Mercy Makes an Alabaster Heart

Jesus’s response to the woman who cried at His feet rings in my ears this week: “’Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.’ And He said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven’” (Luke 7:47-48).

The words of Jesus are FULL of mercy. In fact, just as the woman poured out the fragrance of this alabaster flask, the kindness and gentleness of mercy seems to flow off our God’s tongue. Her MANY sins are forgiven – she knew her sin, but Simon the Pharisee did not.

Are we more like this woman or are we more like the Pharisee?

In 1 Samuel 29, our hero, David, was in a very dark place of his journey. David, Israel’s king-to-be, becomes a Benedict Arnold, taking the side of the enemy. Yet, this is the same man we often deem “a man after God’s own heart.” Why? The only answer: A God full of mercy sees David through the lens of mercy. Somehow, this God sees you and I that same way. He beholds our worst and defines us by His best.

David didn’t realize his need for mercy yet and still, God delivers him. Folks, how much better if we are those who recognize our desperation for the mercy of God? The deeper our understanding of our own necessity, the richer our love for the simple Gospel will be, and all the more, we will gratefully extend mercy.

What grudges are we holding onto? What expectations do we need to let go? Who is testing your patience today? Our life principle is to be merciful as God has been merciful toward us. The mercy of God is meant to flow out of us just as it did with our Savior’s blood on the cross.

We must never forget this glorious truth of the simple Gospel. This is the defining characteristic of our Father in Heaven: His overflowing mercy. In light of this truth alone, can we declare just like the early church: “but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love…” (2 Corinthians 6:4-6)?

Only by first receiving the Holy Spirit and the genuine love of a God abounding in mercy will we be able to then operate out of an alabaster heart—pouring out mercy, kindness, and patience as effortlessly as Jesus continually pours it on us

We’ve been forgiven much, now let’s love much.

Michelle Townsley

Michelle Townsley is a young adult devoted t o loving Jesus and loving people. A current staff member at Coast Hills, her passion is to “present everyone mature in Christ” whether through women’s discipleship in high school ministry, with young adults at Patmos: Reality Discipleship, or through communications and the written word. Michelle loves ministry, summer camp, and basketball in that order.
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