Christian Love Reflects A Debt Forgiven
The evangelist Luke calls her “a certain woman in that town who was a sinner.”
But as she stepped into the room that day her reputation preceded her. She was possibly a prostitute who had sold her body and bargained away her soul. She was the talk of her town, the butt of local jokes, the subject of neighborhood gossip. She was the kind of person mothers warn their children about–a sinner living with one foot in hell. Even her money was tainted. Her soul seemed beyond redemption.
And that is why she wept at Jesus’ feet–because she knew that here was One who actually cared about her. Not One who condoned her lifestyle, but One who was willing to forgive it. Though she came with a blackened past and a hopeless future, she found in Jesus what she needed the most: the freedom of forgiveness. — And so she cried. She cried because when you have a debt like hers, how can you not love the One who forgives it?
Your sins may not be well-known like hers were. They may not be published in the daily paper or included in the daily gossip. But they are just as real and just as damning. They may not see the light of day, but they are seen clearly by Him who judges the thoughts and intents of the heart. The lack of love, the secret grudge, the bitter envy or personal greed, the careless slander, the deceitful lies and broken promises, the daily ingratitude and shameless complaining–you name it, each of us has done it. If not out in the open, then deep in our hearts where God has clearly seen it.
When we come before Him, there’s no question about it. Our debt is huge. But also, God’s forgiveness is most astounding. As Jesus told the woman, so He tells you: “Go in peace. Your faith has saved you.”
It’s not the number of tears we shed that brings forgiveness. It isn’t even our promise to do better next time. But it is God’s amazing love for us in Christ that sets us free. It’s because long, long ago the One who ate at Simon the Pharisee’s table came to carry the burden of every sinner to Calvary’s cross. On Easter morning His empty tomb proclaimed: “Your debt is paid in full!”
No matter how we feel inside or what others may think, each of us can say with the woman: “I have been forgiven already in heaven. My debt of sin was great, but my Savior’s forgiveness is even greater!”
According to Jesus Christian love always reflects the debt of sins forgiven. “To whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
If you would have your love be the kind of love God wants it to be, then use the tools God gives you in His Word. Pause each day to size up the situation of your sin. Picture yourself before the Judgment throne of heaven where each sin is enormous and each is damning. Then see Jesus stepping to your side and lifting that burden from you . . . and saying: “Your faith has saved you. . . Go in peace.”
The more aware you become of the true debt of your sin–from which you have been fully redeemed by your Savior–the more naturally God’s love will flow in your life.
–Pastor James Albrecht