and spirit that is our destiny, Ahh, yes, it is true. God loves us in the most unconditional way. No matter what our condition, what we have done, or what we have said, if there is to be that union, the love that is of God must rise up and be expressed. And we meet and join with that love that is perpetually showered upon us. In that there is the oneness.
Here is the relevancy for all of this for daily life: What prepares us for that kind of love? Forgiveness and surrounding yourself with people with like beliefs and feelings – to love in that way with no thought of return.
That’s basically what happens with forgiveness, isn’t it? It is not when a person has to act a certain way, do a certain thing, or say a certain thing. No. It is not about them; it is about us. The question is: Will I be true to my nature? That is the question. So, there is a tremendous relevance for our daily lives–it prepares us for our spiritual journey.
This forgiveness and total love and faith is the point of the story that began this message. Are you exhibiting as much as she? Are you washing Jesus’ feet with your tears and drying them with you hair? Would you?
Let me tell you a final story.
There was a young woman who was 20 years old, who came to church, who had Down’s Syndrome. She would come to the church service with her mother, and then afterwards she would come through the greeting line. She would give everyone a hug. Then she would give everyone a kiss. She would kiss on the cheek, on the forehead, on their eyes, on their nose, and then she would say, “I love you, God. I love you, God.”
Helen had an IQ of 70. She thought she was in the presence of God because she came to church to worship God and to be with God. Then she came through the greeting line. She gets there but she doesn’t say, “Look at me. I can’t think like other people. Won’t you do something about this?”
She didn’t say, “I’m sick,” or “Can you do this in the world?”
That’s not what this genius of God’s love did through her. What she did was love. That’s all. She just loved.
She did not come to church, asking for a thing. She was as true to her spiritual nature as anyone who has ever walked this earth. She loved with no thought of return. That is the kind of love we all are capable of.
What others need from you is for you to be true to what you are. That’s how it all begins. Eventually we’ll come to that place and we’ll simply say, “I love You, God. I love You.”
That young woman changed a lot of lives – all because she was the radiating love.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
You, too, can do that.
“I love You, God. I love You.”
God Bless You!