Just simply believe
By Pastor Lance Heitman
Abundant Life Church, Grant
Last week I explained how the power of God changed me from a dope smokin’ drunk to a Bible bangin’ preacher. (I don’t thump my Bible I bang it). You see when I tell about the wonderful things God has done for me, I get excited. I get real excited and I do my best to make others excited.
In Luke chapter seven, Jesus went home with this Pharisee. A woman came to him and anointed his feet with oil, washed them with her tears, and then dried them with her hair.
The religious men who were there talked among themselves, saying if this prophet knew what manner of woman this was, he would not let her touch him.
Luke 7:44-50, And Jesus turned to the woman, and said, “Simon, seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in has not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou did not anoint: but this woman anointed my feet with ointment.
Wherefore I say unto thee, her sins which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” And he said unto her, “Thy sins are forgiven.” And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, “Who is this that forgives sins also?” And he said to the woman, “Thy faith has saved thee; go in peace.”
This is why I get so excited about God and his power to bring change in our lives. Just like this woman, whose sins were many, were forgiven, so were mine, and so can yours be, too.
In this story we see the classic struggle between religion and relationship. Everywhere Jesus went the first thing he did was to go to the church in that town and tick off the religious folk. He was the son of God, John 14:10 “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The word that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the father that dwelleth in me, he doth the works.”
So if Jesus is saying the words of the Father, and doing the works of the Father, why did the religious folk kill him? He came to destroy their system.
1st John 3:8c, states, Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil. The Pharisees, the Sadducees, the wouldn’t sees, and the couldn’t sees saw him destroying their system, their livelihood, and their way of life.
In their system everything worked on three points. Rules, works, and self effort were the driving forces. That was the only thing that kept their system working. That is how religion works. They make rules, you work to follow them, and then religion will judge you to see if you put in enough effort. You will be judged by religion not God.
This is the same way they judged Jesus.
The system Jesus brought also works on three principals: grace, faith, and the Holy Spirit. Let’s take a look at how this worked with the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with tears, and dried them with her hair.
Grace is something God gives us that we did not deserve, there is no way we can pay it back, and neither can you. That woman was saved because she believed that God would forgive all her sins just because he loved her. She had total belief in the fact Jesus was the Messiah. Now that’s faith.
Faith is simply a total and complete trust that God’s word is true. Jesus died on the cross so that all your sins are forgiven. Jesus received the Holy Spirit when he was baptized by John the Baptizer.
The woman who washed Jesus’ feet was drawn to that Spirit like a moth to a flame. That is how she knew Jesus was the Messiah. At that time the church hadn’t received the Holy Spirit. That, didn’t happen until the Day of Pentecost.
Romans 10:9 says, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (period)
I have a prayer I like to say with people. If you would like to make Jesus Lord of your life read this out loud.
Dear Jesus, please come into my heart and make a place for you to live. Take out what I don’t need and put in what you would like me to have.
I know you died that my sins would be forgiven, and I believe the Father raised you from the dead. You are my Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ Name, A-men.
Jesus loves you and so do we.