One of the most beautiful passages of the Bible describes how a woman of ‘low repute’ came to Jesus while he was sitting at a meal with one of the religious rulers of the time. As he was speaking with him the woman began to weep at the feet of Jesus, and wash them with her tears – wiping them with her hair. The ‘pharisee’ or ruler looked at this scene with indignation and thought that no prophet would allow such a woman to touch him. Jesus responded saying, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”-Luke 7:47
The people who love God are simply those who have known God’s love for them. The apostle John put it this way, “We love him, because he first loved us.”-1st John 4:19 For many people God is little more than an intangible and abstract concept. How can you love something that is little more than an idea or fabrication of the mind? For the woman mentioned in Luke – God was a real person, who erased the shame of her past and lovingly accepted her into the Kingdom of God. How can anyone describe what it is like to be forgiven? Proverbs 20:9 says, “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” Cleansing from sin is not something we can do for ourselves – it must be done for us.
The need to feel clean is intrinsic to all mankind. Every culture has different standards of hygiene – but all have some kind of focus on rituals of cleansing. For most of us that involves showering (hopefully) daily, applying ointment (or deodorant), and other maintenance activities (brushing teeth, haircuts, clipping fingernails, etc.) These activities however only can affect the outside of us, while we still long to feel clean on the inside. Those who have received God’s cleansing know what it is like to be clean! Scripture says that we all have served ‘diverse lusts and pleasures’ at one point or another in our lives, but God in his mercy has saved us by “…the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed abundantly on us through Jesus Christ our Savior”. –Titus 3:5-6
Sin has a way of making us feel ashamed and unworthy of God’s love. It was sin that caused Adam and Eve to hide from the presence of God in the Garden of Eden. But God has demonstrated His love for us in that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” –Romans 5:8 Mary Magdalene, Zacchaeus, Paul and hosts of others mentioned throughout scriptures have one thing in common –all felt unworthy of God’s love- but God reached out and drew them in just as they were and cleansed them. When you have known the unconditional love of God, the reality of His cleansing, and the restoration of fellowship with Him – that is when you fall in love.
How do you stay in love? What more can I say, but shower daily… 1st John 1:9 says that “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The more you grow in grace and His Holiness is revealed – the more grateful you will be for His sacrifice- and the deeper in love you will be. You will begin to realize more and more how much you have been forgiven…
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