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Undeserving Day 13

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Scripture: Luke 7:36-39, 44-50 36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”…44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little. 48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Devotional: This is perhaps one of the most beautiful stories in all of the New Testament.  This sinful woman, who was clearly despised by her community, humbled herself before Jesus and poured out onto Him her most treasured possession, perhaps worth up to a year’s wages.

There were those at the table with Jesus, who not only rejected this woman, but condemned her for her humble and loving act at the feet of Jesus. But Jesus, knowing her heart, accepted and defended her before her accusers.

It took great courage for this woman to act as she did, knowing she would face rejection in this room of men.  But the hope of acceptance from Jesus outweighed her fear of rejection.  Very simply, she emptied herself of herself, and was completely at the mercy of Jesus.

The beauty of this story is that she gave all, and received more in return than she could ever imagine.  Jesus accepted her, affirmed her, and wiped the slate clean of her many sins.  She left that place in complete freedom.  And served Jesus faithfully from that day on.

Reflect

  • What would it take for you to give all to Jesus, to humble yourself at His feet and empty yourself of yourself?
  • Consider what might be standing in your way: pride, fear, apathy, sin. Pray for the strength to overcome these and receive the acceptance of Jesus.

 

Undeserving Day 12

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Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:1-13 1The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.” The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.” Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?” Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” 12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” 13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.

Devotional: We see in this passage that Saul, the very first king of Israel, was rejected and deposed as king because he was not faithful to the Lord.  As God looked to replace Saul, He searched for someone who, first and foremost, would be faithful to Him.

As we learn, God looks, not to the outward appearance, but the heart.  When asked to see all his sons, Jesse didn’t even consider his youngest, who was at the bottom of the totem pole in the pecking order.  David was rejected by his own family, but God saw into the depths of his heart and not only accepted him, but anointed him as King over Israel.  And, God would eventually call him a man after His own heart.

Reflect:

  • Reflect upon your own life. Do you focus more on your outward appearance or your heart? 
  • Do you think God would consider you a man or woman after His own heart?
  • Pray this prayer of David for your own life: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

 

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