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Heart Auto Response - Encouragement Café - March 30, 2016

Heart Auto Response

Café Menufor Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Today’s Special is:  Responding To God’s Abounding Love

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Robin Jones

Main Ingredient:

[Jesus said]Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown.

Luke 7:47 NIV

Entrée:

Our hearts, like our emails, receive and send messages.  There are some messages that I wish would go right to the trash bin.  However, when it comes to sending and receiving messages from the Lord, I want my heart’s auto response to be “on” and the reply to be an emphatic “Yes, Lord!”

Jesus is clear that our response to His extravagant love is earmarked by an outpouring of love back to Him and to others.

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. [emphasis mine]

John 13:35 NIV

Today’s verse illustrates how Christ’s love touches us then pours out extravagantly through us.  In the account of Jesus’ feet being washed with tears, the woman is so blown away by God’s love and forgiveness of her that her heart has an abundant auto response. 

Then turning toward the woman he [Jesus] 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 from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet.  You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.  Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much.  But he who is forgiven little, loves little.[emphasis mine]

Luke 7:44-47 ESV

We see it again in John 21 when Jesus forgives Peter for his denial of him.  Jesus asks Peter three times, “Do you love me?”

Peter answers him positively each time.  Each time, Peter’s auto response was more emphatic than the last, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

After each reply, Jesus says, “Feed my sheep.”

Why, is Jesus going on vacation and needs a sheep sitter?

No, “sheep” in this instance are Jesus’ followers. 

Jesus restores Peter by forgiving him for his denial, then assigns Peter his life’s work as the first shepherd of the first century church.

Jesus pours out love and forgiveness; they pour out their love for Him. 

In the words of the beloved disciple John,

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1 John 4:11-12 NIV

Take Out:

What I am NOT saying:

I am NOT saying that you have to prove your love for God by rolling up your sleeves and getting to work.  That thinking goes against the free gift of salvation. (Ephesians 2:8–10)

What I am saying:

I am saying that when you understand how deep and how wide and how long God’s love is for you through the glorious riches in Jesus Christ, you will OVERFLOW in love and hope.  (Ephesians 3:14–21, Romans 15:13) 

In that moment, listen to the still small voice to hear where and how He wants you to direct the streams of Living Water.  (John 7:37-38)

Body: Take a walk and remember your own salvation story.

Mind: Meditate on how much the Lord has forgiven you.  Listen for His loving voice for direction.

Spirit: Agree in your spirit with the Holy Spirit of how long, and how wide, and deep God’s love for you is.  Thank Him for it!

Dessert:

Lord, You are the King of our Hearts!  Thank You so much for how far You stooped to rescue each and every one of us. May we remember Your lavish love and praise You.  Our gratitude is unending! May we hear Your still small voice and set our hearts’ auto responses to “ON” and “YES, LORD!”  We love You.  In Jesus' Name, Amen!

© 2016 by Robin Jones.  All rights reserved.

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