I have been asking myself some serious questions about whether I am truly filled with gratitude and a passionate love for God. We live in a busy world and stopping long enough to focus on the Lord for even five minutes can be nearly impossible.
We don’t know how long we will walk on this earth. So . . .
How you and I live our life really matters.
Our lack of gratitude can run so deep.
BUT . . . without a deep sense of gratitude, it is hardly possible to love.
I want to live my life poured out for Jesus Christ and what I need more than anything, is to be filled with a passionate love for God.
Is that what you desperately want to culture in your life?
Digging Deeper: Luke 7:36-50
Key Verse: Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Luke 7:47
This story starts off with Simon the Pharisee asking Jesus to come over to eat at his house.
How amazing it would be to have Jesus come over to your house to eat and talk with you face to face! Right?
As a Pharisee, Simon memorized vast portions of the Bible and looked forward to the coming of the Messiah (Deuteronomy 18:15), the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 55:5).
In reality, it doesn’t seem that he was overly excited about Jesus coming over to his house. To Simon, Jesus was only another dusty traveler.
In those days, people walked long distances between towns and cities. When they arrived at their destination, it was customary for the host to provide a bowl of water and wash their feet.
Simon didn’t pay attention to this customary way of honoring his guest.
Suddenly there was a woman standing at the feet of Jesus holding a small alabaster bottle of ointment. She stood over his dusty feet, weeping, as she began to wash them. Next she wiped them with her long hair, kissing his feet, and anointing them with the ointment.
The group of people sitting around at the table must have gasped!
They knew who this woman was!
She was known as a ‘sinner’ because it wasn’t even appropriate to mention her lifestyle!
Jesus ‘heard’ the thoughts in Simon’s ungrateful heart as he watched and criticised the woman washing his feet. He responded to him by saying, “Simon, I have something to say to you (Luke 7:40)!”
Jesus proceeded to tell a story about how there was a moneylender who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, He canceled the debt of both (Luke 7:41-43).
Jesus asked Simon, “Which of them will love him more?”
Simon answered that the one who owed the most would love the most (Luke 7:43).
5 Ways to Culture a Passionate Love for God
That wasn’t the end of the story!
Jesus was about to give Simon a lesson on how he needed to have a passionate love for God.
1. Come Humbly to God
This woman had sinned in big ways against God and she came to Jesus and washed His feet.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had a pedicure. That is the only way that foot-washing is customary in our society.
I’m not sure that I would want to wash just anyone’s filthy dirty feet.
Foot washing is an act of humility (Luke 7:38).
It took humility for the woman to come to Jesus and wash his feet.
2. Experience God’s Forgiveness
Simon the Pharisee was a proud and critical man. Too proud to wash Jesus’ feet.
This woman had somehow fallen into deep sin and stood behind Jesus washing his feet. As she did, tears streamed down her face onto his feet. She immediately wiped the tears off His feet with her hair, probably embarrassed that they had dropped onto his feet.
She felt so aware of the holiness of Jesus in comparison to the sin she had committed.
She needed to experience God’s forgiveness (Luke 7:50).
3. Be Passionate About God’s Holiness
Simon the Pharisee dishonored God by not seeing the holiness of Jesus.
The woman honored God when she recognized Jesus’ holiness.
- She stood behind Jesus and did not seek center-stage.
- She washed His feet with tears of remorse over her sinful life.
- She wiped the tears on His feet with her hair.
- She kissed His feet showing her love for Jesus.
- She anointed His feet with ointment.
4. Culture Passionate Gratitude
When you realize that you have sinned against God in a big way, you will begin to culture passionate gratitude.
The woman in the story was probably a prostitute and when she was in the same room with Jesus, she saw how deeply she had sinned against God.
Even if you are a ‘good’ person, you desperately need God.
Each of us needs to culture passionate gratitude.
The reason this is so hard to do is that maybe you have never realized how much God has done for you.
You might have heard the story so many times in your life that you have grown cold and lack gratitude.
I want to culture a passionate gratitude for God. That is my prayer. Is it yours?
5. Culturing Passionate Love for God
It isn’t easy to break the bonds of ice that have grown in our hearts towards God.
We have looked at this story and seen how Jesus exposed Simon’s pride and critical spirit.
I am asking God to work in my heart this week and reveal my pride and critical spirit. Once that is removed it will be easier to culture gratefulness for all that God has done for me. That is when I will culture a passionate love for God.
Loving Jesus with a Passionate Love
Take the time to get alone with God and pray that He help you in these 5 areas each day.
- Culture humility
- Ask forgiveness for sins (keep current)
- Meditate on the holiness of God
- Keep a daily gratitude list (3 things each day)
- Culture a passionate love for God (think of the cross and Jesus’ shed blood)
It is easy to be in a hurry each day and not take the time to develop a passionate love for God. Passionate love is something we have to do our part to work at. It doesn’t come naturally and cannot be worked up on our own. It comes through daily walking with God so that you get to really know Him.
Passionate love doesn’t come naturally and cannot be worked up on our own. It comes through passionately seeking God by walking and talking with Him.
Will you commit to culturing a passionate love for God? Let’s get a conversation going and share that you are joining this journey with me.