Renew My Thoughts

Marcus Sanders

"When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She's a sinner!" Then Jesus answered his thoughts. "Simon," he said to the Pharisee, "I have something to say to you." "Go ahead, Teacher," Simon replied." (Luke 7:39-40)
If people could hear our thoughts we'd have more enemies then friends. Simon invited Jesus to come to his house for dinner. He may have wanted to discuss more about the views of the Church and the problems they have with Jesus. While the Pharisee may like to discuss, Jesus loves to demonstrate the Kingdom of God.

A woman, a sinner, heard that Jesus was in this Pharisee's house and without invitation goes straight to Jesus. Her tears begin to fall and she anoints his feet with perfume wiping it with her hair. Everybody's attention is centered on this woman. Thoughts are going around the room, "Why don't someone throw her out, she can see Jesus tomorrow." But Jesus picked up on Simon's thoughts. Simon saw himself as above all people because of his religious assignment. He was quick to use the Mosaic Laws to remedy this problem. He saw this woman as common trash in society and had only judgment or her.

So Jesus discerns that at this dinner a demonstration of the Kingdom is in order. With a story of comparison Jesus illustrates the dept of two men forgiven. One man had a large debt and the other a smaller debt. Jesus says to Simon, "So which of them will love the creditor more?" Luke 7:43 (NLT) Simon answered, "I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt." "That's right," Jesus said. This woman had been forgiven much therefore she loved much. But this woman was not forgiven because of her love; rather, she loved because she was forgiven.
We all judge others right up front. We may not voice it but we do think it. Our thoughts are sort of a safe place where we can say what we want without reaping negative feedback. It's our own little kingdom where what we think rules. But unhealthy thoughts are destructive to our health and relationships. We judge a book by it cover, we judge people by how they dress or how they look, we judge by our prejudices from our upbringing and we judge by the color, race and religion. The ones that don't past our expectation test become the outcast. They don't fit in my little club of expectations. And though we don't like the way we feel in our negative thinking we are powerless to change it. But our thoughts need to change if we are to receive God's forgiveness. Forgiveness gives us physical and spiritual heath in relations to God's plan.

One day I was telling my wife about an encounter with a person who was pretty tough to deal with and in my thoughts I was saying, "Boy she a tough one to deal with." My wife quickly told me, "But she has a big heart." Though I had judged her as a tough person, I changed my thinking to see her as a person with a big heart. Thank God for His power to change my thoughts. Changing my thoughts brought me health and right living with God. Jesus knows my thoughts and when I judge incorrectly He sets before me a demonstration of Kingdom living so I can recapture my much love because I myself am forgiven much.
Father, my thoughts are hidden to everyone except you. Renew my mind daily by the washing of Your Word and keep me in the path that leads to everlasting life. I am one who was forgiven much who loves much. I'm forever grateful to the cross.

Devotions for September 24

Ezra 1
Psalms 84,85
Luke 7

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