How do you approach God?Bro. David Chancellor
10/12/2003 11:00 AM
In order to follow Christ, you have to make a start. The start we make has a lot to do with how life will turn out. How is your love for God?
And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
Christ was eating in the house of this Pharisee. The Pharisee had invited him to come and eat with him. This showed that he wanted to be his friend. This woman wasnt an invited guest, but she came because she knew that Jesus was there. She was a sinner. She was washing Jesus feet and the Pharisee felt that if Jesus were a holy man, hed put a stop to it immediately. The Pharisee was judging Jesus by the actions of the woman. Jesus saw what was wrong in both the Pharisee and the woman. They both had sin in their lives. They were both approaching Jesus, but in different ways. The woman was at Jesus feet, expressing how she felt, her remorse, through her tears. Christ painted the picture like it was. They both had a debt of sin that they couldnt pay. Which of the two loved most? The one forgiven most loves most.
How are you coming to Jesus? Are you trying to win his friendship by taking up religion and doing a few good works? If you come this way, you wont have what you need to face what life brings. Its more than joining up. You dont come to Christ with church membership or by shaking the preachers hand.
How do we come to Christ? The Pharisee was going to add Christianity to his list of activities. Supporting the minister and being his friend isnt how you walk with Christ. While this is a good thing, its not enough. The Pharisee felt that he was okay; he just wanted to add Christ to what he already had. The woman recognized that she was a sinner and that she needed what Jesus had to give. If you would come to Christ, you have to see that you owe a debt you cant pay. The love of Christ will take us through the hour of difficulty and trouble. If you dont acknowledge your need, youll never get to the place you need to be with God. The way of repentance is the way to have the love of God in your heart. Only when you acknowledge that you need God to change what you cant change will the love of God come in. Theres a cost, but its not too much. The woman wanted Jesus to know that she was glad he came. She washed his feet, but the Pharisee wouldnt even give him water to wash his feet. The Pharisee was in a tough place; he wanted to acknowledge Jesus, but he didnt want to make people upset.
Where did Jesus tell the Pharisee, Thy sins are forgiven? He didnt; the Pharisees approach didnt work. The uninvited guest left with her sins forgiven. Just joining a church wont give you the assurance that your sins are forgiven. Picking up religion wont ever bring to your heart, Thy sins are forgiven. We have to recognize that were a sinner in need of God. We have to bow at Jesus feet. It wont ever be what it ought to be until you do. Were in a lowly and needy position. When he forgives, there will be a genuine love for him in our hearts. To get help, you have to admit that you need it.
And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Jesus wasnt here to destroy the family, but to establish it on the right basis. He would have everyone to serve him. Jesus wanted us to understand how close the world can get. If you walk with God started with a formality, you wont be able to stand. The love is too cold. The love for Christ isnt what it ought to be. The people who dont stand are often those who start wrong. We need to acknowledge our dependence on God. We need to love him with all of our heart. Our family isnt supposed to mean more to us than God does. Our relationships with others wont be what they should be until we have the love of God in our hearts. Peoples love is often selfish, but this wont cut it with God. We need God, his help, forgiveness and deliverance. If we start right, well love him with all our hearts, souls and strength. We can live right by the grace of God. Hes more ready to give than we are to ask.