FORGIVENESS STUDY by Rev. Mike Jones [Revised March 4, 2019]
Matt 12:22-37 (Mark 3:22-30) NEVER FORGIVENESS / THE UNPARDONABLE SIN
Luke 7:36-50 THE SERVICE OF FORGIVENESS
PEOPLE TO WHOM JESUS GRANTED FORGIVENESS Pastor Mike Jones
As we continue to look at those people who were privileged to hear Jesus say to them that He forgave them, we come to the last moments of His life. There on a cruel Cross, dying for the sins of all mankind, Jesus took the time TWICE to grant His forgiveness.
This is the first of those times; when He forgave His enemies-(Luke 23:34) Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
As Jesus hung in agony on the cross He could survey the multitudes that represented all of mankind. Directly below the cross the soldiers who had just driven the nails into his hand and feet (Maybe even taken part in beating Him earlier) were gambling over His only earthly possessions. They represent all who are so busy with the duties of life and the delights of money that they ignore the Spiritual; even if it is right above them!! To these very real enemies Jesus said, “Father Forgive Them”.
Just beyond the soldiers, the Pharisees and Priests taunted Him to come down off the cross and prove Himself the Son of God. They had dogged his ministry, continually tried to trick and condemn Him, rigged His trial, and now laughed at his disgrace and discomfort. How the words of Jesus must have burned in their heart, “Father forgive them”.
At the bottom of the hill the multitude murmured and milled. Many of them had shouted His praises and even used their coats to make a road for Him as their coming King only 5 days before. Now they looked at Him as some sort of freak or fraud. Not a man cried out in protest. No one even uttered a word of encouragement. Their only desire was to see how He would react to the pain and agony of death. How the cry of Jesus that echoed off Jerusalem’s wall must have pricked their heart, “Father Forgive Them”.
Forgiving our enemies. The Principles are hard to define. The Practice is Harder to live. Only the example of Jesus can bring such a dream into reality. Over and Over the Bible admonishes us to Practice Forgiving our Enemies by giving:
1) Talk Good, instead of Bad, about Your Enemies- Rom 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
2) Don’t let an Enemy’s Action control you- Rom 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
3) Outward Niceness doesn’t cover Inward Nastiness! Your Emotions may be worse than your Enemy’s Actions-Prov 24:17-20 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him. Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked; For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.
4) A real man is in control; not controlled by his anger-Prov 19:11 The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.
5) Trust God to do what is right with someone who has done you wrong-Rom 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
1) Look for opportunities to show your Enemy good for evil- Exo 23:4-5 If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. 5 If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.
Rom 12:20-21 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
2) Look for opportunities to show your Enemy you really care for them-
a> Pass up Opportunities to do them harm: Prov 24:29 Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work. 1 Sam 24:10-11 Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD’S anointed. Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it.
b> Look for ways to reconcile through Service- Mat 5:39-41 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
3) Don’t look for “wrongs”. It’s like picking a wound; it can never heal- Eccl 7:21 Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee
4) Remember that the only part of the “Lord’s Prayer” Christ amplified was (Mat 6:12) And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And His amplification is awesome- (Mat 6:14-15) For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Regardless of the “Reasonings” you come up with that justifies your unforgiving spirit you can’t get around the clear teaching of Christ: Luke 6:27-37 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
PEOPLE TO WHOM JESUS GRANTED FORGIVENESS Pastor Mike Jones
We are going to “stretch” things a little today as we look at People whom Jesus Forgave. First, this is not a case in which he Directly says He forgave. Second, We are going to draw principles from this forgiveness relating to Family; although it is generally used in reference to a “Brother in Christ”.
Mat 18:21-35 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
Among the things to note in this story is that, while the story may not be about a physical brother, it does show that forgiveness will affect an entire family (The man who owed the debt was to be sold ALONG WITH HIS ENTIRE FAMILY).
So this is a good opportunity for us to look at some PRINCIPLES ABOUT FAMILY FORGIVENESS:
[Please Remember that Forgiveness does NOT mean accepting or condoning Evil. Forgiveness does not rule out spanking a misbehaving child, confronting an ill-mannered husband, or explaining the meaning of budget to a credit card wife! It means you remove all barriers to your relationship once the problem has been dealt with]
1. The Extent of Forgiveness- 7 X 70
2. The Extending of Forgiveness- Forgive as you have been forgiven. Forgive as you would like to be forgiven
3. The Expectation of Forgiveness- That God’s Ultimate Judgement of motives and methods will expose any wrong attitudes or actions (vs 35)
THE REASONS FAMILIES NEED TO FORGIVE:
1> Peace- Harmony in the Home. Prov 15:17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. Surprisingly, many people find it easier to forgive Enemies or co-workers than they do Family. Many people also take family forgiveness for granted (“I don’t have to apologize to them they’re family!”).
2> Position- 1 Tim 3:4-5 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?). Problems in his family can prevent a man effectively serving where he may have done tremendous good. There are a vast number of situations and circumstances that lead to the breakup of a marriage; unwillingness to forgive a repented sin should not be one of them.
People expect Christian Families to be perfect; God expects them to be forgiven, and forgivers. You can’t MAKE another family member be saved and you can’t expect to live a mistake free life. As the world sees Christians practicing forgiveness in their homes they see Christ in us. That’s a tremendous testimony for Christ and the Church.
3> Prayers- 1 Pet 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. Jesus taught His disciples to pray “Forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us”. An unforgiving spirit will not only cool relationships, it will cripple prayers.
The best motto a Family can adopt is found in Ephesians 4:32 Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
SOURCES OF FAMILY PROBLEMS: 95% of Family Problems come from FOUR PROBLEM AREAS:
(1) MONEY- Too little or too much
(2) IN-LAWS- Too close or too powerful
(3) SEX- Needs are not met or are met by someone other than spouse
(4) PERSONALITY- Opposites attract, and then spend all their time trying to change the opposite into a mold of their own making.
1> PROPERTY PROBLEMS (Money): Esau sold His birthright to Jacob and then Jacob stole Esau’s Blessing. The family friction was so great until Esau threatened to kill Jacob, forcing Jacob to leave home. Several years later Jacob returned home; but with fear and trembling. Because God worked in Jacob and Esau’s life the meeting was a triumph instead of a tragedy- Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept (Gen 33:4).
Forgiveness came in this situation when both men had a meeting with God-Jacob wrestled with God and went from Jacob the “Deceiver” to Israel the “Prince”. Esau had a vision from God warning him to treat his brother properly.
Property/Money problems come because men put Greed ahead of God. Luke 12:13-15 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. 14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? 15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. Forgiveness may mean giving up rights for relationship
2> PERSONALITY PROBLEMS: Gen 50:15-20 And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
We can draw a parallel in the family of Jesus. Jesus’ brother, James, at first mocked Him and did not believe. Following Jesus’ death, however, he was one of the main disciples in Jerusalem.
Peter, the “head Disciple” (And part of Jesus’ “Family” during His Ministry), was forgiven of his denial of the Lord and used the keys of the kingdom to open the door of the Gospel to Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles.
Forgiveness means looking at the long range plan instead of the short range hurt.
3> PARTNER PROBLEMS: Num 12:1-13 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous. And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother’s womb. And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.
Forgiveness means accepting that you will not always agree with major decisions of loved ones. Some choices will disturb you, some will distress you, and some will make you down right mad! Your love for one another will mean you- Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him (Luke 17:3-4)
Forgiving others means we remember Mat 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy and 1 Pet 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
Finally, It may be necessary sometimes to look into the mirror for the answer to the anger others feel toward you- Song 1:6 Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.
PEOPLE TO WHOM JESUS GRANTED FORGIVENESS Pastor Mike Jones
Matt 12:22-37 (Mark 3:22-30) NEVER FORGIVENESS / THE UNPARDONABLE SIN
There is a time, I know not when
A place I know not where
Which marks the destiny of man
To heaven or despair
There is a line by us not seen
Which crosses every path
The hidden boundary between
God’s patience and His wrath
SUMMED UP: 2 Chr 36:15-16 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.
I. WHY WORRY ABOUT THE UNPARDONABLE SIN???
A) All sins may be forgiven- except one!! (And it has NEVER FORGIVENESS)
B) Many fear lest they have fallen into this sin
C) To shun it- we must first know it.
II. WHAT IS THE UNPARDONABLE SIN??
A) Some things it’s not- Murder, Adultery, Stealing, Lying, Drunkenness…All of these can and have been forgiven (David, a man after God’s heart, committed Adultery, Murder, Drunkenness and still got forgiveness). “It is not any one particular, isolated sin of excessive vulgarity, impurity, or criminality,”
B) What is it:
1. Note the People warned about it- “Very Religious” people who were strict outward keepers of the Ten Commandments.
2. Clearly some form of sin against the Holy Ghost- Mat 12:32 but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
3. It is THE Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (Blasphemy= Insulting) “The ascribing of the Holy Spirit’s gracious and holy activities to the devil himself”- Mark 3:29-30 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.
The factor which makes it unpardonable– It being intelligent, knowing, willful, and determined (Had their sinister libel on the Holy Spirit been uttered ignorantly and unknowingly, it would at once have been pardonable–Paul committed this sin of Blasphemy before his conversion and was forgiven- 1 Tim 1:12-13 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
These Pharisees however had seen and heard God’s marvelous works and knew God’s word so that they knew this could only be of God and yet they refused to believe.
III. WHY IS IT UNPARDONABLE??
A) Because rather than one act or statement it is a fixed attitude of mind and heart. Not a continued sin (though this may lead to) but a fixed attitude. Compare to souls saved after a life of horrible sin. Paul writes the Church and list horrible sins and then says “…but such were some of you. (I Cor 6:9-11)
B) They could not be pardoned because they would not REPENT. KNOWING AND SEEING THE TRUTH THEY REFUSED TO TURN FROM THEIR WAY TO GOD’S WAY. “He came unto his own and his own received him not”
He who “would” not repent may come to he who “could” not Repent. This makes the unpardonable sin one reached by a process of sinful refusal towards God and divine truth. Compare Pharaoh who hardened his heart.
NOTE the arguments Jesus used to show that his works were divine yet rejected (vs 25-33)
1. A kingdom divided against itself falls (vs 25)
2. I’ve done as your children, and you say they’re right (vs 27)
3. Bad trees bring bad fruit- and I’ve done only good (vs 33)
IV. HOW DO WE PREVENT IT??
A) Know that it can be committed.
B) Know the Path of Commitment:
1. Postponing by continuing to “put off” Salvation
2. Presuming- intending to be saved but presuming to pick your own time (No man can come unless God calls)
3. Pretending- Playing the hypocrite till you believe you are what you pretend.
1. The unpardonable sin can only be committed by sinners (Christians commit Apostasy)
2. Blasphemy against Son of Man forgiven but not against Holy Spirit (Key here is Son of MAN. To insult man is one thing; to deliberately insult and disregard the wooing of the Holy Spirit as he calls to eternal life is something else altogether.
3. If you’re worried about having committed the unpardonable sin; you haven’t. If the spirit still troubles your soul and calls you to life in Christ then you still can, and should, heed the call. BUT DO IT TODAY.
THE UNPARDONABLE SIN TODAY
There is an old saying “As long as there is life there is hope”. That may be true with man but it’s not true with God. That is why I feel the need and the urgency to preach this sermon on the unpardonable sin.
The word blaspheme comes from the Greek word “blasphemia” which means evil speaking.
What is the unpardonable sin? Is it attributing the work of God to the devil? Is it the final ultimate rejection of the Lord Jesus?
An important statement in understanding what this sin is to read verse 25 “Jesus knew their thoughts”
1. The Holy Ghost is a person and has a job to do
a. John 16:7-11
b. It is his call that offers salvation
c. It is thru him we are regenerated
d. It is him that can be sinned against so much that is unpardonable
2. Bible-Examples of those who Committed this Sin
a. Pharaoh- said I no longer want to see you (Ex. 10:28) / Moses- you will see my face no longer (Ex. 10:29)
b. Herod killed John the Baptist in Mk 6 and Jesus would not speak to him- Lk 23:8-9 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.
3. There is a process whereby this Sin takes place: A man is sick and I have the remedy but he resists help time after time until he finally insults me and I still come and offer help but not as frequent until I finally just quit coming at all.
4. The End Result is Hopelessness
a. Eph 4:17-19 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
b. No more feeling of conviction
c. God calls no more
d. All hope is gone John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
PEOPLE TO WHOM JESUS GRANTED FORGIVENESS Pastor Mircheal Jones
Luke 7:36-50 THE SERVICE OF FORGIVENESS
As we continue our look at the people to whom Jesus granted Forgiveness I want us to see the expected RESULTS of that forgiveness. Jesus demonstrated His Forgiveness of the man with Palsy by telling him to get up and walk. Today we are going to talk about the Method and Motivation for that walk.
As we read through today’s scripture we will see FIVE ASPECTS OF SERVICE rendered by someone who is forgiven.
1. SACRIFICIAL SERVICE- (Vs 37) 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. This Alabaster box of Ointment was probably this woman’s dowry. She was sacrificing one of the most precious items in her life to render service for Christ.
BUT ISN’T THAT WHAT WE ALL ARE SUPPOSED TO DO???- Jesus may not call everyone to leave family and fortune to follow Him but He does call everyone to be willing to leave all for Him!! What area does God call YOU to Serve that involves Sacrifice?
> Teaching, Preaching, Singing, Helping, Praying (Real Praying is some of the hardest work you will ever do).
> Showing the light of your testimony in some very dark places (in work, family, or social situations).
> Doing without finances, friends, or family in order to serve in the situation of God’s choosing.
2. PERSONAL SERVICE- (vs 38) 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. She washed His feet with HER tears and wiped them with HER hair. This was not service rendered with her mind somewhere else. It involved a Personal commitment of everything she had.
Do you give God your “extra” time?? Do you try to “find time to fit church activities” into your already overworked schedule? Or do you come to worship God with your Body, Soul, and Spirit?? Do you adore God in the Hymns, worship Him in the Prayers, and Learn from Him in the Sermons??
Does the Church Service affect you; or is it mostly forgotten by the time you get home??
3. MISUNDERSTOOD SERVICE- (vs 39) 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. Sometimes the service you render God will be misunderstood by Family and Friends, as well as Foes. They will look at WHAT you do rather than at WHY you do it. You will expect people to love and admire you for your sacrifice; and they will condemn you for your methods.
This is Satan’s way of bringing in Discouragement and Doubt. Remember you are rendering Service TO THE LORD. He is the one who must judge it; and He understands your Motives as well as your Methods. Don’t let the fact that some misunderstand divert you from your Mission for God.
4. LOVING SERVICE- (vs 40-43) 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.
Jesus said the basis of obedience is Love- John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. It is evident that Love is also the Motivation for Service. That’s why Satan tries to make sin seem so trivial (Everyone is doing it). If Sin is not a big thing then the Sacrifice needed to cleanse it is not so big; and our Love for Christ grows smaller and smaller- Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Romans 1:21 talks about the fact that the “Gateway into the depth of sin’s depravity” begins with an unthankful heart. This unthankful heart develops when we lose our Love for God- If you like your work, any difficulty is just another challenge. If you dislike your work, even feather beds have lumps!!
Do you serve God out of LOVE or Social Obligation (Everyone expects me to be active in Church). Love will draw you into serving with all your heart. Obligation will drive you into doing the minimum you can do and still maintain a public face.
5. REWARDED SERVICE- (vs 44-50) 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. 45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. 47 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. 48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. 49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? 50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
It is evident that the woman was saved by Faith and not works (vs 50) but it also evident that Jesus saw her Faith in her works. Salvation is a Free Gift. Remember, however, that God will Reward the Service of Believers- Rev 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. Are you laying up treasures in Heaven? Or spending your time and energy on earthly pleasures and pursuits that will all be burned up one day???
The fact that you are Forgiven should motivate you to give Sacrificial, Personal Service to Christ; even if it’s misunderstood sometimes. As long as this service is motivated by Love and Manifested in actions then you can expect a “Well done, good and faithful servant”. And isn’t that what you are looking for??