Pour my love on You

This week of Passover and the week that our Lord and Savior death, I had asked on twitter, “What was Christ saying and going this time 2,000 years ago? He knew His time was close…yet, He was still ministering” Then in my devotion I come across the story of the woman with the Alabaster Jar. Do you remember the story?

And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.” Luke 7:37-38

This story gets to me every time. She not only used a perfume that was literally a life-savings, but she wiped his feet, cried, and kissed him. What I see here is, she is showing her love for her Lord. Her extravagant love for Him. She is demonstrating not only gratitude, because that is not even close to the word she is feeling, but overwhelming thankfulness, appreciation and gratefulness. I tend to put myself in the bible characters shoes and I understand what she is feeling. As we all may understand when we realize we are a sinner. How we deserve Gods wrath, yet He was willing to make a way by sending His Son, Jesus to die for our sins.

So, she pours her love on Him because she understands how special He is. Then Jesus turns to Peter(Simon), who was witnessing this and begins to explain to Him what is taking place and concludes with this:

” Then 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 from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:44-48

This passage has so much in it, and perhaps something to talk about on a future blog. But, what I want to share with you now, is She understand how “great” of a sinner she was. It is uncertain for sure what her “sin” was. Could she had been the woman caught in adultery? We really do not know for sure. But, we do know that she came to Jesus, seeking Him. Possibly for a reassurance that she too, would be forgiven of whatever her sin was. If she was already forgiven once, as in the woman who was caught in adultery, why would she come back to have him forgive her again? We will assume that this woman was different. She came for a different reason.

Did she come to prepare Jesus for what he was about to do? Maybe. All we do know is, she had heard he was there and sought Him out. She poured all she had onto him and loved on Him. She wanted to be near to Jesus.

Awhile back I had a dream. In my dream I had met Jesus. His smile, His touch…was more than fulfilling. It was strange to me, that in my dream, He came to me and shook my hand. He didn’t embrace me, but it didn’t matter because in that one gesture I felt…joy, satisfaction, and happiness. Nothing in this world has ever compared to that moment in my dream. Things have come close…but nothing like my Savior smiling at me and being near. So, I can understand how this woman had felt towards Jesus. She knew only He could satisfy. So she poured her love on Him.

This is why I like this story. It is a way for us to relate and experience, just a bit, through this woman, how we feel we would act towards our Savior. As if we were the ones pouring our perfume, our all, onto Him.

As we draw nearer to Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, let us remember Him. Let us show our gratitude and thankfulness to our Savior in our daily walks with Him. Let us come to Praise and Worship Him with a new passion as we remember what He has done for us.

God made that too

I was sharing with a friend, that it’s been cloudy and rainy lately. Spring time always brings rain. But, it has been non stop lately. 

So I took a picture…

I said, “though it’s cloudy God made that too”

I began to see with a different perspective.(actually…I feel it was the Lord)

You see, lately, I’ve been, like the weather, gloomy and a bummer. I’ve been going through some personal trials. And it has been tough to get through. But, through it all I remember God is with me. God has my back. He knows what He is doing. I only need to trust in Him and keep my eyes fixed on Him. 

God may not have made my trial (I know that is debatable)…but I know God is with me through it. 

So friend, (and to myself included) I encourage you with this…

Though the days seem dark…one day…the Sun will shine again. Don’t lose Hope. Cling to God. 

Ezra 2: Free will offering

 Some of the heads of families, when they came to the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem, made freewill offerings for the house of God, to erect it on its site.” Ezra 2:68

I have read this phrase, “free will offering”, and have often wondered what this is all about. Lets look at a quick definition of what it means:

“A term applied to gifts presented out of the benevolence or religious impulse of heart of the giver, and not in fulfillment of any obligation, promise, or vow.” Jewish Encyclopedia

After reading this I thought of the “free will” part of it. CHOOSING. It is our choice to choose to do this. Are we compelled by the spirit? Maybe. Is it out of the emotion we feel during a time of blessing so we choose to give? Maybe. Needless to say, it is going above and beyond what is expected. I don’t think God forces us to give an offering to Him but, it is our CHOICE to do so.

How often are we MOVED to give above and beyond what we do? It doesn’t necessarily mean just in financial giving but, of ourselves as well. Perhaps of our things. I am reminded of the early church. They didn’t just give to support those for temporary needs but they gave above and beyond. Some selling everything they had to meet the long term needs.

I think a big problem many western Christians deal with IS giving. We live in a society were we always want a hand out…or just a hand up(?) We do not always think of others. Our society is “take care of yourself” “satisfy your selfish needs” “if you are not happy…”. It never or hardly ever teaches others to help people. Not like they did in the early church. And often times, when we give we expect something back. Or a tax return.

Just the other day I seen an ad saying that a coffee shop would offer free drinks if you “show kindness” to another person. How sad. We have to be bribed to be kind. I guess it is their sad attempt at “teaching” people how to think of others.

Giving can be difficult when we feel, we have nothing to give. Often I wanted to give extra, above my tithe, but because of my lack of budgeting and over spending(selfishness) I was not able to give. How many people could have been reached if I had not been so stingy and selfish? I didn’t need another dress or another pair of flip flops.

This is how our society thinks though-“Satisfy our fleshly needs(wants)” Then when we hear the Holy Spirit nudging us to give we cling tightly to our purse/wallet. “God I cant…the bills”

If we cant give, with the little that we have, how can we give above and beyond? I think this goes back to wisdom, budgeting, discipline and thinking of others. If we think first with our spirit man we will not be so selfish to go out and waste….or splurge…on things we really don’t need.

Is it wrong to want things? If it becomes so much of an idol in your life…the “I have to have this or else” then, yes it is wrong. It is okay to want things. If you have the means to go out and get it, then I think it is okay. But, again we have to be wise. If we do not have the funds then do not get it. Which this goes into disciplining ourselves and budgeting. I think it is okay to save but, here too, we shouldn’t keep so much to ourselves. What will it do in the end? It will all burn up. Maybe you have extra because God wants to use you to help support a ministry financially. Or maybe you have extra material things because it can be used to help someone who needs that particular thing.

Going back to the Free-Will Offering, how can we give if we horde? How can we give if we have nothing to give? I know some of us might remember this…

 

Deuteronomy 15:10 – “Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.”

Deuteronomy 16:17 – “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.”

Proverbs 21:26 – “The righteous gives and does not hold back.”

Proverbs 22:9 – “He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.”

Proverbs 28:27 – “He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.”

Malachi 3:10 – “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.'”

Matthew 6:3-4 – “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

Mark 12:41-44 – “And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.'”

Luke 3:11 – “And he would answer and say to them, ‘The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.'”

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 – “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.”

Luke 6:38 – “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

 

It is that season

How often have we come to this time of the year and find ourselves so caught up with life. It is not that we have forgotten that we are a Christian, it is we get so busy we….forget we are a Christian. 

We live like a Christian daily, but we forget to take up our cross sometimes, or we forget to spend time with God, maybe it is we forget to share Christ with someone. 

There are springs sports, fellowships, teas, concerts, finals, vacations, work…it all becomes so part of our life…that we seem to miss out on opportunities with God.  

“Oh but I go to bible study, church, I’m on the worship team, I teach class at church, I never forget to do my devotions….etc”. All things we say to “prove” to God we are still thinking of him. But, he knows our heart. He knows we get burnt out. He knows we haven’t spent alone time with him in awhile. Our relationship has went from a flaming torch at Christmas time to a flicker at Easter time. 

Maybe I am the only one that gets the “springtime blues” right around easter(Palm Sunday/Resurrection sunday) 

It seems this holy day rolls around  and then I  start reevaluating my walk with God. I know it should be year around that I am keeping my life in check. But, nevertheless, it comes. And like a refreshing spring rain, that bring growth, so does this season…these holy days. It is like going to church in the middle of the week, it brings a sense of focus again. 

I know we all go through these times. That is why I share it with you. To tell you that you are not alone. 

So as we go through this Easter season once again, let us truly set our minds on Christ and what he has done. Let him reign in your life. Let us surrender every part of our messy days to him. That we are not caught offguard. Let us stand firm in our faith, totally focused on the work he has called us all to do.