I would like to make six observations about loving God using the story of the “sinful” woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with very expensive perfume in Luke 7:36-50.
- Being deeply in love with God is a choice (v.37-38). This “sinful” woman made an extravagant choice to pour perfume costing perhaps one year’s wages on Jesus’ feet. When was the last time we made a choice to follow-through with an extravagant act of obedience and sacrifice as a demonstration of our love for Christ?
- Loving God can be costly (v.37-38). To God, it isn’t about the “cost” it is about the heart. God does not need our “stuff”; He wants us. All that we are; our personhood, our hopes, our dreams, our victories, and our defeats. God’s bottom line is that He wants “no other God’s before Him”.
- There will always be a Pharisee around to judge (v.39). The religious leaders of the day were always at odds with Jesus. Religious folks today still and always will find themselves at odds with Jesus; especially when it comes to the application of biblical Christ-following and change. Remember, it is about a personal relationship with God through Jesus enabled by the work of the Holy Spirit, which is proven and demonstrated through consistent, willful obedience, not a religious belief system or checklist. In the story the Pharisee was too caught up in his judgmental attitude to recognize the bigger picture of God’s grace, mercy, and power to change a person’s life.
- Your level of gratitude determines your level of love (v.40-48). The “sinful” woman’s weeping as she publicly used her hair to humbly wipe and then kiss Jesus’ feet reveals her brokenness over her sin and her gratitude for Jesus’ willingness to forgive and restore her. What a perfect picture of repentance and gratitude!
- Focus enables love (v.38). What we focus on is what captures our attention. Outside of a church service, how much time to we spend focused on God? Focus on Him. Let Him capture your attention, then He will capture your heart. Then you will never be the same!
- Loving God will change your life (v.47-48, 50). “Loving” implies action. Our love is proven through our obedience. God hears what you say; but also knows what you do, your choices, your thoughts, your motives, etc, and “God will not be mocked” (Gal. 6:7).