Can you imagine being completely free of debt? No mortgage, no car payment, no student loans, no credit cards, no bills… you owe not a dime to anyone for anything. How free would you feel?
Let me ask you another question – how would you feel if you were up to your eyeballs in debt (like the commercial!) and someone stepped in and paid your debts for you. Rather than winning the lottery, a person came in and just wrote a check for your personal debts. Can you imagine someone who would do that for you? How would you feel about him?
This happened to a woman who Jesus encountered. Read her story below:
Luke: 7:36-50 Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii [a day’s wage], and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Rather than just paying off a person’s debt, Jesus paid for this woman’s sins and said that because she was a “known sinner” she should feel all the more grateful or loving.
Have you ever felt like maybe you’re not worth saving?
Possibly you think that you’ve been trapped by the sin in your life for too many years that you don’t think you can change. Perhaps you don’t even WANT to live apart from what you know to be wrong at this point. Maybe you don’t want to give something up that you feel God is calling you to let go of. And worse, you know that other folks know and it makes you want to hide from reality all the more.
Today I heard a song on my way home from lunch (which I put below) that says “Who, Oh Lord, could save themselves, their own soul could heal? Our shame was deeper than the sea, Your grace is deeper still.”
I have good news today for anyone willing to listen. God CAN save anyone from any sin. Even the person who was hanging on the cross next to Jesus was promised paradise that same day simply for believing (Luke 23:43). There is no sin that separates us from the love of God (Romans 8:39).
We often start to feel like we’re not worth saving, that God couldn’t possibly love us or change us, simply because we’re focusing on ourselves rather than praising the loving and compassionate God who created us. Sometimes we feel that way because we see “church-going” folks around us pointing their fingers at our less-than-ideal life circumstances.
We need to believe only what Jesus says about us, not what the world says (even those who are in the church who may or may not mean well). We need to remember that we are all sinners, saved by grace. Those of us who have been saved from a life we have royally screwed up have all the more reason to love Jesus and have mercy on others.
If you’re a believer and find yourself pointing your finger, remember the sin and life that God saved you from. Aren’t we all simply blessed with a gift from heaven? Can we love much, both Jesus and those who we are called to minister to in His name?
It is with joy that I can say “My shame was deeper than the sea, but HIS GRACE was deeper still!” I am so in love with God because He cared to save a wretch like me!
If you feel that you want to be saved by this same Jesus who spoke to the woman above, I invite you to pray and ask Jesus to save you from your sin. It was her faith that healed her, so start by believing that God can save even you from your own mistakes. Even if you don’t have the desire to yet change, start by asking Jesus into your heart and allowing Him freedom to change your desires. See the change that ONLY God can make!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for providing a way out, even while we were still sinners. You didn’t leave us off in a corner by ourselves until we cleaned up our messes. Instead, you allowed us to take the first step to come to you and say “I believe in You.” Then incredibly You allow the blood of Jesus on the cross to pay our debts. We are so in love because we could never save ourselves! We needed the forgiveness of this huge debt to bring us into relationship with You. We don’t have all the answers. We don’t have even half the answers. But, we have You and that’s truly all we need. We invite You to live in our heart. We ask You to change our will and desire. Please help us take the next steps in pleasing You and leaving our life of sin behind. May we go in peace, thankful and joyful that even we can be saved by grace. Thank You, again, for the work of the cross. We humbly rejoice today and ask that you would help us show others a life that’s changed because of You. In Jesus’ Name we pray, AMEN!