Read Luke 7:36-50
One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”
Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.”
“Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied.
Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”
Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”
“That’s right,” Jesus said. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.
“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?”
And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
God’s voice is not one of condescension. His voice is one of defense. He is our justifier— ready to cancel debt and bring renewal. Because of Jesus, His expectation is NOT perfection. He is SO kind + desires our offering—whatever that looks like for us as His children. The investment we make in giving Him all that we are, completely broken before Him, is never wasted. Even when we feel like we have nothing to give, He wants our heart. He loves you completely right where you are. There is no need to be embarrassed; there is no room for shame at His feet. There is nothing too ‘big’ for Him to pay for. There is no accuser that can stand toe to toe with the Father. There is nothing or no one too far gone for Him to use. Whatever season of life, whatever moment in time, whatever age, whatever stage—God wants all of you.
FROM THE WRITERS
“This was a very intimate moment with the Lord where I realized that I didn’t have much to offer Him in the season I was in, but just like the woman with the alabaster jar of perfume, I could give everything that I had to Him…no matter what it cost me personally, everything was worth it to worship the Lord right where I was.” – Victoria Weaver
What spiritual season are you in currently? In this season, what is holding you back from worshipping the Lord with everything you have? Spend time in prayer asking God to reveal His voice to you.
Read Job 42:1-6
Then Job replied to the Lord:
“I know that you can do anything,
and no one can stop you.
You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’
It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about,
things far too wonderful for me.
You said, ‘Listen and I will speak!
I have some questions for you,
and you must answer them.’
I had only heard about you before,
but now I have seen you with my own eyes.
I take back everything I said,
and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”
Even in trial, even in complete suffering and pain, we have access to Hope. Through being broken, we see how His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). We may have heard of Him, but we experience His realness, His goodness, and His closeness in a personal way when we are broken and poured out before Him. We repent and submit to His sovereign plan—even if it doesn’t make earthly sense. We wait and trust His Spirit to bring peace.
FROM THE WRITERS
“At the time, I was in a place of lack and a season of waiting where the only thing I could present to God was my brokenness. But take heart. It is okay to be broken and spilled out at Hid feet. Nothing overwhelms God and nothing surprises Him. God will overwhelm what overwhelms me. When I let Jesus in and declare Him King over my life, I look forward to the day where I get to be before God, the ultimate fulfiller of my hope.” – Sam Inon
Does Jesus have the throne in your life—regardless of life circumstances? Ask God to reprioritize your heart to make Him the King.
Read John 15:1-11
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!
Pruning is a necessary part of the harvest. Becoming more like Jesus— being redeemed, restored, and revived— is only possible because of His remaining and abiding love. Being changed by God doesn’t happen overnight and it only happens in His presence. Trying to find this healing anywhere else leaves us empty, void of peace, and afraid of reality.
If our desire is to be healed and restored, we can only do that in Him. He is the safe place to lay our wounds down. He is the only source of true rest. He is the refuge when our souls are torn up by the world. This healing—it is a choice. We must choose to stay close to his side. We must choose to remain in His presence. We can only be healed by Him.
Intentionally remain in His presence today and ask God to show you what needs to be pruned from your life. Are you allowing Him to redeem and restore your heart?
Read Romans 8:18-28
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Because of Jesus, we are set free. As we seek Him and wait for Him simultaneously, we can have full confidence that His Spirit is interceding. The Hope we have in Jesus is tangible. You can leave your life in His hands in total trust that He will never abandon you.
Our culture abuses the word ‘hope’ with phrases like: “Oh, I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow” or “I hope the Florida Gators lose the game today”; but the Hope He promises is more concrete than this. It is not that we are waiting to see what happens because we don’t know the outcome—it is that we are waiting in anticipation and expectation for Him to meet us and restore us.
FROM THE WRITERS
“The bridge came as I looked at the gospels and realized that this is what Jesus came to do. This whole song is about worshiping Jesus and what comes when we worship Him.” —Victoria Weaver
Have you placed your hope in anything other than Jesus? How can you shift your heart to reflect Him as your only true Hope? Write a practical declaration to pray through and read daily that will remind you to live with your Hope in Jesus.
Some examples are below:
- I will lay my feelings at the foot of the cross and operate in what I know is true about God and His Word.
- I will rest in His presence and know that He is moving, even when I can’t see it.
- I will fix my eyes on Heaven today to let my heart be stayed on Jesus—and not on anything else.
Read Matthew 27:32-37
Along the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. And they went out to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). The soldiers gave Jesus wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it.
After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. Then they sat around and kept guard as he hung there. A sign was fastened above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against him. It read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”
Jesus did not numb Himself as He paid at all.
During that time period, as the Roman soldiers crucified indicted criminals, they would offer them sour wine. This wine was more fermented than normal, creating an opportunity for those being crucified to literally become drunk as they suffered a slow and excruciating death. This numbness offered brief and shallow pain relief. It was frequently encouraged by onlookers to accept this temporary avoidance.
The wine offered to Jesus in verse 34 was intended to be a soothing agent, but He didn’t want it. Jesus chose to feel the weight of hell + sin + death to the fullest extent possible. He chose to face our reality with a sober mind, intentionally waging war for our souls. No matter how costly or painful. If this is what He did for us, our posture should reflect that. Jesus modeled being broken and poured out perfectly. He paid our ransom in full—face-to-face with death— so that we could be redeemed, restored and revived.
Meditate on the payment Jesus made for us to know Him. How can your posture reflect reverence for His sacrifice?