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Don't Forget Where You Came From

Dee Casper
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This message is based on the best advice I’ve received in ministry. Learning this key lesson can keep us from becoming arrogant and idle in our Christian experience


Dee Casper

Director of the CORE Evangelism Training Program and Brand Evangelist for ARtv



  • January 20, 2018
    11:00 AM
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God in Heaven think you for this privilege to come into your presence thank you to be able to share with these young people and I just pray that you would bless us that you would minister to us and that you would open our eyes to what we need to see today Father I cannot help these people and so I pray that you would do for them what only you can and I ask this now in Jesus' name. Amen don't forget where you came from and what I'm going to begin with is share a story with you so I was a day a sire earlier this year in August as I was in everywhere all the time Houston as I was in Houston and I had dinner with Taj pocket one of Friday evening I think before the Sabbath Kane and I had picked his brain and some stuff was helpful and then I asked him a question and I've asked this to a lot of evangelists just because I'm kind of new to this and so I said what it vice do you wish you would have received when you were me knowing what you know now so what advice would you wish people would have told you knowing what you know now whenever you were just starting evangelism not just starting but you know and going through this process of becoming known in other stuff that you never asked for and he's a severe introvert to say it was helpful and instead of answering my question directly he started to tell me a story you ever had somebody do that where you ask them a question and they don't just say the answer is X. but like let me tell you a story about whatever and eventually they get to their point. Jesus did this other people the Bible did this so it's not a bad thing to toss begins to tell me the story and he says you know there's this guy the man of the pool of the thousand in John Chapter five and the guy's been an invalid for how long do you guys know thirty eight years he's been incapable of walking of supporting his own body weight for thirty years we're told in desire of ages that he's actually the most helpless case there of everyone who's there he's the most helpless and so Taj begins to tell me you know that he's in this horrible condition and Jesus asked him a question and it's seemingly obvious question you would think he says Do you want to be made well what do you think. If I were him I would say yeah the guy kind of gives us lame answer and I don't mean because he's lame I mean the and. He gives his lame. And then eventually Jesus asks a follow up question actually he gives them a command he tells them to rise three things to rise to take up his mat and to walk and Taj made this point that you know the rising makes sense and the walking makes sense but what's with the mat What's that got to do with the price of fish like why telling the guy to rise in the stand I get that but why is it that he's telling this man to take his mat with him this mat is just this reminder thirty years of rejection abandonment shame and hopelessness. And then Taj went in and he says that's precisely the point when Jesus is basically telling the man is to not forget where he came from and I remember when he told me that it just hit me hard and so instead of telling need to direct answer and sounding like some you know crusty old guy even though he's not very old at all but just you know just it just you know they'll get too big for your bridges Youngblood like he didn't even say they like that what he told me was Don't forget where you came from and that's the best advice I can give you but he told me through a story that made it easier to swallow and it was great advice right as someone is going through this process that I never asked for I'm an introvert I didn't ask to be in front of people I didn't ask to be a public speaker I didn't think I could do any of that stuff but people believed things about me that I didn't believe in because of their belief which awaken me to God's belief I do what I do now by the grace of God which is only by the grace of God So it was very helpful advice for me and this council that Taj gave me a kind of reminded me of the story of two people in Scripture Simon the leper and Mary Magdalen and I'd like to tell you there are two stories in in through there are two stories bring out this point of not forgetting where we came from they have two completely different life journeys but they're two different journeys converge at the feet of Jesus Simon the leper he's a religious leader who contracts leprosy Now this is that's a bad day any day that anyone contracts leprosy it's not a good day but the problem is when you get leprosy that means you have to leave the community that you live in you have to live now outside of the city family can't be near you friends can't be near you but the cost is very high for this man he loses a lot immediately just interpersonally but it gets worse he's an al Casan can't even be touched he's deprived of any form of intimacy right a hug a handshake any of that completely deprived of all of it and the belief in that day was that if you contract leprosy it means that you're Kurt. By God Well just imagine being a religious leader who is cursed by God has acted to go over for your self-esteem live alone your public image devastating for this man is crippling for him and yet Jesus miraculously heals the guy and he restores his ministry had Imagine how you would feel you assume that I'm never going to be in ministry again I'm never going to be able to do what I did before I can't see the people I wanted to see and God in His great mercy and love gives you a second chance just amazing his whole life story is resorted and he's put back into ministry to beat a full story now Mary has a different story were given some additional insight desired ages that she herself was actually sexually abused and this set her life on a course that was not in her best interest and she eventually fell into a lifestyle of sexual sin which is not uncommon many people in the adult film industry there's nothing adult about it but many people the adult film industry have wrestled they were abused by so many young age family members other people it's not uncommon people that are that are in other forms of that type of behavior many times this can happen is not the only cause but it can be common so she herself because of this lifestyle is an outcast in society similar to Simon's isn't it she's an outcast and in the small community of Bethany right this is one of those places where everyone knows your name they had that song for the T.V. program Cheers where everyone knows your name it was like that in Bethany everybody knows everybody else's business and she's the outcast is no way she can just kind of hide in society and like everyone knows it's difficult for her but she herself is also set free by Jesus he delivers her in one place we're told that seven demons are cast out of her and she's healed of her sordid past she's given a new lot in life and she's able to begin again which is a beautiful story and the. Other insight were given a desire of Ages is that Simon is the one responsible for this abuse in the horn that came to her that led her on this downward spiral there's actually a connection. But there's a feast that's going to be held in on or Jesus for two main reasons one Simon being healed it helped Simon Tallis in his restoration but two for the raising a Lazarus Jesus has just risen a man from the dead I think it covered this before here that was a little and it but anyway that whenever Jesus had raised earlier people from the dead gyrus his daughter or trying to think of the widow's son there was this belief that came from Greek foolishness it wasn't actually a biblical belief but the belief was that the soul doesn't leave the body for three days and so you're not really dead until day four OK now that's ridiculous so it is imagine Jesus raises someone from the dead and you just think of the gall of some of the fairies he's in Sadducees were going to say oh I mean he wasn't really dead he was only dead for two days is just ridiculous right but this is that they hated Jesus so much that they just would not believe and so whenever Lazarus gets sick and then eventually dies Jesus does not show up to that household to Lazarus has been dead for how many days for now we know why so there's that how can there be any nonsense about the fact that no he wasn't really dead Martha goes so far as to say that he stinks Jesus you can't raise him from the dead he stinks so Jesus has defied all of this foolishness in this mindset that happen in this community and it was a big deal it was a really big deal in facts so big of a deal that the fair season Sadducees said we've got to stop this guy we're going to take him out but not only do they want to kill Jesus they also realize they're going to kill Lazarus too because too many people want to believe in Jesus be. Because alas or us he's this living breathing one of these for what we're trying to do here right east sheep stealing and they can't take it and so it's a difficult situation for Jesus to be navigating But all this kind of a circling around this home that it's a big deal there's this buzz in town Jesus raise this guy from the dead he claims this guy has leprosy so Jesus goes to Simon's house because of both of these events and someone shows up to this house uninvited and completely steals the show Her name is Mary if you turn to Mark Chapter fourteen. Mark Chapter fourteen will start to look at the story. And I'm actually going to have some of this on the screen Mark Chapter fourteen beginning in verse three glad you got Bibles though Mark Chapter fourteen beginning in verse three says and being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper as he sat at the table meaning Jesus a woman came having alabaster flask a very costly oil of Spike nard and then she broke the flask in poured it on his head now this is one of those things that she just kind of sneaks into the house she doesn't want to be noticed but just imagine her having a party of her having a gathering at someone's house who's going to be music there's going to lots of people lots of talking lots of noise I'm sure but then everybody's nose tells them that something's going on and everything stops and everyone is now looking at this woman making this offering for Jesus says a verse continuing he says but there were some there who were indignant among themselves and said Why was this fragrant oil what's the next word. Wasted just imagine this woman is given everything she has for Jesus and the responses she's wasting this gift on Jesus for might have been sold for more than three hundred Inari and given to the poor ironically enough the statement is made by who's in by you know Judas who had no desire to take care of the poor he wanted to fleece his own pockets but his distintion ends up being caught is contagious amongst the other disciples to difficult moment particularly for this woman and then it says what that they criticized her sharply Here this woman is she just wants to show appreciation for the fact that Jesus radically transforms her life and she doesn't get warm fuzzy feelings from the brother in the she. Even from disciples you all this isn't just like you know crusty fair seasoned Sadducees like this is the people that are following Jesus and they're stumbling on this woman and she's feel terrible she feels absolutely horrible at this moment. She's being accuse. Being wasteful by giving everything she has for Jesus but what they don't understand is that she's the only person in the room who actually gets it. Jesus has been saying for a while I'm going to die I've come to suffer and to die and to rise again and they're just doing one of these la la la la suffering doesn't sound good I don't like that I want the land back from the Romans I want to conquering Messiah I don't want to hear that. But there's a woman in the room who does seem to have some form of understanding as to what Jesus came here for and she's giving what she has to let him know that she appreciates it. I give it Jesus I understand and I appreciate it to she does Jesus is about to die and she wants him to enjoy her offering now and through the hardship is to come she doesn't fully know what she's doing but she just got a sense of spirit has prompted her now's the time you need to give it now it's amazing as opposed to when he's dead and buried exactly be able to know and appreciate it will come back to that Jesus sees that this woman gets it and he responds to the murmuring picking up in verse six but Jesus said Let her alone why do you trouble her she's done a good work for me she's being accused for doing a good work for Jesus maybe you've been accused for doing a good work of Jesus no one seemed to understand what you were doing at the time they didn't appreciate what you were doing at the time she can understand. She's done a good work for me he says for you have the poor with you always if that's a right you want to take with this village you're going to have them always and whenever you wish you may do them good but maybe you don't. And she gets that you don't have meal ways she's done what she could she's come beforehand to annoy. My body for burial and assuredly I say to you wherever this Gospel is preached in the whole world what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to who. Not to me but to her now who is it that Jesus is going to commission to tell the world his story and in turn her story. The very people he's rebuking right now. They didn't get it she did and he tells them I want you to tell her story. My story chiefly obviously but I want you to tell her story because there's something in her story that you missed. It's actually part of your story that you've missed and we'll get to that in a moment I think it's amazing this is not the only murmuring that happens in this room though the second version is found a Luke Chapter seven. Luke Chapter seven. The dealings of Jesus or it is absolutely mind boggling to me what he sees and understands now we deal the difficult situations is just amazing we can learn a lot from him before turn to Luke Chapter seven. Drown verse thirty eight. This woman comes into the house she's weeping at the feet of Jesus she's washing his feet she's wetting his feet with her tears she's drying them with her hair and then she anoints them with oil the whole house again is fragrant with this offering and all the music stops all the people stop doing what they're doing and they're all looking to figure out what's this lady about what is this my nose is telling me something's going on over here and if you look at verse thirty thirty nine in Luke Chapter seven says now when the fair is he had invited him saw this so with this woman's doing he spoke to him self saying this man if he were a prophet would know who now if he were sends a whole lot like the temptation in the. Holderness if you are the Son of God right that questioning the identity of Jesus happens again the crucifixion if you're the son of God Save yourself in this questioning going into the identity of Jesus can't be coming from the right direction hate start coming from above below but he says that this man if you were a prophet would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching him for she is a sinner. God doesn't deal with dirty people. Doesn't have any interest in them because they're gross they're not worthy of being say they don't deserve any attention is his world view as a religious leader. It's not a very good picture. She's doing what Simon should have done in this culture the understanding was when someone is a guest in your home you are sure feet you anoint him for whatever reason Jesus makes his way into this house or at sea being without receiving any of this treatment from Simon this is meant to be a feast in on or of Jesus but when the guest of honor shows up the king of the universe oh hey jesus how you doing so anyway and they're talking to are talking about whatever they're talking about just know seeming notice of Jesus and what he needs and what is due him because of who he is and Jesus reminds Simon of this go to verse forty. Luke Chapter seven in verse forty. It says in Jesus answered and said to him Simon I have something to say to you so he said teacher say it there was a certain creditor who had to debtors one owed five hundred Inari and the other fifty it when they had nothing with which to repay he freely forgave them both tell me therefore which of them will love him more Simon answered and said I suppose the one whom he forgave more and he said to him you've rightly judged then he turned to the woman and said to Simon Do you see this woman I entered your house and you gave me no water for my feet but she washed my feet with her tears in a White them with the hair of her head you gave me no kiss but this woman has not ceased to kiss my feet since the time that I came in you did not anoint my head with oil but this woman has anointed my feet with fragrant oil therefore I say to you that her sins which are many are forgiven for she loved much but to whom little is forgiven the same loves little then he said to her Your sins are forgiven and those who sat at the table with him began to save themselves who is this who even forgive sins and then he said to the woman your faith has saved you go in peace. There is at least one person in the room the gets it right now it seems like only one and it seems as though what Jesus has done for this woman in delivering her and delivering her and delivering her and delivering and delivering and delivering and delivering her in the midst of her hardship bearing long with her casting out seven demons she finally came to understand that where I came from. And when Jesus got a hold of me and how my life has been since then they're not the same. And the least thing I can do for this guy is to show him that I appreciate him that I get it and I value him and so she does. But here's the point I believe that the reason why Simon did not do the cultural norm of serving Jesus and washing his feet is because Simon forgot where he came from. He forgot what Jesus delivered him from and in turn felt no obligation to serve him. Or you with me Mary on the other hand will all come back to that. One evidence of us losing side of where we came from is when we condemn someone else for giving what they have to Jesus. If you find yourself condemning someone else for given what they got for Jesus it's very good evidence of the fact that you've forgotten where you came from even if it's not pretty maybe when they give everything they have this it looks ugly they make a fool of themselves right they don't do church the way that we do it they don't do life the way that we do it but they're giving them what they got there grateful they haven't forgotten where they came from. When you see someone making a fool of themselves giving Jesus what they were they have to leave them alone. He's glad to receive it. So if you feel that when you've when you've whatever instinct came in your heart of the time to just give Jesus what you had and someone got in your case Jesus is happy to receive it you get it they may not right now but you get it and he's glad for that and there will come a time with us not the way that God wants you to give him things I'm sure he'll educate you but when you're given what you've got with what you know he's glad to receive it Amy I'm. Alone. Mary remembered where she came from and that's why she gave everything she had for Jesus we can learn a lesson from her today. Simon forgot where he came from and that's why he did nothing for Jesus he lost track of how precious it was to sit at the feet of Jesus and the have him as the guest of on or in his life. And you know the moments that I don't feel like giving of myself for Jesus and for his people are the moments where I've forgotten where I came from about you. When I feel like I just I just don't want to serve right now just not feel it you know I'm going to the things to do look at other things are occupying my time I just I just don't feel like and I believe that this is why many find themselves idle in their Christian experience and yet they have a lot to say about what other people are doing or not doing. But that can change a man. Doesn't have to stay that way. We can take hold of the good lesson this morning I don't know where you find yourself today maybe it's the story of Mary that resonates with you the you're given what you got for Jesus and no one around you seems to understand or appreciate what you're doing maybe that's you. Don't forget where you came from if you're saving grace. Maybe it's a story of Simon that resonates with you that you've lost sight of just how precious it is to sit in weep at the feet of Jesus and I have him in your life and in your home and my counsel to you is exactly the same Don't Forget Where You Came From. Mary's offering is to be mentioned wherever the gospel is preached Why is that I want to read a quote to you from the desire of ages that heart breaking the loneliness of Christ we have to stop immediately did you know that Jesus wrestled with loneliness ever been lonely. Jesus understands immediately. The loneliness of Christ separated from the heavenly courts living the life of humanity was never understood or appreciated by the disciples as it should have been. And he was often grieved because his disciples did not give him that which he should have received from him. Pity understanding sympathy didn't get it. And I assure you that today Jesus grieves equally as profoundly when he doesn't receive from us what he wishes to receive praise gratitude and service it still brings him grief I assure you. He knew that if they were under the influence of the heavenly angels that accompanied him they too would think no offering of sufficient value to declare their hearts spiritual affection they'd sell everything they had like this woman did and they'd make a fool of himself for Jesus just like this woman did Mary's offering again is to be mentioned wherever the gospel is preached why because we're prone to not get it. And we're prone to for get it. We don't remember where we came from we don't remember what Jesus delivered us from and in turn we find ourselves in these just selfish. Ugly places in life will be brutally honest with you this morning I've been in a very very dark place for two straight years just hardship and work relational things and other stuff it just it's been dark it's been a difficult span in my life and I found myself waning in some of my disciplines I didn't leave them entirely right I was still doing the things I never stopped communing with God Just something was different now it's kind of a running on that like efficiency mode right you're doing just enough to get by and do it needs to be done I didn't stop doing ministry I didn't stop preaching I didn't stop giving Bible studies I didn't stop counseling people and pointing them to Jesus but internally it's been a dark and difficult place. And God had to bring me face to face with the fact that I had forgotten where I came from. Then in spite of difficulty and darkness and misunderstanding and rejection and poverty in anything else who I was before Jesus got a hold of me and who I was even in those dark moments was not the same and Jesus deserved better than I was giving him. Mary's life is a living rebuke to mine. I had forgotten where I came from I had forgotten the Wasn't that God had taught me and it's just been in the course of this week that God has just broken off the chains of darkness and I feel like myself again finally. I didn't give up on Jesus I didn't stop praying I didn't stop reading my Bible I didn't fold my arms they yell at him but I wasn't the same man was wrestling but Jesus reminded me where I came from many allow difficulties to come to change my perspective and realize. Son you missed it. You missed it. And he told me I want you to tell her story why the same reason or one of the disciples to tell her story because you're tempted to forget so I want you to tell her story too because we're tempted to forget. Her giving It was a free reminder to Jesus through every step of the sufferings that somebody is going to value what he's doing because the temptation Jesus is going to go through in the next thirty six hours is something you don't even want to experience whether alone fully understand. It would wreck you if you did. Completely wreck you but it's amazing because when all seemed to reject Jesus in His greatest time of need the disciples flee Peter says I'll never lead you had that work out. Ran from a girl right. And it's just not a good situation. He knew. Her gift that was given to Jesus was this continual reminder to him in every moment of his sufferings because he goes from this gathering the next few days go on he has the dinner with the disciples then he is arrested right then he's beaten in tortured he agonizes Agus simile first thing is arrested he's falsely tried and convicted he's beaten to a pulp You can't even recognize who he is anymore as if he too tells us literally physically Jesus is no longer recognizable You don't know who that is. And if he goes through every ounce of this suffering with each inhale he can smell the offering that this woman gave them. And it reminds them somebody will appreciate this when the disciples are gone and nowhere to be found there's at least one person on this planet that gets it because the devils tempting him and says hey Jesus we're your disciples right now where are his disciples nowhere to be found. Jesus you're wasting your time man these people don't value you they don't appreciate you. Somebody does. And there's a living breathing reminder of that with that offering she had on his head and on his feet he can smell it. And he knew that he was loved and appreciated in this suffering would be worth the cost even if it's just for her. Jesus is offering for us is meant to be a perpetual reminder of his love for us in our darkest moments now Aside of that. And if you were had those moments but I have I've seen tens of thousands of dollars worth of miracles in my personal experience little ministry experiences I've seen souls yanked out of hell and evangelism I've seen people make decisions for eternity and see their characters transformed and yet I discern that this is what everybody else's life looks like. And it's not. People would still be you know internal organs they had the experience that God has blessed me to have. And I totally forgot I lost sight of where I came from and how blessed I was by God. I forgot but Jesus is offering is meant to be that perpetual reminder that Mary's was to him his offerings meant to be that for us when people for sake you when your parents disappoint you when your children disappoint you when everyone around you that you depended upon disappoints you there is someone who hasn't there someone who gets you and there is someone who appreciates you nonetheless. She continues the fragrant gift which Mary had brought or had thought to lavish upon the dead body of the Savior she poured upon his living form at the burial its sweetness could only have pervaded the tomb but now It gladdened his heart with the assurance of her faith and love. But Mary pouring out her love upon the Savior while he was conscious of her devotion was annoying to him for the burial and as he went down into the darkness of his great trial he carried with him the memory of that deed an earnest of the of the would be his from his redeemed ones forever it was literally to Jesus a foreshadowing that other people will appreciate it and other people will accept it what a profound gift this woman gave she had no clue she was totally clueless to how profound this gift was for Jesus Mary knew not the full significance of her deed of love she could not answer her accusers she could not explain why she had chosen that occasion for knowing Jesus the Holy Spirit had planned for her that's why it's a gift from the Father above. Through one of these people fallen broken mortal a former sex addict and someone who is in a deep dark place of life God the Father used her to minister to Jesus. The Holy Spirit and plan for her inspirations stoops to give no reason an unseen presence it speaks to mind and soul and moves the heart to action and it is its own justification. Christ told Mary the meaning of her act and listen to me and in this he gave her more than he had received. In that she have poured this point men on my body he said she did it for my burial and as the alabaster box was broken and filled the whole house with its fragrance So Christ was to die his body was to. Be broken but he was to rise from the tune and the fragrance of his life was to fill the earth Christ have loved us and that given himself as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor Paul says. Now we know why he uses that language don't we Paul got it. Verily I say unto you Christ declared worse whoever this gospel should be preached throughout the whole world this also that she has done should be spoken of for a memorial of her looking into the future the Savior spoke a certainty concerning his gospel it was to be preached throughout the world and as far as the gospel extended Mary's gift would shed its fragrance and hearts would be blessed through her and study the Act Listen to this kingdoms would rise and fall the names of monarchs and conquerors would be forgotten but this woman's deed would be a mortal eyes upon the pages of sacred history until time should be no more that broken alabaster box would tell the story of the abundant love God for a fallen race a man your offering to Jesus can bring that same level of satisfaction in love. When you don't forget where you came from in the given what you got even if in a pretty it can bring that satisfaction in love to the heart of God This is why he wants her story told in the beautiful thing as young people her story can be your story doesn't matter where you've been it doesn't matter if it's taken seven times for God to get you to get a hold of you in the set you free what's been holding you he can do it. And he's asking you to date and not forget where you came from don't lose sight of what Jesus delivered you from and how good he's been to you in spite of what you've done to him in spite of the times that you said things but no thanks in spite of the times that you said I will Jesus but later because I want to try this first don't forget where you came from if you feel these messed up too many times and I'm sure she felt the same way you can come back today Amen. It ain't over. You can come back today. Remember when Jesus has delivered you from. And know that her story can be yours. Let's pray. God in heaven I thank you for this painful and yet healing reminder today that we have a God in heaven who loves us individually who desires our good. Who is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance the Lord Jesus please forgive us Lord we're sorry. We've forgotten. We forgot where we've come from. We've forgotten what we've been delivered from and we've just been taking advantage of what you've been doing for us in God we want that to change this is part of the Laodicean message that you forgot where you came from you're not who you think you are and you need something more and things that you can't provide for yourself you need gold tried in the fire of faith that works by love you need white Rayment you need Christ's robe of righteousness because you have no right is this within you and you need I sad you need discernment to recognise your true spiritual condition in God We see that today. For many of us there was a time when we recognize that but we forgot and I pray that you would remind us and I pray that the egocentricity that brought us to the cross and that we recognize is not enough to keep us there I pray that the true story of the cross would keep us there you've delivered us from a life of darkness do you have a plan for our lives plans to prosperous and not to harm US plans for a future. And that our life is far better given what we. Got for Jesus. Than accusing the people around us are wasting our time on this. Bless us now today with that living really reminder we pray we ask this now in Christ Jesus. You know this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermon or leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.


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