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August 2023 From the Desk of Dave McLean

I believe it is so important to see our need in order to see our God. Have you ever felt like you haven’t seen or been seeing your God? I know I have gone through periods like that. It is particularly hard when you’ve really sought Him and you don’t see or hear from Him. Believe it or not, our Perception can make a big difference in if and how we see God.

God invests in needs, but we have to see them.

Read Luke 7:36-47. A woman in the city, which was a sinner sure perceived her sin. So much so that she came to Christ and washed His feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. She then kissed His feet and anointed them with ointment. Simon, a Pharisee, frowned upon her act of repentance. Jesus knew this and spoke with Simon.

A certain creditor had two debtors, one owed 500 pence, the other 50, when they had nothing to pay, he forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. Jesus then said to Simon that Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

Did this woman have greater sin than the Pharisee? I don’t believe so. Both the Pharisee and the woman needed salvation. The Pharisee was equally pointed toward hell as much as the woman. The difference between these two people is their perception! The Pharisee perceived he had no debt (no need), the woman perceived she had no way to pay her debt and desperately turned to Jesus.

How much has God forgiven me? How much has God forgiven you? Do you see the need for God’s forgiveness? We, like this woman who washed the Lord’s feet, should know these answers, but what is the reality to what we live? Our love of God is a reflection of how much we perceive or see our need of His forgiveness. Do I love little or do I love much? This can be very telling.

If we are comparing ourselves to our neighbor, we won’t see our need as God does.

We have a tendency of comparing ourselves, one to another, as it makes us look good. It’s easier comparing ourselves to man, than to God. We can always find somebody “lower” than us and we can find fault with those “higher” than us. Everyone searches for Justification, and we’ve got two options. You can justify yourself by condemning your neighbor (like our friend Simon), or you can be justified in Christ. When we humble ourselves and repent as this woman did in Luke 7, we become justified in Christ- and when we are justified in Christ, we no longer need to condemn our neighbor- we’re already justified! What an amazing and free place to be- at peace with God and our neighbor!!! Your neighbor will appreciate that also! And so will God!

If You Have “No” Needs, You Will Have “No” God.

The Lord works with people who have needs. He who has no needs is actually in the greatest need of all (Rev 3:17). He who thinks he has no needs, will not have his true needs met. If we don’t think this applies to us, it’s a good sign that it probably applies to us. The more that you see that you need the Lord, the more you will see the Lord. I don’t care where we’re at, the Lord has things He can show us. The times I tend to think I have no needs, I tend to not see the Lord and have my needs met. Kind of sad.

It used to be important for me to show that I had no needs, over time I began to believe it. Thankfully the Lord continues to show me in many ways that I have many needs. And I see better that He has forgiven and helped me much. Jesus laid down His life to save mine, I can (by His Grace) pursue to lay down my sins for Him. Acknowledging needs is a good thing, it’s the beginning of entering into the presence of the Lord. I let our guests know that it’s a good thing to have needs. We all have them, the question is, do we see or perceive them. I would much rather be broken and in need of the presence and power of God than to be self-righteous and oblivious to my real needs. Not only does God see through it, everyone else does too. Let’s be honest here.

The world encourages us to focus on a good image. That’s who we want them to think we are, regardless of who we actually are. God wants us to focus on a good name, that’s who we actually are regardless of what they think we are. If we are not right with God, we’re going to want to judge our neighbor to feel good about ourselves. If we are right with God, we can love our neighbor and not compare ourselves with him- because we are right with God! I have come to learn, like this woman, that I have had much debt, much forgiveness and by God’s grace I hope to have much love. This is my Hope! I hope it is yours also! Amen? Amen!

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