Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tear Stained Feet, Luke 7

The love of Christ is great. Specifically, the love of God that demonstrates itself in the giving of the revelation of God in SCRIPTURE. The words of God being deeper than any ocean, wider than the horizon, a whole well of unending supply… A waterfall that never dries up, a whole new “depth” of “depth” that you never knew existed ….I am completely in awe. The Life it gives. Real Good Life. The Lord’s given us such a precious gift in this Book. It’s Life that comes off the pages and injects itself in the very being of one’s soul. It gives an insatiable appetite for more. Oh that His Word would be our feasting, Christ our very Life, and eternity our vision! What a Great Father we have! The Word our very Savior!

I have been blessed beyond measure with my earthly father who has shown me what a love for scripture looks like- what it looks like in compassion and love and in the gentle touch of a hand on a little one’s hurt soul…I am so thankful. Now I have also been blessed with another Pastor and Shepherd who the Lord has put in my life- David’s dad, our pastor. We looked at Luke 7 in the Word this morning at church. It’s the passage of the lady who wipes her tears from the feet of Christ with her hair then anoints His feet with perfume. This has been one of my favorite parts of scripture for as long as I can remember- it is so beautiful and rich. As I was reading over it, meditating on it, praying through it, the Spirit again spoke such life through it. I love the picture of this passage. It’s like I can imagine being right there. I can imagine the room, the floor, Christ’s feet, the sandals He wore, the smell of the breeze coming through the windows mixed with the aroma of the perfume, the beauty of the tenderness and sincerity of the lady, and oh the sweet presence of Christ . The Lord initiated a prayer in my heart several years ago about my sin. I simply began to pray that I would recognize the weight of my sin. What my sin really is. What I truly am without His grace on my life. My sin. What does that mean? It brings a smile to my face to know He is and will always be answering that prayer. I am woefully sinful. I don’t just do sin. I am sin. There’s nothing good that lives in me- desperately and utterly without hope, full of sin. Even my good attempts are not good enough. The goodness that people can give out of their own strength…it is as filthy rags....nothing I can do is good enough. And this is where the smile comes in…The Gospel. The person of Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross. The beatings, the thorns, the whippings, the bare ribs staring back at him, yes, all that. All that he suffered physically. But oh that we wouldn’t stop there! Oh that we would be given eyes to see and understand the wrath of Holy God being poured out on the darling of Heaven. (My mind goes to Revelation 5. If you haven't read it lately, go read it; imagine the scene!) Oh what Christ has done for us! Nothing compares with it, nothing! The beatings horrible, but the suffering of soaking up God’s wrath is incomparable. The whole cup, the entirety, the whole thing was poured out on Christ. The weight of our sin, who we truly are. He took the punishment- the equivalent of an eternity without Him. And not just for me, but for the world. Sin. Holy God. Sin. Holy God. We can’t do anything about it. Holy God. Sin. We can’t get to Him. Holy God. But oh how He loves us! The depth of the finished work on the cross goes much beyond the beatings, it goes into the depths of the wrath of a Holy God against sin. But oh how He loves us!! He loves us! He made a way! Through the person of Jesus Christ. God Himself clothed in human flesh, hanging on a cross, soaking up all of the wrath of a Holy God. God came, God Himself came to save us. To save me. To save you. He wills that no one should eternally die. Psalm 70:4 says to those who love His salvation to forever shout, "He is Great!" May our very lives shout it! The sweetness of that new life with Him. It reminds me of the sweetness of that first little flower popping up in early spring. And then that tall oak tree, rooted and grounded in deep deep love. That Resurrection life! How sweet, tender, and strong!

The lady in Luke 7 was a sinful woman, but as we know in scripture, we are all sinful, we all fall short of the glory of God. Even the Pharisee that was there with her- we know he was a sinful man. The deeds of sin become increasingly foolish to compare when we see our conditions before a Holy God. I am sin. No less and no more than anyone else. So, what is the difference between the lady who anoints Jesus with perfume and the Pharisee? I think it is the awareness of her sin. The realization of her sin. She is more aware of her sin than the Pharisee. She realized the weight of her sin- the fullness of her sin. Her desperateness. Her utter hopelessness. She knew what she looked like before God. She knew she had no hope by herself. She knew she needed Someone. She knew she needed Christ. Oh and then that wonderful picture of true worship! She didn’t have to sing a song- her song was her very life. So what did she do? She knelt and with a broken heart cried out to her Savior. Some of the most intimate times of worship for me are times when I cannot speak, I cannot sing, all I can do is kneel and maybe cry and enjoy the very real presence of God Himself. That heart that is so full of gratitude for what He has done. Oh the freedom of such worship. The joy of such worship. It’s almost like all I can do is listen to the Spirit within me, feel the Spirit of God in His temple. It comes from a heart that is perfect before Him. It might be a messy heart- I can imagine the lady’s heart being a bit messy, but oh how little those things matter when we see Christ for who He is. For what He has done. When we see God for who He is. Forgetting oneself and looking onto the perfection of our Savior. His finished work. His perfect, perfect, sweet work. Oh how I love it! I love this way! I love the God who planned it! I love His plan! I love it! We have a good good Father. He is great!

Can’t you see such a beautiful blend of this lady’s heart?! Doesn’t it seem to be a paradox when Christ says blessed be the the poor in spirit, the broken hearted and then says that the fruit of the Spirit is joy. Isn’t this such a beautiful picture of exactly this. That’s worship. This beautiful blend of brokeness and joy! The perfect heart.

Have you ever really thought about how it was the word of God that spoke creation into existence. The galaxies, the sun, light- all things He spoke…..And why do we not pay more attention to the Word of God- the revelation of Himself in Scripture? How do we so many times not make the connection. He spoke….all things created. He speaks…He creates….He speaks….He creates. The words of God….create. The words of God! Oh that we would give him full reign to speak and create in us. Whatever pleases Him, create. How does He create us to be more like Him? How does He create a new person in us? It must be the same way- He speaks. How did He draw us to Him? He spoke. We responded. How did He heal our hearts, He spoke into them. The words of God create. We cannot be created into anything new apart from His words. He speaks….He creates. We don’t create. He creates. How does He create? The same way He created in Genesis 1. By His words. Keep focusing on His Word. He’ll create.

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