Editor's Note: This is the last in our 8-part January 2019 blog series on Loving God with All We’ve Got. If you’ve missed any of these articles, please go to www.councilroadwomen.org to find them.
Q: What happens when a judgmental Pharisee, the Son of God, and a shady lady walk into the same dinner party?
A: An evening so epic that people are still talking about it 2,000 years later!
All month we’ve examined ways to love God with all we’ve got. But, sometimes, a picture really is worth a thousand words. So let’s peek into this very intimate encounter and see what this woman did and how.
While Simon the Pharisee silently berated this woman’s reputation and Jesus’ acceptance of her very messy and emotional PDA (aka Public Display of Affection), Jesus was deeply moved,
“Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, ‘Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.’”
– Luke 7:44-47
This Sinful Anointer made Jesus feel loved.
Why is loving God so important?
As Jesus explained in Matthew 22:36-40, everything else depends on how much we love God and others.
What we think, dream, want, say, and do. How we act and react. How we do and don’t care for others. How well we make Him known. It is all influenced by how deeply and consistently we love.
So let’s look at three secrets to Lavishly Loving God from the Sinful Anointer’s encounter:
The Sinful Anointer knelt at Jesus’ feet in an unmistakable act of reverence and worship. She recognized who He was and who she wasn’t. Humility is essential for intimacy with God and loving Him well. It takes humility to submit our hopes, dreams, thoughts, and behaviors to Him. We must never lose sight of how great He is and who we are in comparison.
HEARTBROKEN OVER SIN
“This woman loved much because she was acutely aware of how much she had been forgiven.” (Sharing His Secrets, p149) For us to love God with all our heart, we must maintain a healthy recognition of our own sin. “Healthy” because wallowing in guilt and berating ourselves isn’t helpful. Guilt is only good when we allow it to take us to God for forgiveness and help to make the changes necessary to live differently.
While we have all been extravagantly forgiven, I’m confident few of us are actually heartbroken over our daily sins. Our non-committal and quick, “Forgive me for me for my sins,” portrays more of an avoidance to even contemplate how we might have sinned, much less to truly repent, seek forgiveness, and change our behavior.
Practicing true daily confession where we are honest before God and ask him to search our hearts for unconfessed sin should keep us as aware of our sins as the sinful anointer was of hers.
HEART OF GRATITUDE
The Sinful Anointer was so filled with love and gratitude for Jesus that she simply could not contain it. This begs the question,
Are we that grateful?
I’m embarrassed to say that without a daily exercise of thanksgiving, truly thinking through who God is and who He’s been to me, I become forgetful and unaware. Regularly engaging in musical worship that focuses on who He is also helps me.
While I am grateful for this anointer’s example, I want more. I want to be a woman who makes God feel loved. Every. Single. Day. Don’t you?
Let’s give this world something to talk about. Let’s love God as He deserves and desires. Let’s engage every part of who we are to love Him well.
“Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)
Everything depends on it.
Meet the Author!
Bible teacher, author, inspirational speaker and disciple-maker, Vickey Banks is passionate about helping women connect the dots between God’s Word and their everyday lives. She loves serving as Women’s Ministry Director at Council Road, celebrating her people, playing with her puppy and getting lost in a good story.