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Forgiven Much

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Luke 7:36-50

Have you been forgiven much? What is the measuring stick for our sins as children of God? Is it a list of do’s and don’ts? Are we guided by our feelings, whether something is right or wrong? How does God’s Word describe “sin”? Chuck Swindoll gives us some clues.

“Any and all sin is enough to separate us from God and invoke His wrath—even eating fruit (Genesis 3:6)! All sin is equal in the sense that all sin breaks God’s law and falls short of His perfect standards. The Bible portrays sin as straying from God’s paths, opposing Him, and rebelling against Him. Whether it’s the sin of stealing a small item, telling a lie, or murder, all sin transgresses the law of God. So yes, in that sense all sin is the same in God’s eyes.”

When God calls us to do something and we do not do it, is that sin? In order to appreciate God’s forgiving spirit we need to understand what offends Him. He saves us to be useful, to further His Kingdom here on earth. In our reading today Luke signifies the importance of glorifying God through our actions. A woman worshiped Jesus. Is that enough?

Reading on, we find that Jesus declares this woman’s sins are forgiven (:48). Is there anything more important in this life than to know our sins are forgiven? The reality is we keep on sinning, in small ways or in big. We all yield to temptation from time to time so are blessed to know that “He [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). There is one condition. “If”….If and when we recognize our thoughts, our words, or our behaviour have offended God, we must confess our sins. Then and then only will God forgive us and cleanses us.

How did the woman in our scripture reading demonstrate a repentant attitude? Tears and kisses? I believe it was the way she bowed at Jesus’ feet. In an act of subservience, she acknowledged His supremacy. She didn’t care what people thought, or what they said about her. In fact, to this day she remains nameless. Only her actions testify to her faith. Jesus knows our hearts, just as He knew hers. “Your faith has saved you” (:50). WOW! He knew what this wordless demonstration of love meant.

Apparently my love is conditioned by my awareness of my own personal sin, according to this woman’s example. Jesus leaves us with a thought for further consideration: “He/she who has been forgiven little, loves little” (:47). For those of us who have known the exquisite joy of being forgiven, our gratitude is never-ending. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!!! Listen to the Psalmist: “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees. The law from Your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold” (Psalm 119:71).

Reflection:

God knows all about us. Are your sins and mine many or few? This woman was apparently a great sinner. Listen to Jesus publicly declaring: “Her many sins have been forgiven”. Whether you and I have been great sinners according to the standards of this world, nothing is too great for God to forgive (Psalm 86:5). How often are we Christ-like towards others who still struggle with temptation? (Ephesians 4:32) How kind are we to ourselves when we need to confess we blew it once again? God’s Holy Word is full of encouragement! He opens the door for us to express our great love to Him, by declaring us to be forgiven much!

by Marilyn Daniels (MarilynDaniels.net)

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