“Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that’s why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.”

Luke 7:47, HCSB


9711325376_0b003d5867_b-750x500What was she doing there?

Upon invitation, Jesus ate at Simon the Pharisee’s house. A certain someone, known as an immoral woman, heard about Jesus’ visit and decided to crash the party. Bringing a container of valuable perfume, she entered and stood behind the Lord as He stretched out at the table. Weeping, she wiped, kissed, and anointed Jesus’ feet, worshipping Messiah with a full heart.

Everyone–except Jesus–could see her. She didn’t seem to care. She was too overcome.

I wonder why the Pharisee even let her in. I’d think he wouldn’t want such a lowlife to enter his home since he retained a leadership position in the Jewish community. Why didn’t he stop her? Though it appears she worked as a prostitute, he didn’t chase her away. Simon simply watched and thought … and judged.

Maybe this woman had earned money at Simon’s house in the past.

Maybe Simon and this woman knew each other.

Obviously, Simon felt superior.

Yet Jesus saw right through. He read the Pharisee’s thoughts, and though Simon didn’t ask for a response, the Lord answered anyway:

“Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.’ And Jesus answered and said to him…” Lk. 7:39-40, NASB

Jesus communicated truth through a parable about two people unable to repay debt. Graciously, their moneylender forgave each of them–one for 50 denarii and the other for 500 denarii. The Lord then asked Simon who loved the lender more, and Simon correctly understood. Of course, the person forgiven for the greater debt held a greater love.

Just like that woman. That “sort of person.” That “sinner.”

Though she really had nothing to offer, she humbly gave all she could: her tears mingled with perfume, the tresses flowing from her head, the gentle kiss of her lips … all spent on Jesus’ feet.

I don’t believe she’d ever used those parts of her body in such a holy way.

But unlike Simon, this woman grasped in the core of her being that the living God sat before her. A Savior so exquisite, so loving, so welcoming–so forgiving–Who made her new. She’d followed the Lord Jesus Christ to the Pharisee’s house, publicly displayed her faith, and worshipped Him unashamedly.

She knew what she was, yet she’d come to know who HE IS.

She’d been forgiven for Every. Horrendous. Sin.

In return, she loved MUCH.

May this be true of us as well. 


Heart Matters: A Check-Up

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7, NASB


A Check-Up

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Psalm 139:23-24, NLT

file1361301586907As both a new bride and a relatively new believer, my husband and I attended a Nearly/Newlywed class at our church. One Sunday morning, our teacher asked us to think about some recent conflicts with our spouse, confess our fault in the conflict, and seek forgiveness from both our spouse and from God. Recalling a conflict was the easy part because we had a few to choose from, but the hard part was admitting that I was in any way responsible for said conflict because I always believed it was his fault. The end.

Do you think I struggled with pride? Bless his heart.

Clearly, this wasn’t our teacher’s first barbecue, and he could read my body language like a book. He gently reminded our class (or maybe just me) to ask the Lord to search our hearts if we weren’t coming up with something right away because we most likely had some unconfessed sin in how we related to our spouse. I did so hesitantly because did I mention that it I was always right? However, within moments of giving the Lord access to my heart, conviction from the Holy Spirit flooded my soul as I realized there was SO MUCH sin in my heart.

I had believed the lie that since I didn’t lie, cheat, steal, or kill people that I was OK. I was a good person!

I had become comfortable with the pride, selfishness, and disrespect that had taken up residence in my heart, and the constant companion of unforgiveness had gone completely unnoticed.

Few people would disagree with the benefits of a regular physical exam by our doctor, but what about a regular heart check with the Great Physician who not only knows our hearts, but created them?

Maybe today you see no danger in harboring a “little” sin that has become a constant companion, but in the eyes of our Holy God, sin is sin and must be dealt with.

Today is a great day for a spiritual check-up. Will you allow Him to search your heart?

Amazed by His grace,


Biblical Truths I Learned From My Cats: You’re Always Welcome At Home

It amuses me what God sometimes uses to teach us lessons. Lately, it seems my four cats (and others in my life) have been the source of a few biblical truths.


You’re Always Welcome At Home

So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

Luke 15:20


Jack_sleeping.JPGJack is a young orange tabby who belongs to my sister. He is a sweet, energetic young cat with unquenchable curiosity and superior hunting skills. Here in Florida, many of us have a lanai – a large, screened area of our backyard, often enclosing a swimming pool. This is Jack’s favorite hangout. Mostly because of the lizards. Jack loves hunting lizards. My sister finds them in her house on a regular basis. Sometimes they’re dead – other times, not so much. Jack doesn’t care if he actually kills the lizard. It’s all about the hunt. He loves being outside so much that she installed a “kitty door” so he can go in and out as he wishes, safe inside the screened lanai.

My sister’s previous home did not have a lanai, only a small screened porch. Jack was terribly curious about the great outdoors, and would make an effort to scoot out the door every time one was opened. Usually we were very cautious and managed to keep him indoors. One night, however, he slipped past and escaped through the open garage door.

I drove the hour to her house. We spent hours looking for that cat. My sister walked for miles, calling him, looking under bushes and cars, winding behind homes. We drove all around her neighborhood, and after dark, drove around more. At two a.m., we finally decided to try to get some sleep. She was consumed with worry about him. We made posters to put up the next morning, and fell into bed about three a.m.

At six-thirty the next morning, she woke me. Bleary-eyed, I stared at what she held in her arms – little Jack, purring away. She was so happy he was home, snuggling him and petting him. I’ll be honest – I wasn’t quite as forgiving. I was still annoyed at having to drop everything and drive an hour to her house, then spent hours looking for the little bugger. She, however, was only focused on the fact that he was home safe. Jack was no worse for the wear, and after a good meal, crashed on the screened porch for a nap.

Sometimes we all have a desire to wander off, to go looking for something more, to see if there’s anything bigger or better out there, much like the prodigal son in the book of Luke. We wander away from God in search of worldly things. Often, it’s not even intentional. We just look up and suddenly realize we’ve wandered quite a distance from God. Things that far away aren’t nearly as good as we thought they might be.  Sometimes we wonder if God would even take us back.

But here’s the good news. Just like my sister welcomed Jack, the father’s reception of his son is a picture of God’s love for us. He took his son, who had been lost but was now found, in his arms and hugged him. Then proceeded to have a party. God delights in our return to Him, too. He desires nothing more than for His children to come to Him, to be in His presence.  Job 22:23 promises that if we return to the Almighty, we will be restored. Hosea 6:1 promises that if we return, we will be healed. And James 4:8 declares that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.

If you’ve suddenly looked up and found yourself feeling far from God, all you have to do is turn around. He is already filled with compassion for you. If you let Him, like the prodigal’s father, He will run to you and welcome you back. And heaven will throw a party.

In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Luke 15:10 NIV