March 31

Luke 7:36-50

In this passage we find Jesus in the home of a Pharisee, reclining and dining with this religious leader. Again, we see that Jesus was not intimidated by the Pharisee, and He was willing to meet with the man.

A woman who is known as an “especially wicked sinner (Amplified version)” came to anoint Him, honoring Jesus with expensive perfume. First of all, she knew He was going to die and she was doing her part in preparation for His death. Secondly, it was a form of respect that the Pharisee may have resented. However, the point I want to make today is that the Pharisee judged Jesus as a fake because a real prophet would have known this woman’s sin and rejected her worship.

Jesus knew by the word of knowledge from the Holy Spirit what this Pharisee was thinking, so Jesus turns to Peter in front of them all, and asks a question about forgiveness of debt. Then Jesus speaks to the woman and tells her, in front of the Pharisee, “Your sins are forgiven.” One, He shows the Pharisee He know of her sin. Two, He shows the Pharisee He has the authority to forgive sin. Three, He demonstrates mercy instead of judgment, unlike the Pharisee. Four, He tells the woman she is not only forgiven, but she is also free from all the distresses that are experienced as a result of sin (verse 50, Amplified).

When Jesus forgives, He removes the penalty of sin. He offers wholeness and right standing with God. Hallelujah! We are healed, whole, and free!

Judges 3-5

In Judges, we see that sin would cause God to turn away from Israel and enemies to find an open door.

Even under today’s new covenant, we should not think that God is mocked when we knowingly and willfully continue to sin against Him after receiving the born again experience. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect law abiders or flawless performers of what is right, but He does expect the full surrender of faith and obedience. There is forgiveness for sin when we miss it and bring ourselves back to surrender. Some sin has an addictive quality, yet God is able to break the power of sin through His love, restoration, and power. He is slow to anger and rich in love.

God did not want to destroy Israel. They were the promise of a Redeemer for the whole earth because of Abraham. After allowing consequences to their own rebellious behavior, God would raise up a deliverer to save them.

We see God punish the children of Israel for their sin, teaching them a lesson, and guiding them to obedience. We need to be careful how we view God today. Will God allow consequence for sin for a wrong choice? Yes. He gives us a free will and our choices have consequences. Does God want us to learn that obedience is a better choice because of the life it brings? Absolutely. However, many people live under condemnation when they see their imperfections and failures. They fear God as an abusive father. When they experience trouble, lack, or sickness, then they blame themselves for not being perfect. However, because of Jesus, there is a grace God extends to us as we grow in our knowledge and understanding of Him. We don’t want to try to take advantage of that grace, but we do what to grow in grace, meaning we grow without an unhealthy fear, without guilt, and without shame. We don’t earn our right position with God, we receive and become righteous through Christ. We should respect His holiness, surrender to His love, and apply action to the truth we hear. We should respect God and His righteousness, surrender to Christ, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in freedom. Condemnation will keep a person bound with thoughts that any trouble he or she experiences is something they deserve. A person could feel trouble is a punishment that they need to accept and then they lack faith for freedom, forgiveness, healing, provision, and other covenant blessings. Don’t live under condemnation. Live in freedom of His grace.

Judges of Israel included three in chapter 3:
In chapters 4 and 5 we read of another judge:

We see that God chose a woman as both a civil and military leader. Not only did a woman lead the nation but another woman, Jael, a woman from the Negev, or southern Palestine, was the one who murdered the enemy king, Sisera, giving deliverance to Israel.

Deborah was also a prophetess, a woman who stood in the office of a prophet. Her life was spent meeting with the children of Israel, helping to solve disputes. She also had messages from God for the nation. In verse 5, she and Barak, her righthand man, sing a song to the Lord, praising Him.

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