06/21/Su – Saving Faith

Deuteronomy 7:1-26; Luke 7:36-50; Psalms 69:14-18; Proverbs 17:19-21

NT: “Then one of the Pharisees invited him to eat with him. He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And a woman in the town who was a sinner found out that Jesus was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house. She brought an alabaster jar of perfume and stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to wash his feet with her tears. She wiped his feet with her hair, kissing them and anointing them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “This man, if he were a prophet, would know who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him — she’s a sinner!” Jesus replied to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” He said, “Say it, teacher.” …Turning to 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, with her tears, has washed my feet and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she hasn’t stopped kissing my feet since I came in. You didn’t anoint my head with olive oil, but she has anointed my feet with perfume. Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that’s why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.” Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” …And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”” (‭‭Luke‬ ‭7:36-40, 44-48, 50‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

Simon the Pharisee was curious about Jesus and wanted to take a closer look, so he invited Jesus to his home to share a meal. The woman, on the other hand, believed that Jesus was her only hope. Both had seen Jesus around town. Simon heard of His miracles and his reputation for fraternizing with the undesirable crowds. The woman knew Him as a man who not only walked in great power and authority, but also great compassion and mercy. While externally, it appeared that it was Simon who had welcomed Jesus into his life, it was actually the sinful woman. Simon, though he brought Jesus a little closer out of curiosity  held Him at a safe distance. The woman, on the other hand, completely embraced Jesus and poured her life out to Him as an expression of gratitude and adoration. The sinful woman, because of her faith, was a sinful woman no longer. She left that house saved, forgiven, and free. How do we treat Jesus? Do we invite Him in for a visit… maybe try Him out for a little while to see if He works? And then when He doesn’t cater to our wishes, reject Him and cast Him out? Or do we come to Him in complete faith and lay our lives and reputations before Him, knowing that He is our only hope? It is whole hearted faith, not half-hearted curiosity that leads to salvation and transformation.

Psalms: “Rescue me from the miry mud; don’t let me sink. Let me be rescued from those who hate me and from the deep water. Don’t let the floodwaters sweep over me or the deep swallow me up; don’t let the Pit close its mouth over me. Answer me, Lord, for your faithful love is good. In keeping with your abundant compassion, turn to me. Don’t hide your face from your servant, for I am in distress. Answer me quickly! Come near to me and redeem me; ransom me because of my enemies.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭69:14-18‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

David was a man who placed his faith completely on the Lord. He wasn’t half-hearted in his devotion to the Lord. He didn’t keep some idols to the side just in case the Lord didn’t come through for him. He also didn’t keep the Lord in a compartmentalized area of His life for use only in times of emergency. No, he was completely devoted to the Lord and relied completely on Him. He knew and trusted in God’s faithful love and abundant compassion. When troubles surrounded him… when he was waist deep in muck and couldn’t get unstuck, he didn’t keep his options open and pray to the Lord plus others. He cried out to the Lord and trusted that the Lord would deliver him and save him. Because of his faith and devotion, David was saved – time and time again.

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