Posts Tagged ‘devotion’

citygirl

Luke 7:36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.
37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

A woman of the city, that explains so much.  She comes with a lot of baggage; she has seen all the world at its worst.  Her life has been hard, she has made poor decisions. Enough to pull her into the presence of Jesus.

She may be a stripper, an addict, a porn star. It doesn’t matter, she is a sinner, and scripture does not elaborate beyond this.  All we know is she is ‘a woman of the city,” and that she is referred to as “a sinner.” The sin has made her a desperate person. She steps forward, and does not care about what the crowds are saying about her. She has heard it all before. She comes with her flawed and inadequate heart, to anoint him with an ointment that is somewhat susceptible because of her past.

She pushes forward, pressing past the inner ring of disciples who are ‘protecting’ Jesus.  She takes what she has, and pours it on Jesus’ feet.  It is a concentrate of a perfume that is intense, and very much a declaration of what her heart is wants to do. The scent of this ointment undoubtedly very strong, and lingers, being a concentrate. It probably comforted Jesus while he was being nailed to the cross. He would remember what she had done to him. Her love would comfort him as he was dying.

Jesus acknowledges her decision to bless him in this unique way.  She pushes to him with a single mindedness that we can only marvel at.  She falls at his feet, and Jesus allows himself to be touched by a women that has such a difficult and dark past.  I truly believe He takes everyone whoever comes to him. He passes no judgement on her, and people who are like her— like me.

He has no issues, and accepts all who the Father brings to him.

This sinful woman has shown the way for sinners like us to connect. Her action establishes for us a precedent— a sure way to advance into his presence.  We start by admitting that we are in a very desperate state.  Her example focuses everyone to all  what is truly important, and we dare not slip past her example. “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” We know that this is true.

We must come, as she has come, in faith that only He can forgive us.  We should come with a radically intense intention to be with him.  There must be a real decision (on our part) to follow after him.  When we actually fall at his feet, we will find ourselves to be completely forgiven.

Luke 7: 47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. 48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

I found this on Broken Believers.  Sometimes another blogger can say what you are saying and it is so good!  It is not an exact quote of his blog.Thank you for writing it!

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lovecoversThroughout the scripture nakedness is consistently a dishonor. It comes connected to the idea of being open or exposed to the sight of everyone else. It also bears the belief of sin.

Nakedness is often referred to as a vulnerability. Our vulnerabilities or nakedness is there for all to observe. It is unethical for Christians to cover up or adopt a “code of silence” if your church leader or a person in leadership is involved with organized crime conspiracy or even some suspected invisible satanic ring?  Nor can we have toleration of immorality. That would be ridiculous.

Then we have things in our life that are not gross negligence sins but things that we may need help or guidance with.  While there are some people that want to dig their heels in and expose anything they can of others – that isn’t what Christ did. When Jesus was on earth, He spent so much time eating with sinners that the religious leaders accused Him of being a sinner. Instead of criticizing those who had problems Christ chose to help them.  He loved them, taught them, encouraged them, and built relationships with them.

How much more effective we would be if we adopted an attitude like Christ and do what we can to protect and shield when others are trying to expose. We would be considered a true Godly friend. True Godly friends cover-up others vulnerability to protect  but they are doing so in love and blessing.  Mature believers will step forward and guard the exposed areas from others. They will refuse to judge and will prohibit others from pointing out the failures. They will stand in the gap, defending, protecting and covering the nakedness.

prideBefore criticizing  others about ‘their’ sin we must make sure that our spirit isn’t haughty.  Repeatedly, the scripture warns of pride precipitating a fall.

 

bare

We always need to be very aware of our own nakedness (weaknesses) before approaching the throne of God!  Exodus 20:26 “Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.”

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. Luke 4:16-21

What a passage for Jesus to read as He began His public ministry! Reading from Isaiah 61:1-11, His gracious words were so different from what the people heard from the religious rulers of their day. Most people  I know, with very few exceptions, have a past they would rather not re-live. Haunting memories cloud our minds. We feel broken, imprisoned by our previous experiences. It doesn’t matter if these wounds were self -inflicted by our own sin or by someone else’s. The result is still the same.  Noone is excluded from the blessings of knowing Christ as Savior.

Jesus, in His sweet, compassionate voice calls to each one of us, offering us:

Wholeness for brokenness (Isaiah 53:4-5)

Liberty for bondage (Romans 8:1-2; John 8:31-36)

Light for darkness (John 1:4-5; John 8:12)

Joy for mourning (Psalm 30:11-12; 1 Peter 1:3-9)

A spirit of praise for despair (Ps. 40:1-3; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Belonging for rejection (1 John 3:1; Galatians 4:6-7)

Righteousness for injustice (Isa. 26:1-8; Isa. 30:18-19)

In Him the disgraced find newness of life. The abandoned are taken under the shelter of His wings. Hope is restored. What a Savior!

Blessings! ~Kelly (more…)

“Whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye.”  ~Zech. 2:8


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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I’ve heard and sung this beloved hymn for many years.  It’s story never loses it’s power, no many times it’s been told.  Horatio G. Spafford, a very prominent lawyer in Chicago is the man who penned the lyrics.

 

 

 

 

In the 1860’s, life was going very smoothly for Horatio and Anna.  Four daughters and a son graced this couple’s lives.  They were enjoying wonderful Christian fellowship with D.L. Moody and members of their church.

Then the unthinkable happened.  (So many of us can identify with life going smoothly, then all of a sudden, it as though something broke loose and one horrible thing after another happens.)

Their only son, who was four years old, suddenly died of scarlet fever.  The very next year, the Chicago fires wipes out every single house Horatio and Anna had bought for investments.

Their family heartbroken over the death of the baby and the money lost, Horatio decided to take his wife and daughters on a trip to England to help D.L. Moody in one of his evangelistic crusades.  At the last minute, Horatio was called on immediate business.  Not wanting to delay the family’s trip, Horatio told Anna and their daughters to go ahead on the boat set for England and he would join them in a few days.  Nine days later Horatio received a telegram from Anna that simply said, “saved alone”.  A boat collided with the ship they were sailing.  In twelve minutes the ship sunk and all their daughters were killed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Anna.  Her last memory of that horrible event was her standing on the deck watching Annie, Maggie, Bessie and Tanetta clinging to her, but torn away by the fierce waters.  Anna was spared by a plank underneath her.  She heard that small still voice say, “You were spared for a purpose”.  She immediately thought about what a friend had said to her, “It’s easy to be grateful and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God.”

 

 

 

 

As soon as Horatio got the telegram, he boarded the next ship leaving New York to join his wife.  He asked the captain of the ship to tell him when they sailed over the place where the accident happened.  When they reached the area where the ships collided, Horatio went down to his room and penned the words to “It Is Well With My Soul”, taken from 2 Kings 4:26.

These old hymns are such a treasure!  What is your favorite hymn story?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I will celebrate before the Lord.  I will become even more undignified than this.”  ~ 2 Samuel 6:21-22

When the Ark of the Covenant finally arrived in Jerusalem, David was ecstatic!  The king called for a celebration!  As he danced happily before the Lord, his wife felt he was behaving in a very undignified manner.

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“He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.” Hebrews 11:25

I have always admired Moses for exchanging the wealthy lifestyle he was assured in Pharoah’s house. Instead, he willing traded that for a position in which he could identify with his own people, even though that meant a life of sheer discomfort and pain.
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How often we forget that our self-sufficiency is not honoring to the Lord. We have all seen children who have learned to survive without the help of his or her parents. This is a poor reflection on the parents, is it not? In the same way, those of us who are born again and do not trust the continual love and provision of our Heavenly Father are casting a shadow upon His perfect, holy character. Our independence undermines all the blessings He has so freely given us.

The culture of our day teaches it is a good thing to be self-sufficient, yet God’s Word is clear we should be dependent on Him. (more…)

Abraham and Sarah were a childless couple who had been told by an invisible God that they would parent many countless generations.  They didn’t have a bible or the fellowship of other believers to encourage their hearts.  All they had was a lot of time to think about the promise God had made to them.  So much time, in fact, that their childbearing years were now far behind them.  But God, as always, kept His promise.  Abraham and Sarah rejoiced when their son was born.  The invisible God they believed in was vindicated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My attention was turned to Matthew 1:19. “He (Joseph) was minded to put her (Mary) away privately”. What a verse of compassion! Imagine it. Here is this young man whose life had been wholeheartedly surrendered to the will of God. I’m sure he and Mary were a good-looking young couple, but it must have been Mary’s heart, bent towards Heaven, that attracted him to her so strongly. How it must have surprised and shocked Joseph to learn of Mary’s pregnancy! (more…)