Pay it Forward
Updated: Nov 20, 2020
THERE COMES A TIME in our lives when we must choose to bless and not curse; choose to love and not hate.
Jesus wants us to bless those who curse us and love those who hate us. (Luke 6:28; Matthew 5:44)
People told the story of some East Berliners who filled a truck with garbage and dumped it on the west side.
The people of West Berlin thought they would fill a truck with the garbage and return it to the east side, but they changed their minds.
They filled a dump truck with canned and non-perishable food items and sent them to the east side; this was in the communist days, when a wall divided the East and West Berlin.
They stacked them neatly and put a sign next to it. The sign reads, "Each gives what they have to give."
God wants you to love the unlovable. He wants you to give what he gave to you—forgiveness.
A PHARISEE invited Jesus to eat with him, and Jesus went to his house. He sat at the table.
When a woman in the city knew that Jesus was there, she brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil and sat at his feet.
She washed his feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair and anointed his feet with oil.
The Woman braved people's rejection. She came to Jesus for forgiveness.
A Thousand Words
AS A SINNER, she had no place in the house of a Pharisee who adheres strictly to the law. But she acted out her request.
The Woman's repentance was genuine—her actions were worth a thousand words.
Real repentance is not only confessing one's sins but also turning from one's wicked ways.
SIMON'S INVITATION must have been out of curiosity because Pharisees did not extend such common courtesies to Jesus.
And when the host saw what the Woman did, he said to himself, "This Man, if He were a prophet, he would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner." (Luke 7:39)
He did not know that in the place of repentance, public opinions do not matter.
When we genuinely repent, we do not worry about what people think.
HE KNOWS OUR THOUGHTS—the hopeful and angry ones. (Psalm 139:1-4) Jesus knew what the host was thinking.
He said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." (Luke 7:40)
He told Simon the story of two people who owed some money—five hundred denarii, and the other fifty denarii. When they couldn't pay their debts, the lender forgave them.
And Jesus asked him, "Which of them will love him the more?" (Luke 7:42)
The one who he forgave the most, Simon replied.
Filter your life with the love of God
THE WOMAN realized the depth of her sin and the greatness of the mercy of God.
She knew that good news is where lousy stories go to die. She went to the author of the good news.
Simon saw her too far gone, but Christ saw her one step away from home. He gave her an audience and forgave her sins.
Jesus said, "I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little loves little." (Luke 7:47)
BRINGING IT TOGETHER
YOU MUST BE MISTAKEN to think that someone has wronged you to a point where you cannot forgive.
To know the greatness of the mercy of God will require you to filter your life with the love of God.
Jesus came to love and not to hate. He wants you to embrace the soft unforced rhythm of grace.
If you can change anything this week, turn your worry into a prayer list, and your hate into a love story.