MMP: Overwhelming Gratitude

August 6, 2017
Note: Each week we will have a guest writer who will share a few of their personal thoughts on Sunday’s sermon. Unlike Monday Morning Quarterbacking, from which this series gets its name, we aren’t looking to critique so much as share how we have been personally impacted. This week’s post comes from Al Lewis.

 

God is mindful and purposeful about even the smallest details of our lives. I find it amusing that the week I volunteered to do “Monday Morning Pastor” would be the week we discuss Luke 7:36 – 50 as it reminds me of my life verse, John 13:14. 

In Luke 7:36 – 50, Jesus eats as a guest of a Pharisee named Simon. During their conversation, a prostitute anoints Jesus’ feet with perfume. When the Pharisee questions Jesus about allowing the woman to touch him, Jesus relates her actions as expressions of gratitude for her faith in Him. He contrasts this to the minor actions of gratitude taken by Simon, who is quick to judge the woman. 

This account challenges me deeply, as I identify with both people who interact with Jesus in this story. 

Just like the prostitute, I lived a life of sin and despair before accepting Jesus as my savior and allowing His mercy to wash me of my sin. Just as she wept at the Lord’s feet, I can picture my first moments in heaven – running to embrace the Lord, tears streaming down my face as I fall to kiss his feet in thankfulness. It seems almost cliche to be grateful for the wonderful life God has built for my family – a loving and hardworking wife, beautiful children, a wonderful mother and in-laws, safety and comfort, good health, etc. Today’s sermon reminds me that I need to devote more prayer to the fact that I am left speechless and in awe to the depths of my soul for the immeasurable sacrifice of the cross. I am no better of a person than the prostitute was, were it not for Jesus’ merciful sacrifice. 

I am also too often like Simon, the Pharisee. I am quick to judge and slow to help in my fleshly weakness. I pray often to have eyes and a heart for people the way Jesus did. In big gestures and small, I try to commit my heart to love others the way Jesus commanded. I pray that the Lord would continue to mold my heart in service to others and remind me to be willing to sacrifice of myself for the advancement of His Will. I am often too focused on providing for my family that I lose focus of God’s family. 

Father, I pray that I would be moved and stirred in my soul to live out my expressions of gratitude for Your sacrifice in a way that would advance Your kingdom and bring people to the salvation found in the name of Jesus. I pray You  would soften my heart for others and embolden me to speak Your truth to the world around me and at large. Continue to work through me and my family, I beg you to make me an instrument of Your divine Will. I ask these things in the only name that saves the world from its sin. Amen.