Summary: When we realize how much Jesus has forgiven us, we will develop a deep love for him. When Jesus hung on the cross, he was looking forward to the joy of saving us so that we can be with him forever. Therefore, let us reciprocate his love by growing in our love for him daily.
Dear Brothers and sister in Christ, I entitled my sharing “Love, Devotion and Sacrifice”.
Have you wondered why there are some Christians who seems to be so in love with Jesus? Do you wish to be like them? May the sharing be used by the Holy Spirit to bring us into a deeper love relationship with Jesus.
PART 1: LOVE (Story of Sinful Woman vs Simon the Self Righteous)
The narrative of an incident in the Gospel when Jesus was a guest of Simon the Pharisee. Halfway during the meal, a renounced sinful woman came in and approach Jesus. She fell and wet Jesus’ feet with her tears and wipe them with her hair. Simon was disgusted at the sight. Then Jesus told a parable about a man who forgave two debtors of their debts. One is much more than the other. Jesus asked who will love the person more? Simon answered the debtor who owed more money is love more.
Key verse: Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Luke (7:47)
This is the depth of a person conversion experience. When you encountered the Savior, you are convicted of the great sins. You will love greatly. When you have not been convicted of the gravity of your sins at conversion, and throughout your Christian life, you have not come to the realization of the great price that Jesus paid and the love of the Father to give His only Son. The knowledge of the Gospel narrative has become too familiar to the point of being boring. You will love little. You know I am not saying that you must be a terrible criminal and commit gross acts. No, to the person who is truly convicted by the Holy Spirit will have the understanding that the sinful thoughts, are same as the actions that follows them.
PART 2: DEVOTION (Story of Mary who brought the Expensive Perfume in Alabaster Jar)
Mary poured the expensive perfume out of her devotion to the Lord. Jesus said that it was in preparation for his burial. Jesus poured himself out for us. Judas was rebuking her for the extravagant manner she was using the perfume on Jesus alone. The only thing he was concerned for was the money, how much it was worthy. A worker’s one-year wages. Maybe in our time is $30,000 - S$40,000.
What is your measurement of Jesus? What is too much to be spent on Jesus? Mary did not have such a concern for the money because she did not think that it was an extravagant thing to do. She poured everything out of the alabaster jar on Jesus alone. Jesus said, “Wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (Mark 14:9).
A wartime story was told by a Korean pastor. There were many horrific stories of the atrocities done during the Japanese Occupation of the Korean Peninsula in WWII. One time at one church, the Japanese soldiers crash into church in the middle of the service. They found a drawing of Jesus and threw it on the floor. They commanded everyone to spit on it, anyone who disobey die. From the least to the top leader of the church, everyone walked by and did it in order to save their lives. Then a ten-year-old girl came. She had such a love and devotion for her Lord that she could not bring herself to spit on the picture of Jesus. She did not care whether she would live or die. Instead of doing what the Japanese soldiers demanded, she picked the picture of Jesus and with tears in her eyes, she wiped away the saliva with her skirt.
PART 3: SACRIFICE (Story of Jacob’s love for Rachel)
When I was thinking of a love story in the Bible that is illustrative of how much a man loves the woman of his life. I thought of the Biblical story of Jacob. He loved Rachel and ask his uncle Laban for her hand in marriage and since Jacob did not have money for dowry so Laban set the condition that Jacob would work for him for seven years in order to marry his daughter. Gen 29:20 records that “Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her”. See how much Jacob loved Rachel and so great his love for her that the years was to him like only a few days. As we know that in the end Jacob worked fourteen years in order to marry her. Such was the love of Jacob for Rachel.
In contrast, there are believers who feel that they must make many sacrifices in order to be a Christian. For example, they must stop going to night clubs, give up sinful lifestyle, gambling and getting drunk. To them, it is too high a cost and too great a sacrifice that they have to make. They make a mental note that of what they are willing or not willing to give up, and how far they will go with Jesus.