HEART TEARS

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS-

“When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.  As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.” Luke 7:37

What a picture of redemption! It shows how much our emotions are to overflow toward our Savior! When He walks into the room do we treat him as ordinary? Or even better when our brothers and sisters come for a visit! My oh my how many times did I turn my head away! Some historians say that this woman was no stranger in this Pharisees house. We of course don’t know but everyone seems to know what her occupation was! It was also indicated that she had an encounter with Jesus earlier and came to this house to give thanks. Whatever the case is, her encounter was timely and newsworthy. Her life was turned upside down and instead of using her precious oil on men, she poured out her life onto Christ. All the feelings inside of her became white as fullers soap and she knew the old ways were finished. Her repentance filled the washbowl and poured over! The same hair that she used on others she used for the Son of God. The Pharisee on the other hand showed no common courtesy to Christ because he thought he was just another fixture in the room. In fact it sounds like he didn’t show any attention to Jesus at all. But this woman begin to cry and cry and kiss his feet over and again using her hair as a towel and wiping away the oil and the tears. We will call them heart tears! What a spectacle she must have been in the room! To those that know where they have been and know where they are, they have no trouble being a spectacle all the days of their lives. The alabaster box of devotion breaks out in all of us. We give him back what was meant for him in the first place. We can never diminish the guilt of sin and the amount of grace that it took to free us from it!

Christ turns to the annoyed Pharisee and demands him to “look at the woman”! Christ chides him by saying, ‘You gave Me no water for My feet; but she has washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.'” What a changing of places there is now! The Lord has made the first to be last and the last to be first! Simon the Pharisee thought himself far more advanced than this woman. Where are your heart tears?

MOMMA DONT CRY!

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS

Luke 7:11-15 – “Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said DONT CRY!

Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.”

An encouraging word to you my dear mothers who cry over your children! Christ visits all those who are dead, lost, or in harms way. Never give up!

Spurgeon says “He scatters His mercy by the roadside and anywhere and everywhere His paths drop fatness. Where Jesus journeys or sleeps, a word will find Him ready to conquer death, or quell the tempest. Yonder a procession descends from the city. Our spiritual eyes see death upon the pale horse coming forth from the city gate with great Suddenly the procession is arrested by another—a company of disciples and much people are coming up the hill. We need not look at the company but we may fix our eyes upon One who stands in the center, a Man in whom lowliness was always evident and yet majesty was never wanting. It is the living Lord, even He who only has immortality and in Him death has now met his destroyer. The battle is short and decisive—no blows are struck—for death has already done his utmost. With a linger the chariot of death is arrested—with a word the spoil is taken from the mighty and the lawful captive is delivered.”

My dear mother never lose heart! What I love about this story is that Jesus halts the procession of death. So many of our children are in harms way but Christ halts the progress of it. He interrupts the cycle that we were on. It’s in his nature to heal. He has a touch full of power.

Maclaren said “Note that this voice of Christ’s has power in the regions of the dead. Wherever that young man was, he heard; in whatsoever state or condition he was, his personality felt and obeyed the magnetic force of Christ’s will!”

My dear mother -wherever your dear son or daughter is God is able! Able to find, hunt down, deliver and he hears our cry!

VISIT US LORD

Lk.7:14-16 – Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!”

This is an amazing story to me. The Lord obviously answered this poor woman’s cry but more than a boy being raised from the dead was happening here. The Lord was giving this city a special supernatural visitation. If we are not careful, it is easy to miss what is really happening when the Lord comes down and answers our prayers. Yes, Jesus obviously brings dead things back to life but He also does much more. For this widow from Nain, her son, and all the people from that region, they could never go back to life the way life was before Jesus visited their town. The Son of God had visited them, His presence not only brought the dead boy back to life, He brought the whole city back to life. That’s what happens when we get a visit from the Lord. Here are some words from Dick Mills on God’s visitation.

“The word visitation has always been associated with great revivals occurring in church history. This includes the reformation in the days of Martin Luther. It also includes the revivals during the time of George Whitefield and John Wesley. The unusual outpourings of the Spirit during Jonathan Edwards’ day was known as the Great Awakening. In Lk.7:16, when Jesus stopped a funeral procession, and brought a young man back from the dead those seeing it had a most powerful response, “He who’s is dead sat up and began to speak. Jesus presented him to his mother. The fear seized them all. They glorified God saying, ‘A great prophet has risen among us’ and ‘God has visited His people”. The greek word for visit means far more than to visit. It means to go to the help of someone.”

I love that, when the Lord visits us His very visit brings care and help into every arena of our lives. What kind of help are you needing today? Maybe something in your life has died. One visit from the Lord can change that. Suddenly every part of your life is overflowing with life itself.

DEAD BOY WALKING

Luke 7:14-15 Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.

What do you do when your world comes crashing down all around you? Sometimes, there is nothing you can do. Often our crisis is beyond us, nothing we could ever say or do could ever fix it. That’s how this day was for the grieving mother in Nain. Her only son had just died. To make matters worse, she was a widow. Being without her husband had taken its toll on this poor woman. But her son? This was way too much to bare. Her world had come to a screeching halt. She had no answers, all she could do was weep as she stumbled toward her son’s final resting place. That’s when the unthinkable happened. Suddenly, the funeral march stopped. This unusual character approached the casket. He looked at the mother with compassion and hope streaming from His face, as He said “Don’t cry”. Then he turned to the dead boy, “Young man I say to you, arise” Mourning was changed for dancing. Shouts of joy replaced the tears. Sadness was replaced by joy unspeakable. The boy was not dead, he was alive! Maybe you feel like your world has died. Be encouraged, this stranger is still raising lives from the dead. Here is a portion of Luther’s sermon on this great miracle.

“Now all this has been written to the end that just as here this deed of mercy befell this widow freely and entirely of grace, only because it solicited Christ’s sympathy, so from this we can draw the general rule that applies to all the merciful deeds of God, that they all overtake us without our merits, even before we seek them. He lays the foundation and makes the beginning. But why does He pity us? In this way it continues to be the grace of God. Otherwise, if we deserved it, it would not be grace. And if it be of grace, then we can say to Him: Thou art a gracious God, thou doest good also to them who deserve it not.”

You may think you are undeserving or not spiritual enough to receive a miracle. Actually miracles are never earned or deserved. They are gifts of grace that The Lord performs to display the wonders of His grace. This woman was not expecting a miracle, she probably didn’t even know who Jesus was. He stepped into this woman’s life unexpectedly. He still makes those unexpected visits in our world today. Each one of us are like that dead boy in Nain. We were born in sin, death was all we knew. We had a malady that we couldn’t fix. Just stepped into our lives. He put his hand on our casket, the rest is history. Nothing stays dead when Jesus shows up. I think I hear The Lord calling your name. Young man, young woman, arise into a brand new life.

RAINING TEARS

RAINING TEARS AT HIS FEET

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS BAILEY-

“And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly 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. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. Luke 7:36

Raining tears at His feet she was never the same
Raining tears at His feet she was ever changed
As the air filled with love all who could smell saw
All who could reach out into the atmosphere became caught
into another world.
Your sins are forgiven rang into the air
for she who is forgiven much has much to love

Raining tears at His feet, she tasted something new
Raining tears at His feet, Her hair became a song,
Redemption has come, hopelessness gone.
She has broken open her box and it forever sings.
All her empty loves gone, it yearned for so much more.
Copious tears wetting his feet, turning into something sweet.

Your silent nights are over, the dayspring has sprung
Your pursuit ends here, your thirst is quenched.
As you rained your tears at his feet, you are never the same
Worship is all around, His pleasure has become your treasure.
She came with an offering, she came with a longing.
I must put an end of yesterday—
I must break this cycle, I bring an offering to him and for him alone.
I have spent myself on so many others, now I bring my offering to the only one.
I will not leave till I give my offering, I will not go till I finish what I started
The atmosphere in the room changes, it all ends here tonight
I bring him my offering, no one even sees the need.
Broken box, extravagant unashamed kisses pour out, nothing to fear all is behind
Her hair still contained the fragrance, her body washed, her spirit renewed
That night she slept with wonder, that night was the first night she slept alone.
She was at peace——it was what she was born for.

OH FOR MORE OF THIS LOVE

OH FOR MORE OF THIS LOVE! A TALE OF TWO PEOPLE!

MERRY MONDAY- Parris Bailey

“Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:47-48

What a contrast between the Pharisee Simon and the sinner women. I shudder to think that I have become Simon at times. When Jesus shows up, which He does, do I stop and appreciate all He has done or do I come with my list of orders? I can see Simon all excited that Jesus has come to his house. Who can he impress? Did he invite “all the special people”? Let’s see what rabbit Jesus will pull out of his hat. In the middle of Simon’s preparations, he forgot to have a “bouncer” at the door and in walks this sinner women. (maybe she wasn’t a stranger to Simon after all?)
When we first started our Homeless ministry years ago, one of the “guys” came up to sit with me on the front row. I still remember cringing when he was standing by me- the smell overwhelmed me and hugging was next on the list. The Lord begin to speak to me about “my behavior”. He told me I better “chill out” and that there was no difference between him and me as far as God was concerned. (After I hugged the guy he asked for money because he had a lice problem….I was mortified!) Today in the offering teaching, my husband Frank had everyone come up to give their offering by the altar. All over the congregation people were coming forward. I saw a homeless man give a few dollars. He loves much because he is forgiven much.
Let’s read Spurgeon’s take on this: “Eyes which were full of adultery, were now founts of repentance; lips which were doors of lascivious speech, now yield holy kisses- the profligate was a penitent, the castaway a new creature. She exhibited the deepest repentance. She wept abundantly. She wept out of no mere sentimentalism, but at the remembrance of her many crimes. Some object to grace in its perpetuity, they struggle against persevering grace, but others like Simon struggle against the bounty of grace. How could such a woman be permitted to draw near to Christ? Grace chose her notwithstanding all their deformities, but with it has cast about them a supernatural beauty, they shall be the wonder and admiration of the universe. Grace saved her, rich grace encouraged her, unbounded grace gave her a divine assurance of forgiveness. Ah throw your souls into the service of Christ, let your heart burn in his presence, and let all your soul belong to Jesus. Serve not your Master as though you were half asleep, do not work with drooping hands and half closed eyes, but wake up the whole of your passions and powers: for such a love as he has shown to you, give the most awakened and quickened love in return.”
O FOR MORE OF THIS LOVE!

ARE YOU SAVED ?

ARE YOU SAVED?

Luke 7:50 ¶ Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Salvation in one sense is instantaneous, being made whole is another story. Every one of us come to The Lord with differing degrees of baggage. Now please don’t take this the wrong way. I believe Jesus saves to the uttermost, totally and finally. I also know that for some of us, the implications of this salvation takes a while to soak in. Forgiveness is instantaneous but sometimes the ramifications of our former lives take a while for us to sort out. I guess that means that for some of us The Lord will take more drastic measures to bring us to our completion. Here is Agnes Sanford’s thoughts on this great salvation.

“One great trouble with the static system of righteous living that we are pleased to call Christianity today is that we are deceived by words. “I am saved,” we say when we have had one experience of the love of Christ. But the experience dims, the love fades away, out of the deep mind there arise miasmas of darkness that cloud our thinking and bind our soul in chains, and we still say, “I am saved.” Often with a deep inner sadness – for was this all that it meant – the shining and the glory, the melting warmth of love?
In one sense probably we are saved. Having once given ourselves to The Lord I believe that He will watch over us and will by some means or another shepherd us into heaven. But in another sense we are certainly not saved. We are not saved from the darkness of despair or from the sterility of frustration or from freezing effects of lovelessness or from the weight of benumbing sadness. And if we are unsaved from these burdens of life it is not too likely that we shall be able to show forth the love and joy of Christ to the world and save others.”

What needs to take place, especially for those who carry deep wounds from their sinful past, is a profound and deep connection to the power of God. Depending on your state, just hearing a good sermon once a week may not be enough to bring you to the place of restoration. Often, more drastic measures are needed. What kind of measures? Measures that involve saturation. You may need to find a prayer group that meets where you can worship and receive ministry from other parts of the body of Christ. Then there are the saturation services at church (I am speaking specifically about Sunday and Wednesday night). Then there are the healing rooms at each of our church locations where you can receive concentrated, saturation prayer. Like I said before, drastic problems require drastic measures. So I guess the question needing to be asked is this, “How bad to you want to be made whole and are you ready to take the steps needed to experience His full salvation?”

DEAD BOYS AND GIRLS

DEAD BOYS AND GIRLS

Luke 7:14-15 Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.

What do you do when your world comes crashing down all around you? Sometimes, there is nothing you can do. Often our crisis is beyond us, nothing we could ever say or do could ever fix it. That’s how this day was for the grieving mother in Nain. Her only son had just died. To make matters worse, she was a widow. Being without her husband had taken its toll on this poor woman. But her son? This was way too much to bare. Her world had come to a screeching halt. She had no answers, all she could do was weep as she stumbled toward her son’s final resting place. That’s when the unthinkable happened. Suddenly, the funeral march stopped. This unusual character approached the casket. He looked at the mother with compassion and hope streaming from His face, as He said “Don’t cry”. Then he turned to the dead boy, “Young man I say to you, arise” Mourning was changed for dancing. Shouts of joy replaced the tears. Sadness was replaced by joy unspeakable. The boy was not dead, he was alive! Maybe you feel like your world has died. Be encouraged, this stranger is still raising lives from the dead. Here is a portion of Luther’s sermon on this great miracle.

“Now all this has been written to the end that just as here this deed of mercy befell this widow freely and entirely of grace, only because it solicited Christ’s sympathy, so from this we can draw the general rule that applies to all the merciful deeds of God, that they all overtake us without our merits, even before we seek them. He lays the foundation and makes the beginning. But why does He pity us? In this way it continues to be the grace of God. Otherwise, if we deserved it, it would not be grace. And if it be of grace, then we can say to Him: Thou art a gracious God, thou doest good also to them who deserve it not.”

You may think you are undeserving or not spiritual enough to receive a miracle. Actually miracles are never earned or deserved. They are gifts of grace that The Lord performs to display the wonders of His grace. This woman was not expecting a miracle, she probably didn’t even know who Jesus was. He stepped into this woman’s life unexpectedly. He still makes those unexpected visits in our world today. Each one of us are like that dead boy in Nain. We were born in sin, death was all we knew. We had a malady that we couldn’t fix. Just stepped into our lives. He put his hand on our casket, the rest is history. Nothing stays dead when Jesus shows up. I think I hear The Lord calling your name. Young man, young woman, arise into a brand new life.

THE KINDNESS OF THE LORD

THE KINDNESS OF THE LORD

Luke 7:21 At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind.

Studying the original language of the Bible can be like a great treasure hunt. Digging into the subtle meanings can often be quite rewarding. Often times, we cannot get the sense of the meaning of the original text because of the clumsiness involved in translating languages. Today, it is easy for anyone to study the Bible in the original language because of all of the excellent computer programs available. One of these interesting words is the greek word charizomai. It is closely related to the word grace but also has a connection to gifts, forgiveness, and kindness. In today’s verse it is the word ‘gave’ and it describes the kindness or graciousness of The Lord displayed in His healing of the blind in His service that day. Adam Clarke points out the graciousness of The Lord seen in His healing touch.
“Unto many that were blind he gave light. Rather, he kindly gave
sight; or, he graciously gave sight. This is
the proper meaning of the original words. In all his miracles,
Jesus showed the tenderest mercy and kindness: not only the cure,
but the manner in which he performed it, endeared him to those who
were objects of his compassionate regards.”
Gill points out the grace of God involved in this act of kindness, there was nothing deserving found in the recipient, The Lord healed to display His grace.
“freely, as an act of grace and kindness, as the word signifies, without any merit, or motive, in them.”
Vincent points out another interesting shade of meaning in this powerful Bible word. He says it not only includes God’s kindness and His grace, but it also is packed with the joy of The Lord.
“He gave (ἐχαρίσατο). More is expressed by this verb than simple giving. He gave as a free, gracious, joy-giving gift.”
So let’s review the wealth involved in this amazing word charizomai translated gave in our verse. It describes the incredible kindness of our Lord. That is one of the first characteristics that struck me about Jesus when I first came to Him. Kindness is seen in His words, His actions, and His mission. He is the personification of the kindness of our God.
Secondly we catch a glimpse of His grace in this beautiful word. The unmerited favor and influence of The Lord upon our hearts. The grace of God is what won us in the first place. As my wife Parris often says, “He had me at hello”.
Finally, we are surprised by the joy that is involved with the simple touch of God. We are not only happy because of the miracle we have received (such as the blind receiving their sight in today’s verse), we are astounded by the joy that results from contact with The Lord. If Jesus personifies His kindness and His grace, the Holy Spirit personifies His love and His joy. It doesn’t take much, one touch can change everything.

TWO PROCESSIONS

THE TWO PROCESSIONS

Luke 7:11-15 ¶ Soon afterwards He went to a city called Nain; and His disciples were going along with Him, accompanied by a large crowd. Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother.

What an amazing picture of the clash of the two worlds all around us. In this story we see two processions, a procession of death and a procession of life. This is a portrayal of the two contrasting cultures on a collision course all around us. The funeral procession pictures the parade of death that marches through our world. In this crowd we see the pained, hopeless faces of those enslaved to the destructive lifestyle of our culture. There are people in it enslaved to fear, poverty, lust, sickness, and substance abuse. There are also those who are captive to unforgiveness, bitterness, pride, selfish ambition, and an endless list of unsavory characteristics.
Then there is the procession of life. Look at their faces! They are marked with the reflection of the Glory of their King. Each of these were once slaves of the other world. Now they are forgiven, now they are liberated, they have joined the joyful celebration of the procession of life. In the story of the dead man in Nain, Jesus stopped the march of death, He put His hand on the casket, and spoke to the dead man. “Young man, I say to you, arise!” Instantly life entered into this young man, no longer part of a march to the grave, he had been enlisted into another life, he was now joining the Lord and His followers in this joyful celebration. He was alive, raised from the dead by the touch of God, translated from one world to another in a moment of time.
Today, this story is being lived out countless times. We may not be aware of it, but these two parades are all around us. Actually, we are all marching in one of these processions. It is the march of life that leads to Glory, or the painful march of death, leading to destruction. Which processional are you walking in today? Recently, the Lord began to pour out His Spirit in a fresh way in our church. He promised in the book of Acts, that He would send seasons of revival until He returns to this earth. These outpourings are His divine visitations. The residents of Nain had no idea that the Lord was passing their way that day. He was coming to Nain! They would never be the same, their town would never be the same. In the same way, we are caught by surprise when He suddenly visits our town in the person of the Holy Spirit. Why does He come? The same reason He went to the little town of Nain. There were prisoners held captive by the power of death that He intended to liberate. That is why He visited Nain, that is why He is visiting New Orleans. Maybe He is looking for your casket. Maybe He is looking for the casket of one of your family members or friends. When He arrives the two processions come to a halt. There, decisions are being made. Both parades will continue their relentless march, which one will you be in?