Recently, I heard a beautiful message on having Christ’s love rooted in our lives because it has the power to radically change us.
Our pastor talked about Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians:
“So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge , that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17 -19 NASB)
This prayer came out of the Apostle Paul’s deep desire that the Ephesians would know their identity in Christ. Once they grasped who they really were through a revelation of God’s love their perception of themselves and the world would change:
Paul was passionate about believers being rooted and grounded in the love of God. He knew it would bring a stability and security that would produce wholeness and make them complete.
Our pastor referred to a story in the book of Luke where Simon, a Pharisee, invited Jesus to his home. Jesus had just been seated when a woman with an alabaster jar entered the room.
By her actions it appears she had a previous encounter with Jesus and some suspect this was the woman the Pharisees caught in adultery and brought to Jesus asking if she should be stoned.
She had received forgiveness from Jesus for her sins which were many (she was probably a prostitute).
Seeing Jesus enter Simon’s house, the woman courageously entered the home of a pharisee, the same group who had wanted her stoned:
“And standing behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears; and she wiped them with the hair of her head and kissing His feet each His and anointed them with the perfume” – Luke 7:38 NASB
Boldly she came with tears of gratitude unable to contain her worship and adoration as she knelt at the feet of Jesus. She didn’t care what anyone thought. Her life was not rooted in prostitution any longer, it was now rooted in the love of God because of the mercy Jesus had shown her.
Her hair that had been used to draw men was now used as a vessel to worship Jesus. Taking her expensive perfume earned by prostitution she poured it out onto Christ’s feet. Money no longer had a hold on her.
Jesus spoke to her again, “woman your sins are forgiven”.
Her past no longer defined her. She was an adopted daughter.
When we are rooted in God’s love, it drives out fear. We know that God has our back. We can walk with a strut.
Some believe when Jesus spoke those words of forgiveness, He was actually saying them as much for Simon’s sake. He was the one who really needed to hear these words.
Simon responded, “who is this man who forgives sin?”
Simon was a man rooted in position and man’s approval. He was controlled by pride and status.
He thought that Jesus should have recognized the woman as a sinner and shunned her as any man of status would have done.
But Jesus saw her as forgiven and pure.
This unnamed woman wasn’t looking for man’s approval like Simon was.
She had become bold and confident. She could handle the criticism and the judgement that Simon and others placed on her.
She knew without doubt she been forgiven and was free to move on with her life. The past was the past and she was no longer defined by it.
- Message delivered by Pastor Joel Wells, Sunday, February 14th, 2016