Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Key To Loving Jesus

"Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven--for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little."
Luke 7:44-47 (emphasis added)
Two weekends ago, I had the undeserved privilege of being God's messenger as the speaker at the high school retreat for the home school co-op that is run by my church (where I teach Systematic Theology to juniors and seniors every Friday morning). I gave two messages that were directly related to each other. Below is the conclusion from the first message I gave on Luke 7:36-50 called "The Key To Loving Jesus."

How do we grow in our love for Jesus? We grow in our love for Jesus as we grow in seeing that our sin is greater than we could ever imagine. If our understanding of how great our debt is grows, then our understanding of how great our forgiveness is grows. You see, our brains are finite. So when I say that each of our debts before God is infinite, you hear what I’m saying but you can’t process how big that is. You must continually grow in your understanding of how great the debt is day by day. And as you grow in understanding how great that debt is, you will grow in your love for Jesus.

Think about it this way. Even when we are in heaven, we will never know God fully because He is infinite and we are finite and it will always be that way. So we will be growing in our knowledge of Him each day because there will always be more and more to learn. In the same way we will never fully know in this life how great our sin debt is because it is infinite and we are finite. So we must grow in our understanding of it through our entire lives if we will grow in treasuring our forgiveness and treasuring Jesus.

I didn’t become a Christian very long ago. It was about six years ago. But I became a Christian by becoming aware of my sin debt before God. And I’ll tell you this. From my perspective six years ago, I was only a 50 denarii debtor. Yes, I needed forgiveness. But the sins I recognized were obvious. I needed to stop stealing music. I needed to stop making an idol of worldly success (grades). I needed to stop feeding the lust in my heart. Among other things. By God’s grace He has freed me from the power of those particular sins in my life. But you know what, I now feel like a 5,000 denarii debtor. You probably couldn’t tell by looking at me from the outside because I usually can’t. The sins I recognize aren’t as obvious. And they are more deeply ingrained in my heart. I am often too fearful of people to share the gospel with them. I care too much about what people think after I teach rather than if I was faithful to God and His Word. I compare myself to other teachers of God’s word to see if I am better than them or worse than them in my ability to teach. I secretly judge people in my heart who don’t seem to pursue God as much as I think they should. I give God advice about the way I want things to be in my life. Among other things. And these sins feel harder to be freed from than my former ones. I might look better on the outside, but I feel worse on the inside. But forgiveness is more precious to me now than it was 5 years ago. And Jesus is more precious to me now than He was 5 years ago. But I still don’t know how great my sin debt. I still need to grow in my love for Jesus. And I will do this as I continue to grow in my understanding of how great my sin debt still is.

You can get the entire sermon manuscript here.

1 comment:

Mel said...

Amen. I've been a Christian my whole life, after being born again at the age of three. I remember walking to school as a first grader, admiring God's creation around me, thanking Him for his presence in my life, and thinking about how every time I took a breath, I was breathing God into my lungs.

I've always been aware of many of the outward sins, and usually have been pretty good about staying away from them. But it hasn't until recently that I've begun to understand how pervasive sin (especially pride) is in my life, and how it affects everything I do and all of who I am and how I see the world.

Praise God for His grace and mercy, for the miracle of salvation, and for the fellowship of other believers that treasure God above all.

Bless you, Brother! :)