In Other Words..

“Is it possible we could experience the joy of our salvation if we mourned [over our sin] as if someone had died? We cannot experience joy without mourning.”
by Pastor Robert Morris,from Sermon: “Those who mourn are happy”

I needed some input to write about this, so I went to the actual sermon by Pastor Morris. I would recommend you take the time (28 minutes) to watch it. It is great!

How can I be thankful for my redemption if I don't realize the full cost of my redemption? How can I be thankful (and joyful for my salvation) if I don't see my sin for what it is?

One of my favorite psalms, Psalm 51, written by David after he FINALLY sees his sin with Bathsheba and his murder of her husband, says this so beautifully:

Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.......Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me......The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. verses 1-2, 10-12, 17

Lord, how I have said to You, break me, Lord. I want to be broken before You. I think of Isaiah in Isaiah 6, "Woe to me! I am undone! I am ruined!". Isaiah sees God's glory and how much HE falls short and cries out to God.

How can I be sorry, truly SORROWFUL, truly repentant if I don't honestly SEE myself?

Do I say "sorry" because I am truly repentant, or that I don't want to be punished?

I think of my kids.....when they are bickering and mom makes them apologize...are they really "sorry?" If not, I know we will be dealing with the SAME BEHAVIOR again.

When I am "caught", do I come to God, confessing and asking for forgiveness because I am full of SORROW, or that I don't want to deal with consequences for my sin?

Is it just a flippant "sor-rrrrry"???????

It made me think of the woman in Luke 7. She is so full of PRAISE and THANKSGIVING for her forgiveness BECAUSE she sees the depth of her sin.

I wrote about this in one of my talks, "FREEDOM IN CHRIST":

There is another story of Jesus meeting a sinful woman that begins in Luke 7:36. The story says that Jesus was having dinner at a Pharisee’s house named Simon. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was there, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume to Him.

Now, we may not understand the significance of this, but it is really important. When a woman would become of marrying age, as part of her dowry, her family would purchase a marble, or alabaster box or jar. It would be filled with expensive perfume, sometimes costing as much as one year’s wages. This would be the woman’s most precious possession, a priceless treasure. When a man came to ask for her in marriage, she would break the jar at his feet, anointing him with the expensive oil as a sign of great honor.

So, this woman brings her alabaster box, her most precious possession intended for her earthly bridegroom, to the house where Jesus is.

Can you imagine what everyone all around is saying?

"What is she doing here, and with her alabaster box?! What is she going to do? WHO would marry HER?"

She walks in and stands behind Jesus. Notice her body language. She is standing BEHIND Jesus, maybe ashamed to look into his face. She is weeping at His feet. She wipes His feet with her hair. She kisses His feet, anointing them with her perfume. We don’t know what her sin was, but we know how thankful she was feeling- she was washing Jesus’ feet with her hair and her tears.

Maybe you understand her shame all too well- maybe you feel like because of what you have done, or because what has been done to you, you could never come to Jesus. You feel unworthy of His forgiveness.

Ladies, whatever her sin was, however dirty or terrible it was, it led her to Jesus. There she is with her most precious possession, her alabaster jar, reserved to pour out honor upon a bridegroom, pouring it out upon Jesus, mixing the expensive perfume with her tears, washing the feet of Jesus. Her heart, completely abandoned to Him, not caring about what others thought, only there full of praise and thankfulness for her Savior.

I wonder if words similar to Psalm 30 were on her lips? “I will exalt you, O Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. O Lord, you brought me up from the grave, you spared me from going down into the pit.” No matter how "bad" her sin had been, it brought her to Jesus.

But, of course, there is always someone there to judge us. And, in this story, it is Simon the Pharisee. He says to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of a woman she is.”

But, ladies, that is just it- Jesus does know who is touching Him, who we are and what "kind" of women we are and IT DOESN’T MATTER.

Jesus answers Simon with a parable. He says, “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One man owed him 500 denari and the other 50 denari. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now, which of them will love the man more?”

Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had a bigger debt canceled.”

Jesus agrees. And, while He is still speaking to Simon, Jesus turns and looks at the woman. Even though He is talking to Simon, Jesus turns to look full in her face. He says, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You didn’t give me any water for my feet, but SHE wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins are forgiven, so she has shown much love.” Jesus tells the woman, “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Ladies, those of us who have sinned much are forgiven much! Jesus wants us to come to Him, no matter how great our sin, to be forgiven. He wants us to go in PEACE. He wants us to experience the peace that passes all understanding. He wants us to not worry about what others will think of us, but to be completely abandoned, head over heals in love with Him, pouring out on Him all the things of our alabaster jar which we think are so precious. To come,
so thankful, full of praise to our Savior, pouring out on His feet all of our sins, all of the things we have felt guilt and shame over, to pour on Him. He will turn our sadness to joy, our mourning to gladness, our ashes to beauty.

Dear, sweet sisters, come now to the feet of Jesus where you will find mercy and forgiveness. Whatever you have kept in your alabaster jar, pour out on His feet. If you have sinned much, you have been forgiven much. Don’t worry about what others will think of you, but instead give Him everything you have. Fall head over heals in love with your Savior. Pour out your praises on Him, He who forgives and loves and offers peace.

Lord, may I come to You honestly, seeking TRUE forgiveness. It is when I am truly sorry, truly repentant, truly full of Godly sorrow that I can experience the JOY of being forgiven...the JOY of Your salvation. Lord, give me eyes to see my sin the way You see it. May I never look a blind eye to it. Thank You for Your forgiveness. Thank You, Jesus.

Please visit Michelle to participate in more In Other Words...

6 thoughts shared....:

Denise said...

Beautifully said.

Esthermay said...

Beautiful Salvation message right here in the IOW! I love it -- the "woman's speaker" is very evident here in this post!
The parallel to our children's flippant "Sorry" is excellent. Too many people today leading others to Christ slide right past this part. This was an great quote to get us thinking about how little we emphasize our SIN in the SALVATION process. Without SIN - what is the point of Salvation?
Preach ON!!!

Michelle Bentham said...

Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful response. I love that you went and visited the message Pastor Robert shared that day. He taped several that weekend, so my quote may not match exactly what was shared in the webcast video, but oh the sentiment is just the same. God's glory is all over it.

for anyone else who wants to hear it visit and got to resources/media and click on Sermons. It is the series "Happiness Redefined."

Each of us has a cost for the oil in our alabaster box - and that price was met in full as Jesus blood was shed on Calvary's tree. Oh the glory of it. The glory of it all. I love Him so, and I can see by your message here today that you do as well.

Thanks for chiming in, and blessings to you. It was nice to "meet" in an IOW sort of way.


Proverbs 27:19 said...

Oh Tracy this is excellent! I love the way you explained being sorry. As a child, when I did something wrong and I would apologize, my dad would say, "No you not, 'cause if you were sorry you wouldn't had done it." Or sometimes he would say, "Then don't do it again."

I never understood either of those comments, hence him having to repeatedly say it to me, :) but I really do like and understand the way you have lovingly & scripturally explained it.

Thanks Tracy.


Proverbs 27:19 said...

Oh Tracy this is excellent! I love the way you explained being sorry. As a child, when I did something wrong and I would apologize, my dad would say, "No you not, 'cause if you were sorry you wouldn't had done it." Or sometimes he would say, "Then don't do it again."

I never understood either of those comments, hence him having to repeatedly say it to me, :) but I really do like and understand the way you have lovingly & scripturally explained it.

Thanks Tracy.


Sherri Ward said...

Thanks for this blessing today - you have refreshed me! We need to be reminded that without repentance there can be none of the forgiveness He longs to LAVISH upon us!