Show them God’s love

2018-04-22
Luke 7:44 NKJV

When a woman began anointing Jesus with oil and washing His feet with tears, Simon who had invited Jesus said: ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is – that she is a sinner’ (Luke 7:39 NIV). Simon was more concerned about ‘right and wrong’ than he was about hurting people. He may have been theologically correct, but he lacked compassion. And Jesus confronted him about it. ‘Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman?”‘ Simon saw her as just a sinner. But Jesus didn’t. He responded to the gift she brought and to the heart of love behind it. In determining her future potential to God’s kingdom, He didn’t consult her bad past or even refer to it. He saw her tears, understood her need, and shocked the religious crowd that day by saying, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ (v. 48 NKJV). The same happened to the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. Society had told her she was unclean and unacceptable. Whoever she touched would become unclean too. But when she touched Jesus’ robe, He said: ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace’ (Luke 8:48 NIV). He didn’t call her unclean. He saw beyond that and called her daughter. Sometimes we can become hard-hearted and fail to show God’s love to those who need it. We can see people through the eyes of society and our own theology. But we should be seeing people through the eyes of Jesus. Let’s make sure that whoever we meet, we’re truly seeing them, just as Jesus does.

Gal 5:22; 2Pet 3:3-15; Matt 5:39; 1 Sam 25:1-42

Show them God’s love


Luke 7:44 NKJV

Luke writes: “Behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, ‘This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner'” (vv. 37-39 NKJV). This scene took place in the house of Simon, a religious leader who was more concerned about “right and wrong” than he was about hurting people. He may have been theologically correct, but he lacked compassion. And Jesus confronted him about it! “He turned to the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman?'” Simon saw her as a streetwalker and a loser. But not Jesus. He responded to the gift she brought and to the heart of love behind it. In determining her future potential to God’s Kingdom, He didn’t consult her sordid past or even refer to it. He saw her tears, understood her need, and shocked the religious crowd that day by saying, “Your sins are forgiven” (v. 48 NKJV). Be careful: When you’ve been in church for a while and forgotten what it’s like to be on the outside, you can become hard-hearted and fail to show the love of God to those who need it.

Soul food: Gal 5:22; 2 Pet 3:3-15; Matt 5:39; 1 Sam 25:1-42

Bewys God se liefde aan hulle


Lukas 7:44 NLV

Lukas skryf: “En kyk, ‘n sekere vrou van losse sedes het gehoor dat Hy daar is en het ‘n albaste fles met duur aromatiese olie gebring. Sy het agter Jesus gekniel, by sy voete, en gehuil. Haar trane het op sy voete geval en sy het dit met haar hare afgevee. Sy het sy voete bly soen en die aromatiese olie daaraan gesmeer. Toe die Fariseër, wat die gasheer was, sien wat gebeur en wie die vrou is, het hy vir homself gesê: ‘Dit bewys dat Jesus geen profeet is nie. As God hom werklik gestuur het, sou hy geweet het watter soort vrou hom aanraak. Sy is ‘n sondaar!'” (verse 37-39 NLV). Hierdie toneel het in Simon, ‘n godsdienstige leier wat meer besorg oor ‘reg en verkeerd’ as die seer van mense was, se huis afgespeel. Hy mag dalk teologies korrek gewees het, maar hy het medelye gekort. Jesus het hom daaroor gekonfronteer! ‘Hy het toe na die vrou gedraai en vir Simon gesê: ‘Kyk na hierdie vrou’…’ Simon het haar as ‘n prostituut en verloorder gesien, maar nie Jesus nie. Hy het op die geskenk wat sy gebring het en die hart van liefde daaragter, gereageer. Toe Hy haar toekomstige potensiaal vir God se koninkryk bepaal het, het hy nie na haar sondige verlede gekyk of eers melding daarvan gemaak nie. Hy het haar trane gesien, haar behoefte verstaan en die godsdienstige skare geskok deur te sê, ‘…Jou sondes is vergewe’ (vers 48 NLV). Wees versigtig: Wanneer jy al ‘n geruime tyd in die kerk is en vergeet het hoe dit voel om aan die buitekant te staan, kan jou hart verhard word en kan jy versuim om God se liefde aan diegene wat dit nodig het, te bewys.

Sielskos: Gal 5:22; 2 Pet 3:3-15; Matt 5:39; 1 Sam 25:1-42

Gift of grace

2018-04-21
Ephesians 2:8 NLT

Celebrations often involve gift-giving. We get presents on our birthday. Our parents might give us a gift when we graduate. When we get married, family and friends give us gifts to help us begin a new chapter of life. And when we make the decision to believe and accept salvation, God celebrates with us by giving us the gift of grace. In Ephesians 2:8, Paul wrote, ‘God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God’ (NLT). The word ‘grace’ comes from the Greek word charis, meaning ‘pure joy.’ Although none of us deserve God’s grace, He considers saving us to be a ‘pure joy’. In John’s Gospel, the Pharisees caught a woman in the act of adultery. The law of Moses was clear; she had to be stoned. And the Pharisees were ready to do it. She didn’t have anyone to defend her or to be a character witness. The woman probably thought that Jesus, being righteous, would agree with the Pharisees. But suddenly Jesus stooped down and began to write in the sand. We don’t know what He wrote, but when He looked up, the woman’s accusers had gone. There was nobody left to condemn her. He said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more’ (John 8:11 NKJV). That day Jesus lifted her from a position of undeniable guilt to one of unconditional pardon. She didn’t deserve that grace; she probably didn’t even know it was possible. We could all say something similar about ourselves. We’ve all done things that deserve condemnation and punishment, but God’s amazing gift of grace means that we’re lifted up and receive love and forgiveness instead.

Acts 10-11; Mark 4:1-9; Ps 103:1-12; Prov 10:27-29

Wees dankbaar vir God se genade


Efesiërs 3:8 NLV

Eendag het die Fariseërs ‘n vrou gevang wat egbreuk gepleeg het. Die wet van Moses was duidelik; sy moes gestenig word. Die Fariseërs was reg om dit te doen. Hierdie vrou het seker gedink dat Jesus sou saamstem. Skielik het Jesus egter gebuk en in die sand begin skryf. Sommige geleerdes dink dat Hy miskien die Fariseërs se sondes neergeskryf het, kompleet met tye en plekke. Toe Hy opkyk, was die vrou se aanklaers weg. Hy het vir haar gesê, ‘…Ook Ek veroordeel jou nie. Gaan maar, en moet van nou af nie meer sonde doen nie’ (Johannes 8:11 NLV). Daardie dag het Jesus haar van ‘n plek van onmiskenbare skuld na ‘n plek van onvoorwaardelike kwytskelding verhoog. Sy het dit nie verdien nie; sy het nie eers geweet dat dit moontlik was nie. Dis jou verhaal ook, nie waar nie? Eendag het Abraham Lincoln toegekyk hoe die eienaar van ‘n plantasie vir ‘n slawemeisie bie. Lincoln het gedink dat die eienaar die meisie sou koop en haar mishandel, dus het Lincoln die prys betaal sodat sy kon vrygaan. ‘Beteken dit dat ek kan gaan waar ek wil?’ het sy gevra. Lincoln het geantwoord, ‘Ja, jy is vry!’ Met trane wat oor haar wange stroom het sy gesê, ‘Dan, Meneer, sal ek saam met jou gaan.’ Die woord ‘genade’ is so belangrik dat Paulus dit drie keer meer as enige ander skrywer noem. Met sy vroeër gewelddadige lewe in gedagte, skryf hy ‘Aan my, die heel onbelangrikste van al God se mense, is hierdie onverdiende goedheid gegee…’ Die woord ‘genade’ kom van die Griekse woord charis, wat ‘pure vreugde’ beteken. Alhoewel jy dit nie verdien nie, sien God jou redding as ‘pure vreugde.’

Sielskos: Hand 10-11; Mark 4:1-9; Ps 103:1-12; Spr 10:27-29