Wednesday, March 25, 2009

He Who is Forgiven Little, Loves Little

Imported from our Harvest Church Blogs
Original Blog Date: 04-11-2005

I heard a song for the first time this past Saturday. I'm going to print the words here. Please read them slowly and really dwell on them. I want to make a point after that.
VERSE 1 The room grew still as she made her way to Jesus - She stumbles through the tears that made her blind - She felt such pain, some spoke in anger- Heard folks whisper, there's no place here for her kind. Still on she came, through the shame that flushed her face - Until at last she knelt before His feet. And though she spoke no words - Everything she said was heard, As she poured her love for the Master - From her box of Alabaster.
CHORUS And I've come to pour my praise on Him like oil from Mary's Alabaster Box - Don't be angry if I wash His feet with my tears and I dry them with my hair. You weren't there the night He found me. You did not feel what I felt when He wrapped His love all around me. And you don't know the cost of the oil in my Alabaster Box.

VERSE 2 I can't forget the way life used to be. I was a prisoner to the sin that had me bound - I spent my days pouring my life without measure. Into a little treasure box I thought I found. Until the day when Jesus came to me - And healed my soul with the wonder of His touch. So now I'm giving back to Him all the praise He's worthy of . I've been forgiven and that's why I love Him so much.

CHORUS And I've come to pour my praise on Him like oil from Mary's Alabaster Box - Don't be angry if I wash His feet with my tears And I dry them with my hair. You weren't there the night Jesus found me. You did not feel what I felt When He wrapped His love all around me. And you don't know the cost of the oil - Oh, you don't know the cost of my praise. You don't know the cost of the oil - In my Alabaster Box.

Mary was no doubt a prostitute and her life was forever changed when she met Jesus. I don't know if she had already bought the "costly oil" that she poured on Jesus' feet or if she had simply saved her money and then bought the oil at the last minute to use for Jesus. That really isn't the point. The point is the price she paid showed HOW VERY MUCH she loved the Lord for what he had forgiven her for. She believed him when she heard him preaching about forgiveness and how faith in Him would save her. She had, no doubt, much to be forgiven for and she grabbed hold of that forgiveness and love with everything within her.

Luke 7:36-4836 Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him. And He entered the Pharisee's house, and reclined at the table.37 And behold, there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume,38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet, and anointing them with the perfume.39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner."40 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he replied, "Say it, Teacher."41 "A certain moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.42 "When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him more?"43 Simon answered and said, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more." And He said to him, "You have judged correctly."44 And turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears, and wiped them with her hair.45 "You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet.46 "You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume.47 "For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little."48 And He said to her, "Your sins have been forgiven." (NAS)


I know everyone has read this before, but I'm posting the entire story because after thinking about what must have been in her heart and then contrasting that to the pharisee Simon who had invited Jesus to the feast just for the status of it, it really amazes me and humbles me. Mary realized her GREAT sin and the extent of it, and she therefore LOVED a GREAT LOT.

When Jesus said "He who is forgiven little", do you think he was suggesting everyone must be a dire sinner before they could really love Christ? No, I don't think so. I think what he's saying is - He that thinks he has no need for a Savior and forgiveness, is the one with little love. Notice what Jesus told the Pharisees in this passage:

Matt 9:11-12And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax-gatherers and sinners?" But when He heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. (NAS)

Does this mean that he came only for the ones that were sick, that many were already whole? Does it mean the Pharisees were spiritually ok and the sinners were the only ones that needed him? Of course not. The opposite is true. The sinners 'realized' they were sinners, but the "Great Spiritual Fathers" of the day were so blind by their RELIGION that they missed who Jesus was. No wonder they hated him so much. They hated Jesus (for the most part) with a hate that knows no bounds. They hated him because he pointed out their sin when they thought of themselves as whole. Jesus had a tendency (ha ha) to tell the truth, things like:

(Matt 23:27-28) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you too outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (NAS)"

We need to examine ourselves and our own piety. We really should humble ourselves so that the Lord can lift us up. Let our praise come from other people's mouths, not our own. We need to realize the depths of our own fallenness.
If the phrase: "He who is forgiven little, LOVES little" is true then surely the opposite must be true. He who is forgiven MUCH, LOVES much, or He who realizes how much he has been forgiven, Loves Jesus (and others!) that much more.

Pastor Tim said he asked a friend once how come they (Tim's congregation) have a problem with worship. He was told "because your church has a love problem". I agree with that. You don't have to entreat those who love Jesus to worship, it just naturally flows out of them. If we want to worship great, we have to love great. It's really that simple. We can forget all the little "programs" or "tricks" or "incentives" or whatever else we come up with. If it's not a 'heart' thing, it won't work.

So I've got a lot to think about and examine myself. I just wanted to write this. I thought it was interesting how I heard this song about one of the greatest acts of worship ever right before hearing a sermon on true worship the next day and also on how we need love to start the flame. What Mary did was one of the greatest acts of worship ever!

I think we all need to ask the Lord to help us remember our first love. We don't want to be the "First Church of Ephesus".

Rev 2:4-5But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 'Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place-- unless you repent. (NAS)

I think our church is a very loving church and I have no doubt that we'll be ok. We do need to remind ourselves though from time to time to keep our focus, remember the basics, and not be side-tracked. Love is what binds ministry together. Without it, we're just a club. We should be lead in everything we do by Love, Mercy and Grace.
I know that's the path we'll take.

He who is forgiven little, Loves Little. How much have you been forgiven? As much as Mary, or as much as Simon the Pharisee?

God bless,


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