Whispers of Hope from Beth Moore

Luke 7 invites us to dine at the table of contrast. We witness Christ in relation to two people, both equally loved by the One who sent His Son to dinner that night. Take a moment to read that Scripture passage. 

First we sit across from the Pharisee. Try to avoid stereotyping him. Many Pharisees were devoutly righteous men of God. Some were hypocrites, but others were genuine, striving desperately to keep the law.

The Pharisee who invited Christ to dinner possessed volumes of scriptural knowledge. He could have recited literally hundreds of verses. He coud have debated every Old Testament subject with intelligence and confidence. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was a good man—and probably a curious man.

The host and his guest scarcely had time to greet each other and get comfortable before an intruder walked through the door.

The host was appalled that a woman of the streets would enter his home. Imagine his embarrassment when the uninvited guest got down on her knees, wept at Christ’s feet, and anointed them with perfume!

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After delivering a mental verdict of “guilty” over her, the Pharisee placed Christ on the stand as well. He judged, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner” (Luke 7:39).

I wonder if just once the Pharisee had ever used the term to describe himself. You see, to a man who lived a righteous life, the word never applied to him—always to someone else. The Pharisee could not comprehend the sinful woman’s actions because he could not comprehend the depth of her love.

He had everything to offer Christ that evening: a spotless record, knowledge, stimulating conversation—but he had no love. She had nothing to offer Christ that evening but a terrible record. She was almost assuredly illiterate, and she couldn’t talk for crying.

But she had love.

We could interpret this encounter to mean the more we sin, the more we’ll love Jesus. It seems to support depraved living as the key to deep loving. Not so!

The woman’s deep love did not flow from deep sin. It flowed from deep forgiveness.

“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves litte.” (Luke 7:47)

The level of intimacy her repentance required plummeted her to a depth of love. The Pharisee was also a sinner, but he was blinded by pride and strangled by self-righteousness.

God’s mercy does not make sin tolerable; it makes sin forgivable. The proud and the depraved alike must kneel at the same feet for mercy. For those willing, God turns sin’s empty cistern into a deep wellspring overflowing with love.

Do you have something in your life for which you feel God cannot forgive you? Perhaps you cannot forgive yourself. Open your heart to God’s forgiving, redeeming love. He can forgive you—and He will—if you ask Him. His Word declares it.

We’re giving away three copies of Beth Moore’s revised and updated Whispers of Hope devotional! Enter to win by leaving a comment with your favorite Christmas dish.

By entering today’s giveaway, you acknowledge LifeWay Christian Resource’s official promotion rulesToday’s giveaway starts at the posting time of this blog and ends next Tuesday (12/24/13) at 11:59 p.m. CST. You must be 18 to enter, and you may only enter once. The winner will be selected at random. For questions about the rules and regulations of this giveaway, please contact Bud Harlan at One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234-140.

Comments

  1. Jessica says

    I would love to win a free copy of Beth’s devotional! My favorite Christmas dish is either my mom’s crunchy casserole or the sweet potato casserole.

  2. Selena Baker says

    My mother would make fruit cocktail with mini marshmellows and banana slices when me and my brother and sisters were small. We didn’t have a lot of money and that was usualy our dessert, don’t know if it’s my favorite but it brings back many wonderful, loving memories! Praying for a wonderful Christmas season for all God’s children. Jesus is born, God with us – Celebrate!

  3. Dawn Springer says

    I’m finding the older I get I’m burnt out on the traditional Christmas dishes. I now look forward to trying something new each year. I actually like a variety of appetizers over the traditional meal.

  4. Abby says

    My favorite is sweet potatoe casserole. With all the great brown sugar and marshmallows that make it so good! And the potatoes must be mashed :)

  5. Colleen K says

    So excited about this devotional!! Thanks for the opportunity. My favorite Christmas dish is the kielbasa and cheese. LOVE this for Christmas eve!!

  6. Betty Marschner says

    God can not look upon sin so for sure sin is not made tolerable. Too often today we Christians are told loudly and very clear that we are to tolerate sin in our society and call it some other more palatable word. Sin is still sin and when it is idetified as such then His mercy is made all the sweeter!

    • Betty Marschner says

      OOPS!!! Guess I am still in a tither over Duck Dynasty today!!!
      My fav Christmas dish is cranberry salad. My today’s version is much easier than the days when Mom would grind the fresh cranberries etc mine is probably not quite as tasty but it is made better by less work involved!!!

  7. says

    My favorite dish would be homemade cinnamon rolls-MMMMM. Tried other things for Christmas breakfast but these were alway the winner! Besides it’s Christmas!

  8. Diana Mercer says

    My favorite dish at Christmas wasn’t a dish at all it was the punch my mother would make. We would have the best time joking with her about the green sherbet and 7-up. Now that she is spending her Christmases with Jesus I make the punch in her honor.

  9. Shannon B. says

    I don’t remember having traditional formal meals. It’s always been whatever…. but my mom and I always made haystacks. Butterscotch, chow mien noodles and peanuts in mounds. She’s been gone for 9 years but every time I make them I think of her and feel a bit closer to her.

  10. Dodi Timbrook says

    My favorite Christmas dish is my Mother’s raisin pie. She’s been gone 23 years now and my siblings LOVE when I make her signature pie and bring it to Christmas gatherings.

  11. Judy Rice says

    My favorite Christmas dish is honey baked ham and dressing. Is is always delicious and traditional. I also like to try new dishes that friends or family make. It is always good to try something new.

  12. Sarah says

    My favorite Christmas dish is the traditional Turkey dinner with stuffing, potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower with cheese sauce, yum.

  13. Brenda Abee says

    my mom made the best chocolate cake. Now she is with Jesus, He is enjoying it. So we have never try to make one because we know that it won’t be as good. Now my sister makes the best sweet potato cake. It is filled with nuts and coconut. The Best.

  14. Paula Stewart says

    My mama has been in glory for 9 years now. I miss the many Christmas dishes she made. My siblings and I try our hardest to replicate them but we just don’t have her touch. One special dessert was her pineapple cheesecake. Everyone loved it. Merry CHRISTmas!

  15. Brenda Abee says

    My mom made the best chocolate cake. Now that she is with Jesus, He is enjoying it. We haven’t tried to make it because we know it won’t be as good. Now my sister makes the best sweet potato cake. It is filled with nuts and coconut.

  16. Kim Fluty says

    My favorite dish would be the big family breakfast that we all participate in, after opening the gifts, I fix a huge breakfast. I cook bacon, sausage, pancakes, eggs , ham and biscuits, etc. We sit down as a family and eat and to me Christmas is about family, spending time with family because you don’t know from day to day how long you have with them. I will take family and Christ any day over gifts !

  17. Sarah meadows says

    Sweet potatoes made from grandma Lillie, I’m. Grateful for the Grace of God. He has given me peace of knowing the security of my salvation. I’m So in LOVE with my Lord and Savior!

  18. Elizabeth says

    Thank you for this! I really need these devotions. I don’t really have a favorite Christmas recipe. I do like to invite people over to join us as we have whatever was made available for dinner :) It’s always a blessing to share!

  19. Christina Moore says

    My grandmother’s spaghetti or my no sugar added spiced cranberry sauce. Thanks for the devo and giveaway. Blessed Christmas!

  20. Wendi Martinez says

    Tamales which are hard to find in Hawaii. When we live in California We use to place our order in November to have for Christmas Eve.

  21. Marilyn Cunningham says

    Beautiful thoughts! Christmas morning and Day are so full of family at our house, that I now look forward to eating whatever my sons-in-law love to cook….and my own Christmas cookies! :)

  22. says

    So many memories of great Christmas meals! Veal cutlets, yum! Seafood feasts that included odd items my Uncle would pick up like alligator tail! Caprese salad appetizers! But I love the Christmas morning egg-sausage-cheese-hash brown casserole I put together the night before and bake on Christmas morning.

  23. Melissa Ball says

    I love all things Christmas ! Merry Christmas! For me, I know God forgives me and I am so thankful but I struggle forgive myself, working in that:)

  24. Mary Ann Holton says

    I love lefse with cinnamon, sugar and butter rolled up. I tell my kids it is a Norwegian tortilla made with potatoes. :-)

  25. Linda Gallo says

    I like food too much to have just one favorite, but one of my recent favorites is Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Cheesecake. The only time I make it is Christmas.

  26. Dorothy Jenkins says

    I love anything my husband prepares for me. Beth Moore is such an inspiration. My very first bible s study was once of hers! Thank you Beth

  27. says

    I love this. It makes me think of the song “Alabaster Box.” My favorite dish is more a sentamental one I think. Our family always celebrated on Christmas Eve with the turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and all that goes with that. On Christmas day, my dad (who I lost 4 years ago to cancer) would always ask for Turkey Hash for lunch. He enjoyed it so. I make it now to feel close to him.

  28. Sheri says

    My mom’s cornbread dressing…close to Beth’s version but we throw in an apple. We have it only at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  29. Laura Kustanborter says

    My favorite is my grandmothers stuffing and noodles. Now that she is no longer with us, my mother make the stuffing and I make the noodles. Oh, and can’t leave out my aunts buttermilk brownies!

  30. Lisa B says

    Our tradition on Christmas Eve is for all the siblings and their families to gather at my parents’ house for lobster and filet mignon. I always get the lobster!

  31. Jaylani says

    Homemade braided raspberry jam rolls…and usually one made in the shape of Santa’s hat, face, and beard at Christmas breakfast.

  32. Shanna says

    Holiday salad, made every year by my grandmother, who is now in nursing home, but you better believe we will still have it, and she has most certainly made sure we will ;)

  33. Stephanie McCreight says

    I would love to receive this gift from Lifeway Ministries, I am a newcomer to Beth Moore and her ministry, and I can’t always find her on Canadian television, but I am just about done “Jesus, the One and Only”, and I love the way she connects to the word of God, I have understood the Bible, and teachings of Christ so much further due to her way of explanation. I am from a small town called Guelph, Ontario, Canada, and really appreciate Beth’s word of God.

    Thank you,
    Stephanie McCreight.

  34. Stephanie McCreight says

    I didn’t leave my favourite dish, I would have to say, garlic mashed potatoes, and my Mom’s dressing, definitely the best. Merry Christmas to all and God Bless.

    Stephanie McCreight.

  35. Cheryl Hangsleben says

    My ancestry is Swedish … therefore, my favorite foods at Christmas are: Swedish potato sausage, Lefse, Rice Pudding and Spritz … I couldn’t pick one over the other.

  36. Tammy Frew says

    Snails! No, not escargot….they are like little cinnamon rolls, but when they are rolled up they look like snails.. Family tradition…Would love a copy of the devotional.

  37. sheri says

    Anything as long as it is with my family. We even did spaghetti one year because my dad was going to be gone and we all voted!

  38. Amy says

    I love to cook Christmas candy as gifts, like my mom did when I was growing up. My son loves haystacks the best. I have always enjoyed my grandmother’s divinity recipe. Never found it in any cookbook and it always turns out perfect! Carrying on tradition and spending time with my family keeps the holidays from feeling stressful.

  39. Joy Kirby says

    Would love to win anything that Beth Moore does, and I could use a new devotional.
    My favorite Christmas dish is green bean casserole.

  40. Michal Ann Joyner says

    Our favorite dinner meal is Mexican food. A dish call chaluppa. Our favorite dessert is Mexican wedding cake cookies. Yum. With nuts, of course.

  41. Wendy Gripp says

    Red Velvet Cake, my grandmother’s recipe. My twin sister and I were only 2 years old when my grandparents died. This family recipe is a tradition and has left a wonderful legacy of memories with my mother, aunts and cousins throughout the years. Merry Christmas!!

  42. Theresa says

    When I was young, my favorite Christmas dish was Mom’s homemade macaroni and cheese! She used a recipe out her Betty Crocker cookbook. And the noodles where long and circular. I can’t find that kind anymore. We started a new tradition 3 years ago; for Christmas dinner we have sandwiches and salads. This way no one is spending all the time in the kitchen cooking and cleaning and we have more time to enjoy ourselves!

  43. Mary Houge says

    Gathering around the dinner table with my family to fondue steak (we all had our own colored fondue fork) and eat garlic toast. The smell of garlic toast baking brings back those wonderful memories!

  44. Blakely says

    My favorite Christmas dish is Padow’s Virginia ham thinly shaved on a Ukrops White House roll!!! Positively perfect! YUM!

  45. says

    My grandma’s Scalloped Corn and also her Finnish Coffee Bread, a.k.a. Pulla. Of course, we always start the day with her Finnish Oven Pancakes (Kropsua). Yumm!

  46. Carol Gipson says

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!! I love so many Christmas dishes, but right now I’m thinking about my Mom’s pumpkin pie. Yum!!! :D

  47. Gwen Ziegler says

    I love spiced cranberries! The tartness combined with some sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice – yum! I’ve gotten better at forgiving others, but still challenging to forgive myself at times

  48. Misty Sanders says

    For breakfast Caramel Sticky Buns!!!
    I would absolutely LOVE this devotional! Please!
    Please! Please! Please! Please!!!!!!!!!!

  49. Pamela says

    It is not the food so much as the company. Everything taste great when my heart is happy because God has blessed my family with another Christmas together. Our Christmas will be a few days late but I love that my 4 children choose to wait until we are all there to celebrate. This happened another year when my daughter was in the hospital and her sister was waiting to receive a new car for Christmas! Family, forever, for always, no matter what!

  50. Pat n Fl says

    Every since my son was little I have made him pigs in s blanket on Christmas morning, themes soul go to my mom’s. For the family meal

  51. Dawn Laird says

    Thanks for the opportunity of winning your new devotional. Also love making Cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast.Merry Christmas to you all.
    Dawn

  52. Debi Shuktz says

    Our favorite family dish is “breakfast casserole”. I make it up on Christmas Eve and leave it in the refrigerator with the baking instructions for the first person up on Christmas Day to put in the oven. The delicious smells of it cooking wake the rest of our family and we all get up and eat some together as we start our Christmas Day celebrations!

  53. angel lynn karing says

    Ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, cauliflower with cheese, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, cookies, fudge, rolls with butter…oh my! is planet fitness open? Merry Christmas to one and all, I hope you are all with your family, friends and loved ones celebrating the birth of Christ and what a life it is!!

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