Some stories in the Bible move you no matter how many times you read them. The story of Jesus forgiving the sinful woman is especially poignant. Can you imagine the boldness and love this woman had for Jesus? She walked into a room full of men she knew would judge and mock her, but she had one mission—to get to Jesus.
Most commentators speculate that the alabaster jar she used to cleanse Jesus’ feet would have cost months of her wages—most likely earned as a prostitute. She used the item most precious to her to worship and love the Lord in the only way she could think of.
Jesus responds in such a beautiful way to this woman. He is compassionate, loving, and merciful to the woman who was willing to wash the feet of her Lord. He sees her heart and the love she has for Him.
Forgiveness is a hard concept to understand. For those of us who have experienced freedom in Christ from the ugly parts of our stories and sins we are ashamed of, our natural response is to fall at the feet of Jesus in worship. It’s an instinctive response to His beautiful grace.
Jesus’ words challenge those who claim Him as Savior and Lord. We must be willing to dish out the same forgiveness, even to those who might be hard to forgive. Once we truly understand the greatness of our own forgiven debt, it helps us forgive those hurt or wrong us—no matter how great the sin.
Choose to receive the Lord’s free forgiveness today and choose to forgive those that are hard to love. Making forgiveness a part of your life through the power of the Holy Spirit will make us more like Jesus. Our faith and trust in the Lord will continue to increase each and every day.
Do you struggle to receive forgiveness? Do you struggle to extend forgiveness?
How can you trust the Lord more in the areas of forgiveness?
Are you a complainer? Maybe you don’t notice it, but most of us have a nasty habit of whining when things don’t go our way. If you don’t complain externally, what about in your heart? Maybe you find yourself struggling with a negative attitude, which is a version of complaining.
The Israelites were God’s chosen people, a people God showed His great love to over and over again. He miraculously rescued them from oppression and slavery at the hands of the Egyptians, and providentially provided for His people in every step as they traveled to the Promised Land.
Yet, they complained. They even went so far as to say that they want to go back to Egypt—the land where for hundreds of years, they suffered at the hands of their captors. Can you imagine how this grieved the Lord’s heart?
We can be just like the Israelites. Complaining, whining, or grumbling demonstrates a lack of trust in the Lord. It is evidence that we think we know better than He does and that we think our perspective is best.
In Philippians 2:14-16, Paul commands us as believers to do EVERYTHING without complaining because it sets us apart from the World. Trusting Him is one of the greatest ways we can worship and love the Lord. Ask the Lord today to change your complaining to worship, even when it’s challenging.
What do you most frequently complain about?
In what ways can you consciously trust the Lord in those areas?
I often wonder what it must have been like for the Israelites to experience first-hand the miracle of God’s provision for His people after their deliverance from Egypt. Exodus is one of the richest and most beautiful books in the Bible, and every time I read it something else jumps out at me that teaches me so much about our great God.
I love this short section of Scripture particularly, because it is such a great reminder of our call as God’s chosen people — the redeemed children of the Lord. Scripture says that Moses’ face glowed with the glory of the Lord (vs. 29) because he spoke with God. Conversations with the Lord during that time were few and only certain people had the privilege of hearing and speaking with God. I often forget that because of the beautiful access we have to the Lord through the Holy Spirit. But we DO have access. Isn’t that amazing!?
We can talk with the Lord whenever we please, but do we take full advantage of this gift? Do the people around me recognize that I spend time with the Lord, the way the Israelites could visibly see it on Moses’ face?
My prayer is that we would be women that reflect the glory of the Lord because we continually spend time in His presence. We can’t lose sight of what a miracle it is to dialogue with God – that He speaks and listens. Let it be said of us that His glory radiates within us because of the time we spend with Him.
Think about someone you know who reflects God’s glory – what makes their relationship with the Lord different?
What is one way you can tap into the access you have to the Lord this week to deepen your relationship with Him?
Is rest difficult for you? How about slowing down? Maybe you feel like if you stop, you will end up falling behind or that the world will crumble around you. I’ve been there, and it’s exhausting. When someone first stopped and introduced me to the reality that not only is resting (or taking a Sabbath) a command from the Lord (check out Exodus 20:8-11) but it’s truly for our good, my entire walk with Christ changed—for the better!
Work can be an idol that steals our affections from the Lord subtly and quickly. When we go without rest, we begin worshiping the things that we put our efforts and energies into, instead of the One who created us. Work is a good thing, but the Lord so clearly calls His people to make rest a part of our lives.
Have you ever thought about the fact that God Himself modeled this for us when He created the earth? On the seventh day He rested. He stopped. He reflected. He didn’t have to—He’s GOD! He didn’t get tired or overwhelmed, but He wanted His people to see the importance of slowing down.
Resting is hard, especially if you struggle with slowing down. It’s WORK. The beauty and the gift that comes from intentionally creating space for rest is the beautiful gift of deeper love and admiration for the Lord. Those things you need to get done will still be there and those people you worry you might let down don’t need you to be superwoman.
Be intentional about building rest into your week by carving out a specific day that you will stop and just be. Choose a day where you can get away to reflect, recharge, and abide with your Savior. You will quickly discover, as I did, that when you rest, you are able to tackle your task lists better and that you truly become the woman God called you to be.
What is the greatest struggle you have with resting?
What practical steps can you take this week to build rest into your schedule?