Welcome! As we’ve recently acquired some new WFW meme bloggers, (see the list to the right, and yes, I’m excited!) I thought it would be a good idea to give Mr. Linky another try: 1) so I don’t forget anybody (!) and 2) so bloggers can leave their link, even if they don’t have time to comment right away. Without further ado … leave your link in Mr. Linky!
In last week’s WFW, Rebecca posted from Psalms 119, including the following verse:
For I longed for Your commandments.
In the way that only the Holy Spirit can do, this really grabbed my heart, which leads to a confession: I have been discouraged. The problem is that I identify with this verse, and I don’t know many other people who do. I rarely see people who hunger and thirst for the Lord, and it’s a permanent condition with me. So what kind of an oddball am I? Maybe this story will shed some light.
Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. 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 him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.” “A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “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 she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”(Luke 7:36-48)
So perhaps this explains it. As David said in Psa 51, “For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me.” Maybe the rest of the world just hasn’t sinned as much as I have.
In any event, I’ve been discouraged that, even in church circles (or especially in church circles) I see people seeking signs and wonders, or seeking wisdom, or seeking just the right service with just the right music … but I don’t see people seeking Jesus.
Several years ago, I heard a sermon about the following passage:
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:8-11)
The pastor asked, “Who wants the fellowship of His sufferings?” Without hesitation, my hand shot up – but it was the only hand that did, because most people, including the pastor, were laughing. “Of course we don’t want to suffer. Never mind that it brings us fellowship with the Lord. We don’t want to suffer.” I left that service very discouraged, and I’ve not seen much since to change my view of the American church.
But God is gracious, and has provided me some encouragement in the form of new, young WFW bloggers who have a passion for the Lord. I pray that they will encourage our whole nation to its knees in repentance.