Our Sunday Service Livestream begins at 10:30 EST on our YouTube Channel!

Weekly Devotional | "Forgiven Much"

This devotional is based on C.J. Mahaney's sermon, Forgiven Much, given on November 27, 2016.

Day 1: Jesus and the Sinful Woman

Quotes:

  • “And if you’re wondering this morning what is the nature of her sin, well we are not explicitly told. One could speculate that she is a prostitute given the phrase, ‘a woman of the city’, but the exact nature of her sin isn’t important and really doesn't matter because a sinner is a sinner regardless of how they sin. Regardless of the nature of her sin, she is a sinner, and she is there to see the one who is known as a friend of sinners.” C.J. Mahaney
  • “Why this extended, dramatic, public display of affection? Why this weeping? . . . Because she had been forgiven of her many sins, that’s why. These were tears of gratefulness and joy, not condemnation. She was weeping because as she stood there she knew her sins, which were many, were forgiven, and all because of him.” C.J. Mahaney
  • “She loved because she was forgiven, not in order to be forgiven.” C.J. Mahaney

Questions and Reflections:

  • Compare this woman’s experience of Jesus’ saving grace to your own. What about his mercy moves you most?
  • What are the dangers of mistaking this woman’s love for Jesus as the cause of her forgiveness?

Prayer Recommendations:

  • Read Matthew 23:37. See how deeply Jesus longs to extend forgiveness to the unrepentant. Ask God to assure you of his eagerness to forgive your sins and his great delight in your repentance, so that you, like this sinful woman, may overflow with thanksgiving and joy in him.

 

Day 2: Jesus and Simon

Quotes:

  • “Simon viewed his sin as little in comparison to her sin, and his righteousness as more than sufficient, so that he had no need for the forgiveness of sin. . . . Simon didn’t need Jesus, therefore Simon didn’t love Jesus.” C.J. Mahaney
  • “[Simon] was a man with no grace in his theology or in his heart.” C.J. Mahaney

Questions and Reflections:

  • Contrast Jesus’ knowledge of righteousness with the presumptions of Simon.
  • Connect Jesus’ parable with Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 1:15. How should these verses govern your thoughts of others, as well as yourself?

Prayer Recommendations:

  • Consider Jesus’ attitude toward others in Philippians 2:4-8. Ask God to protect you from an inflated view of your own importance by giving you a humble and joyful self-forgetfulness.

 

Day 3: Jesus and the Debt of Sin

Quotes:

  • “Every Christian, regardless of background, should love him much, because every Christian has been forgiven of many sins; forgiven of a debt that he or she cannot pay. And every Christian should only grow in their gratefulness to God for the forgiveness of sin.” C.J. Mahaney
  • “We are vulnerable to becoming more like Simon because our sins following conversion normally become more subtle and less frequent as, by the grace of God, we grow in godliness. We can over time wrongly assume that since our sins aren’t quite as frequent, they must not be quite as serious, so we are no longer appropriately grateful for forgiveness.” C.J. Mahaney
  • “The extent to which we realize and acknowledge our own sinfulness, and the extent to which we realize the total forgiveness and cleansing from those sins, will determine the measure of our love for God.” Jerry Bridges

 

 

Questions and Reflections:

  • If self-righteousness is so subtle, how can we guard ourselves from Simon’s error?
  • What are common fears or obstacles preventing Christians from regularly confessing sin? In the context of this passage, why is confession something we should be eager to do?

Prayer Recommendations:

  • 1 John 1:8-9 reminds us of God’s gracious promise to forgive all those who humbly confess their sins. Ask God to give you a bold faith in this promise the next time you fear he will reject you.

 

Group Discussion Questions:

  • These verses contain several implications and applications. What stood out to you? What did they teach you of God’s character and our appropriate response?
  • What sins do you often overlook because they are more “socially acceptable”?
  • Simon was observant, but not perceptive. Therefore, Jesus graciously corrected Simon with a parable. In the recent past, how has God graciously and gently corrected you amid your pride or stubbornness?
  • How will this passage change your prayers?
  • How have you observed the pastors in our church lead you in loving the Savior much?