Thursday, February 26, 2015
I'm really enjoying the chance to teach the girls at the shelter from God's word. We've been a bit scattered about themes but I feel like I'm so challenged and encouraged from God's word as I prepare and teach them. If you're interested here is a brief summary of three of our last lessons... For Valentine's Day, I thought it very important to highlight the love of God-which really is the best. We talked about a few key verses and how God's great love was demonstrated in the fact that He loved us when we were most unlovely, had nothing to offer Him other than our broken selves and how He loved us enough to give us the greatest gift of LIFE. Then last week we talked about the woman who anointed Jesus' feet with her perfume, tears, and hair (Luke 7:36-50). Simon complains and Jesus reminds him that he had done nothing in the way of common courtesy to welcome him into his home, but that this woman couldn't get her own emotions or gratefulness under control and lavished her love on Him. He told the story of the king who forgave two people-one with a huge debt and one with a small one. "Who do you suppose loved the king more?", he asked Simon. I'm sure he was squirming in his seat as he realized what was happening as he said, "I suppose the one who was forgiven more". He who is forgiven much loves much. That blubbering lady on the floor had shown her love for Christ while Simon was standing self-righteously in the corner completely oblivious to Christ's love or the forgiveness that he himself had received. So this week I'm continuing that thought (Matt 19:21-35) about the servant who was forgiven a debt that he could probably never repay…20 years wages. The king ordered that he and his family be sold along with all their possessions. Only their lives could pay the debt…sound familiar? He pled with the king (who Jesus compared to the kingdom of heaven) who had compassion on him and forgave him the debt. The story goes on to say that he went out from the presence of the king and went looking for another servant who owed him one days wages. He began to strangle him and told him to pay it back right away. The servant begged for mercy, "give me time and I will pay it all back" (sound familiar?). The other servant, who was just forgiven exponentially more, refused and threw him into jail. When the king found out he called him in and reminded him of the great debt he had just forgiven him, "shouldn't you have likewise had mercy on your fellow slave"? He threw the unforgiving servant into prison to be tortured until he repaid the debt. I read this and think "Duh!, it's one day's wages--he just got out of 20+ years' wages!) The things I'm reminded of: 1. God forgives HUGE mistakes, errors, sins, whatever you want to call it. 2. If I make the mistake of not recognizing how much I'm forgiven I will a. Not appreciate or recognize the greatness of His love for me. b. Withhold from others the same grace and love that I've been shown. 3. I am loved. Not for what I've done or what I have to offer, but simply because God loves. He loves me, you and the rest of the world. Will I accept it and enjoy it? Will you?