Perfume On Her Feet: A Devoted Love

One of the sweetest memories in the recent past with my daughter Ruth, has been the introduction of perfume. My daughter takes very good care of each item that is given to her and proudly positions each important treasure for display atop her vanity. Added to this collection a while back, was a bright pink bottle of perfume. As she received it, her eyes grew wide in disbelief. She knew that perfume was something special. She giggled in innocent glee.

Then, after I showed Ruth how to make it spray, she surprised me. She began to spray her sweet, little feet. I was about to correct her, but then, the Lord spoke to my heart. Ruth than turned her attention, and perfume bottle, to my feet. Rather than correcting her, I thanked her for spraying my feet with her prized perfume. Ruth stated, “I am doing this because I love you, Mama. Just like when you wipe Daniel and I’s feet with wet wipes because you love us, I want to share my perfume because I love you.” Ruth’s three year old words really struck me to my core. This was devoted love lived out from a sincere and innocent heart.

As I watched my daughter spray her feet with perfume, then turn to me and spray my feet, I was instantly brought to a beautiful story in the Bible in my mind. Another story of devoted love.

In the book of Luke, within the Holy Bible, a woman who had committed many blatant sins within the community of Bethany, learned that Jesus was going to be dining at the home of a Pharisee, named Simon. This woman came to the home and began to clean Jesus’ feet with her tears and dry them with her hair. She also poured precious perfume on His feet. The owner of the house found this ludicrous, but Jesus saw things very differently. To Simon, the acts of this “sinner” toward Jesus were unthinkable–uncalled for. Yet, to Jesus, the acts of this woman’s devoted love led Him to declare that all of her screw-ups and poor choices, had been forgiven.

“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.” Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:44-50 (NASB)

The lesson that I learned from my beautiful daughter was, regardless of what others may say, if we have our eyes fixed on Jesus–He will bring healing and forgiveness to any situation. And despite what others may think of our attempts to show God how much we love Him, take heart in the reality that God does not look at a situation as mankind does–rest assured that God looks at the heart.

“All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives.” Proverbs 16:2 (NASB)

May we each take our thoughts captive and bring them before the LORD for evaluation. We each have precious gifts to give back to the Lord–for Him to then direct us in how they should best be used. Whether that may be to sing for your congregation, serve in children’s ministry, visit a family in need, tutor a struggling student, or simply share a warm cup of something with another and prayerfully listen. Allow the LORD to show each of you, as believers in Jesus Christ, just how to best use the gifts that He has given you. May we be a generation that is found to hold a devoted love for our Lord, Jesus Christ; for He alone is worthy.

My Hope Is Found In Nothing Less

“This is what the LORD says–your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”

Isaiah 48:17 (NIV)

Have you ever really stopped to look at your life? I don’t mean what your social media page shows–or even the comments made about you by others. I mean, have YOU ever really stopped to examine your life? Who do you turn to for advise? When times get tough and your heart begins to race, who pops into your head as a safe place to run to?
Whatever circumstance you are going through, whether obvious or hidden from the sight of others, there is rescue. I have had the awesome privilege of meeting with a new friend, at her bedside, within the palliative care unit of a local hospital. She is battling with ovarian cancer, and her prognosis has not been good. Despite this woman’s body showing visible signs of the disease, there is an undeniable fire within her steal eyes. She knows where her hope is found: Jesus Christ alone. And for this reason, she has been able to share smiles, laughter and praise with the many whom visit with her in a land foreign to her. Her hope is solid.

“Therefore the Lord God said:
“Look, I have laid a stone in Zion,
a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
the one who believes will be unshakable.” Isaiah 28:14 (HCSB)

The old hymn “My hope is built on nothing less” by Edward Mote (1797-1874) gives testimony to the reality of where we should place our hope in troubled times.
1st stanza: “My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.”
4th stanza: “When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
In Him, my righteousness, alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.”
Any of us who believe that we know how many years, experiences or even breaths that we will get to hold in our lungs, may be sorely mistaken. Why? Because it is not up to us to determine our days–or even what will fill them. Rather, as believers in Jesus Christ, it is our opportunity to return ALL circumstances back to the LORD in praise–resting in the life giving truth of the Holy Bible.

“Remember Your word to Your servant;
You have given me hope through it.
This is my comfort in my affliction:
Your promise has given me life.” Psalm 119:49-50 (HCSB)

May we be a people that memorizes and meditates on the depth and richness that is found within the Holy Scriptures. These are not just cutesy words or nice sayings to sell at a retail store–no way–these are solid truths. The Bible, the Word of God, is chalked full of promises that one can literally take to the grave–and praise God–BEYOND.

“How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping Your word.
I have sought You with all my heart;
don’t let me wander from Your commands.
I have treasured Your word in my heart
so that I may not sin against You.
LORD, may You be praised;
teach me Your statutes.
With my lips I proclaim
all the judgments from Your mouth.
I rejoice in the way revealed by Your decreess
as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on Your precepts
and think about Your ways.
I will delight in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.” Psalm 119:9-16 (HCSB)