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Why Many Have Left

Dee Casper


Too often in our Christian experience we forget where we've come from, and this can lead us to self-righteousness and complacency. The story of Mary Magdalene helps illuminate the solution.


Dee Casper

Director of the CORE Evangelism Training Program.



  • March 22, 2018
    6:00 PM


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Oh sweet Jesus I just think you for this privilege to come into your presence just now and I'm asking that you would pour out a rich blessing upon us to seedling and that we would since you here that we would since you speaking to our hearts and that you would remind us of our 1st love the word that we would cease for getting where we came from. I praise Moses prayed that you would show us your glory Oh now and I ask it in Christ Jesus' name amen. Why many have left. My burden is to address a topic that is my new found passion I'm head over heels in love with a man named Jesus but there is a specific aspect of the Gospel that I've come to realize we were actually told that we should be telling alongside the gulls from the like to share that with you this evening but I'd like to begin with the best advice I've ever received in ministry and it was from Taj Pockley when I was he was here this evening I was speaking with him at A.S.I. earlier last year in August and I asked him the question I ask everybody I get a chance to speak to who are speakers and have done this a lot longer than I have what is the advice that you wish you would have received when you started knowing what you know now. And instead of answering my question directly Taj began to tell me a story he said there's this man of the poor Bethesda in John Chapter 5 and he's been an invalid for 30 years he's the most helpless case there and when Jesus comes up to the guy he asked him Do you want to be made we'll think we are the answer that question but then Jesus gives the man a command. He says to rise. To take up his mat and to walk and the point the Taj made to me was that 2 of these things make sense and 1 of them doesn't rising make sense and walking makes sense but what's with the map like this Matt literally is just a reminder of 30 years of rejection of abandonment of shame of hopelessness and loneliness so why would his home to pick that up is just a reminder of all this horrible background and a history that this man has had in his experience and then Taj when he says that's exactly the point what Jesus is basically telling the man is to not forget where he came from rock to me right there in the exit knows in an elevator I think I've read your words and it was a beautiful truth to me hit me hard it was the best advice that I could have received to not forget where I came from and the counsel that he gave me reminds me of 2 stories in scripture that lie to cover with you this evening 2 people stories I should say that they contrast in an interesting way they actually converge at the feet of Jesus kind of 2 opposite stories where they converge at the feet of Jesus. The 1st assignment leper in the 2nd is Mary Magdalen and Simon is basically this religious leader who contracts leprosy Now that's a bad day right any day that you contract leprosy it's not starting off well it's a really bad day but the cost is very high because this man is isolated now he can't be with his family he's completely deprived of any form of intimacy right no hugs no handshakes no closeness he's in exile now he has to live in exile and the believe in that day was that whenever you contract leprosy it's a divine curse from God Well what do you do when you're a religious leader a ministry leader who is now viewed as by the people as being cursed by God he's lost his public ministry he's lost access to this but yet Jesus in His great mercy miraculously healed this man and re stores his ministry and what a blessing if you've ever been a situation like that the thought that comes to my mind most recently was a story of Steve Walberg if you've heard what happened to him that. In the. Early Spurs have a late 1st half of last year came down with heavy depression anxiety and panic attacks was hearing voices and discouragement and it was just horrible he couldn't sleep and it had to take sleeping pills to get to sleep and that caused a whole nother problem was it just a difficult situation and he was fully convinced he would never be in ministry ever again and by the grace of the Lord Jesus he went to the nearly as the 2 was treated very very wonderfully There it is in a different condition now than it was when he went there and they found out more the reasons why and it was over a great story of redemption when you hear the story he shares an audio verse he's weeping as he tells the story because he was sure that he would never be in front of God's people ever again and God restored his ministry so imagine how Simon must have felt right. But then you have the story of Mary who was sexually abused as a young person which led to an even harder difficult situations she ends up having a lifestyle of sexual sin that she also is basically viewed as an outcast in the small community of Bethany Bethany is kind of like the intro to the show Cheers which most of you young people have no idea what I'm talking about but they say we want to go where everyone knows your name or something like that everyone knows your name and Bethany everyone knows your business here and yet Jesus in His great mercy sets this woman free as well it seems that it takes some time and multiple efforts but this woman ends up finding great great feet of freedom because of Jesus so eventually there's a feast it's going to be held in honor of Jesus for 2 main reasons 1 for Simon's healing and restoration he's the 1 hosting it with the 2nd is for Lazarus. Lazarus is a family member and he's a famous figure in this community now because he kind of like died in stuff in Jesus wrote him from the dead right eurozone from the dead but this this resurrection was even more significant than the others resurrections are amazing but this 1 is even more significant because there was a view amongst the Jews who kind of inherited pagan Greek views when it comes to the State of the dead that the soul doesn't actually leave the body for 3 days is what they believed and they hated Jesus so much that that resurrection that he had performed could potentially come into question because they fell in that window with 3 days right the raising of. The my mind is what blink that's crazy anyway the the widow's son and gyrus his daughter so those are within that window so they weren't really dead I mean they were only dead for $24.00 hours or whatever just their hatred towards Jesus was so strong that this is how they respond. But the raising of Lazarus is more significant because Lazarus was dead for how long 4 days outside of that window well beyond it and it's this powerful witness it's such a powerful witness that now the Jewish leaders not only want Jesus dead but they're now realizing we're going to have to kill Lazarus too because too many people are believing in Jesus because of this guy just amazing isn't it so then someone shows up to this feast uninvited and she completely steals the show its founder Mark Chapter 14 and I'm going to have some of the text up on the slides here but if there's a feast being held there's music involved there's large gatherings and you know lots of talking Izumi real loud events but there's something that happens that kind of as makes the record stop and causes people to pay attention so in March after $14.00 isn't being a Bethany at the house I'm a leper is Jesus sad at the table a woman came having alabaster flask a very costly oil of Spike nard and then she broke the flask and poured the oil on Jesus's head. This is a token of her gratitude for Jesus is done to set her free but there were some there who were in that among themselves and said Why was this fragrant oil and what's the next word they use wasted just imagine this woman is given everything she has for Jesus and they have the audacity to say that it's a waste to give such a precious gift to Jesus. Why was this wasted for might have been sold for more than 300 dinar and given to the poor and they criticized her sharply now is it the poor that they're really worried about who's the person that starts this statement Judas someone who had a habit of borrowing from the offering plea and not only does Judas cause this problem but the disciples are are kind of catching this kind of contagious so she's accused of being wasteful by giving all that she has for Jesus and if you've been in a situation like this that when you're given everything you got for Jesus people around you don't seem to understand or appreciate it and they get on your case about it never been there Mary has but the interesting thing is what they don't seem to understand is that Mary literally is the only person in the room and seemingly in Jesus' ministry who really seems to get she actually understands that Jesus is about to die and she doesn't fully understand why she's given this offering now but she bought this offering for Jesus is very near she knows he'll die she believes that the disciples are wrestling with believing this she seems to actually be of 1 of the few people who actually gets it. And she's giving it to him now instead of when he's dead and buried We'll find out where more here just a moment but Jesus sees that this woman gets it and he responds to the murmuring he responds and says Leave her alone let her alone why do you trouble her she's done a good work for me you have been harassed for doing a good work for Jesus because it's not the way the people around you would like for it to be done it's not quite pretty right you're making a fool of yourself lady what are you doing right when you give everything to Jesus as opposed to look a certain way your posture supposed to be a certain way. This is for the poor you have with you always Jesus says she's done a good work for me the poor you've had with me always if that's really what you're worried about but me you don't I'm not going to be around always she's done what she could she's come before hand to anoint my body for burial and assuredly I say to you that were ever this Gospel is preached in the whole world what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial not to me put to her something about this woman giving it is so impactful to Jesus because Jesus is having this experience where no 1 really seems to understand this guy really the family doesn't fully understand I'm his disciples don't fully understand them heaven understands but the people he's come to serve in Saved don't seem to but Chivas and that warms Jesus heart and he says fellers leave her alone she's done a good word for me leave her be but this isn't the only murmuring that in that happening we find another version of this salute Chapter 7 turning to their Would you Luke Chapter 7. And it begins in verse $36.00 but this woman is weeping at the feet of Jesus she wets them with her tears and dries them with her here and then annoyance his feet with this fragrant in this fragrance fills the room so that now everyone who is enjoying this party also then stops and their noses telling them that something's going on here something's requiring my attention the whole house goes quiet and everyone's looking at this lady and thinking what this lady about what is it that she's got going on and when this woman humbles herself at the feet of Jesus and garners everyone's attention she also awakens the frustration and just the. It's just amazing really decided he doesn't understand it and he says now when the fairies see who invited them to solve this he spoke to himself saying this man if he were a prophet now the fact that he's questioning the identity of Jesus reminds me of Matthew Luke Chapter 4 would Jesus in the wilderness write if you are the Son of God through yourself down. Because you still was and become bread or whatever and it's very similar what happens at the cross if you're the son of God Save yourself and us so if he were a prophet he would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching him for she is a sinner now I find this interesting for a few reasons 1 he's actually 1 of the primary causes for this woman's lifestyle too he's implying that you know God doesn't really want anything to do with dirty people with people whose wife is just a mess they can't get anything right the outcasts of society the peasants the people who have just sin and foolishness going on their experience God doesn't really like them he doesn't want to touch them doesn't want to be near them this is the impression this man has he's a religious leader but this is the view that he has he doesn't understand that Jesus came to set the captives free he came to minister to the lowly he was a humble servant who was willing to give of himself totally misunderstands the mission in the heart of God But the other interesting thing is here is that what this woman is doing is what Simon should have done in this culture when someone is a guest in your home you're supposed to be the person that serves them right who have no interest in who washes their feet who greets them with a kiss but for whatever reason Simon seemed to have lost sight of how precious that was to have Jesus in his life and in his whole he seems to have just forgotten. And so Jesus reminds him of this and verse 40 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 2 daughters 1 old 500 Inari and the other 50 and 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 1 who he forgave mourn and he said to him You have rightly judged and then he turned to the woman and said to Simon Do you see this woman I entered your helps and you gave me no water for my feet but she's washed my feet with her tears and White them with a hear of her head you gave me no curious but this woman has not ceased to kiss my feet since the time I came in you did not anoint my head with oil but this woman has anointed my feet with fragrant oil therefore I see to you her sins which are many are forgiven for she loved much but to whom a little is forgiven the same loves little and this is a bit of a veiled rebuke to Simon because Simon saw his need little and in turn can fast and acknowledged little and in turn was forgiven little not recognizing that all of us are broken all of us need Jesus right this minute totally lost sight of where he came from and it caused a lot of problems and then those who started the table with him said to themselves who is this man who can even forgive sins and then Jesus said to her Your faith has saved you go in peace I believe the reason why Simon did not perform this cultural norm for Jesus for washing his feet and annoying to him is because Simon forgot where he came from he forgot where Jesus delivered him from and in turn he feels no obligation to serve Jesus. He lost sight of how precious it was to have Jesus in his heart in his home and in his life and Simon lost a blessing you missed it son you missed it you missed a blessing here and I think 1 evidence of us losing sight of where we come from is when we're willing to condemn somebody else for giving all that they have for Jesus even if it is pretty there may be someone who walks into your church or someone has an experience where they don't know what you know they don't understand all the ins and else but when they give everything they got to Jesus it is a pretty right it doesn't look the way that you would want for it to look but if these people are given Jesus everything they've got with what they know leave them alone he's glad to receive it and another evidence I think of our own will in this is our own willingness to humble ourselves of the feet of Jesus he really didn't see the need just imagine Jesus walks into his home and he just seems to ignore the guy someone else the city outcast has to be the 1 that serves Jesus but I think that's another evidence we find ourselves in situations that we just don't feel like humbling ourselves we don't feel like serving it's probably another good evidence of the fact that we've forgotten where we came from how good God has been to us that what he's delivered is from so when you see somebody making a fool of themselves by given Jesus whatever they have leave him alone he's glad to receive it and I guarantee you if they're in a situation where they're coming close to Jesus he's going to tell them the right ways in the wrong ways but when they're given everything they have with what they know leave them be glad to receive it but I see that Mary really does remember where she comes from and this is why she gives everything she has for Jesus there's no offering that could be sufficient to give him in her mind the best she could give. Simon forgot where he came from and that's why he did nothing for Jesus and he lost track of the honor that he had the privilege that he had and you know I found the moments right don't feel like giving of myself for Jesus and for his people in service are those moments where I've forgotten where I came from never been there I've been in experience for the last 2 years of just darkness and I'm just starting to come out of it of depression it was very difficult to get out of bed in the mornings I did I used to be awake at a very early to commune with God and I didn't stop praying I didn't stop reading I didn't start doing ministry to stop preaching or giving Bible studies I knew to keep doing these things but I was just dealing with this oppression with this darkness and hardship and even in the midst of that time I feel so ashamed of myself now because in those moments even in those moments of not being who I wanted to be a losing sight of where I came from I was not the man that Jesus got ahold of in the fall of 2004 even in those moments I was a different man and I feel ashamed of myself that I forgot where I came from I lost sight of how precious Jesus had been the ME and the even in that moment I was not the same man I lost sight of that and I don't know if you've had those situations or not but this is why I was so grateful for what Chad shared this morning I think that we as people who are most of us never asked for this to be in front of people to be public speakers I think it's of a men's value for us to be willing to be vulnerable with the people that we're ministering to and that includes parenting it includes teaching pasturing whatever your role may be vulnerability is not a weakness it's a strength. And the story that was mentioned this morning that Robert Robinson I think was his name he forgot where he came from he penned these gorgeous words about the grace of God but in his darkness and discouragement he lost sight of all of it it can happen it can happen to any of us were so prone in this is 1 of the reasons why I believe people do go for the doors they lose sight of how sweet Jesus has been to them they have lost their 1st love like the church at Ephesus they don't understand their need like a load to see in church and this is what's causing many of our people I think to stumble and to wrestle their experience and I also believe that this is why many people find themselves idle in their Christian experience and yet sometimes we have a whole lot of commentary to give about the people for what they are doing or what they're not doing while we ourselves are idle and if we find ourselves in those critical positions I would encourage us to stop to self reflect and ask the question Have I forgotten where I came from because this can change this critical spirit that we may find amongst ourselves that can change by the grace of the Lord Jesus I'm so glad for that so I don't know where you find yourself this evening and maybe the story of Mary resonates with you that you're giving what you have for Jesus and no 1 seems to understand you or appreciate you my counsel to you is to not forget where you came from it's your saving grace is. Maybe it's a story of Simon that resonates with you come like what I've had to wrestle with that you just lost sight of how precious it is to sit and weep at the feet of Jesus and have him in your home and in your life and my counsel to you is exactly the same don't forget where you came from Mary's offering is to be mentioned where ever the gospel is preached never wondered why. What I'm about to read to you has been 1 of the most beautiful statements I've read from the pen of inspiration and heartbreaking statements I've ever read from the pen of inspiration from desire of ages 565. The loneliness of Christ and immediately we have to stop you ever being lonely I have the loneliness of Christ some of us assume that Jesus experience just got bad in the last week then it was bad as there is are right now for the 1st part but just last week was bad if you read desire of ages Jesus experience was 1 of suffering from still disturbed he wasn't understood he just felt like he just didn't fit in but she says the loneliness of Christ separated from the heavenly course the only people who do seem to understand him and he separated from them living the life of humanity Listen to this was never understood or appreciated by the disciples as it should have been and Jesus was often grieved because his disciples did not give that which he should have received from him and I assure you the fact that Jesus weeps just as profoundly and strongly today because I don't give Jesus what he disapproves Jesus deserves far better than I have given him far better and I'm ashamed of myself with that and it brings grief to him that he doesn't receive from us the things that are just practical and reasonable praise adoration and service we treat him like Simon did he Jesus how you doing so anyway and we go on with our allies we do not appreciate Jesus as we ought and it brings grief to him. Because we've forgotten where we came from we've forgotten our 1st love we've forgotten hell precious and sweet it is to have Jesus the Almighty keying in our hearts our homes and our lives and he wants that to change today you're not who you think you are and neither are my and we have to be reminded of this this evening. He knew that if they were under the influence of the heavenly engines that accompanied him they too would think no offering of sufficient value to declare their heart spiritual affection and this is why he was so off put by them insulting someone else who is giving everything they have for Jesus we bring in that same grief and we get chippy with our brother and because of how they worship. There is offering is to be mentioned wherever the gospel is preached why because we're prone to not get it. And we're prone to for good and he wants to remind us with the preaching of the Gospel the Laodicean message you're not who you think you are you forgotten where you came from and here's the example of someone who actually got it and lived without this lady's story is amazing she's not only President very gets it she's president of the cross she's there she understands but it gets better her giving it was a frequent reminder to Jesus through every step of his sufferings this so nobody is going to appreciate what I'm going through right now because the devil is continually tempting Jesus no 1 appreciates you no 1 cares you're wasting your time then why bother Jesus just walk in leave these people and he could have but there's something about you that gives Jesus the intrinsic motivation to keep going even when he senses that we don't get it we don't appreciate it and we forget where we come from. But it certainly helps to know that somebody is going to get it and appreciate it and she does well all seem to reject Jesus in this time of need want to with of this fragrant offering that she put on his body reminds Jesus that someone's going to respond and it's going to be worth it even if it's just for her. Even if she is the only 1 who would do it he knew that he was loved and appreciated in the does suffer it would be worth the cost she has no idea how profound this gift is to Jesus has no clue she could have given Jesus a card thank you jesus love Mary she could have given Jesus will do jewelry I don't know what she could have given right a gift card she could have done something but she gives him a gift that will be present with him at every step of the Germany he can smell this offering and Jesus is offering is meant to be a perpetual minder to you and I in our darkest moments so that we don't lose sight of where we came from but she continues oh why do those surveyed just 560.2 the fragrant gree of a gift which Mary had thought to lavish upon the dead body of the Savior she poured upon his living form and 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 that 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 and earnest of the love that would be hears from his redeemed ones forever this is literally a foreshadowing to Jesus that other people will respond it's not just her Jesus other people will respond in this is what keeps him going. Mary knew not the full significance of her deed of love she didn't understand she could not answer her accusers and neither can we and we don't have to because Jesus is willing to stand up to tell them leave him alone let him be your advocate whether his silence your accusers don't worry about them he silenced her accusers that she couldn't answer them she could not explain why she had chosen that occasion for doing to Jesus here's why the Holy Spirit had planned for her and she had obeyed his promptings inspiration stoops to give no reason and unseen presence it's speaks to mind and soul and moves the heart to action it is its own justification Christ told the meaning of or act it in this he gave her more that he had received it in that she have poured this point on my body he said she did it for my burial it has the alabaster box was broken in full the whole house with its fragrance So Christ was to die his body was to be broken but he was to rise from the tomb and the fragrance of his wife was to fill the earth and this is why Paul says which is an efficient 5 to Christ had love does it not given himself roasted offering in a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor the listener with Jesus says very early I say unto you Christ declared worse whoever this Gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world this also shall be preached that she has done should be spoken of for a memorial to her this is the college here were given looking into the future the Savior spoke with certainty concerning his gospel. This literally means that when we're preaching the gospel we're supposed to tell her story this was an obstacle there's a component of the Laodicean message and our produce in our flesh to forget the goodness of God that we need this aspect not just the cross we should be preaching both were told by Jesus in the pit of inspiration it was to be preached throughout the world and as far as the gospel extended Mary's gift would shed its fragrance and harvest would be blessed through her unstudied act kingdoms would rise and fall the names of monarchs in Congress would be forgotten but this woman's deed would be immortalized on the pages of secret history you think she asked for that you think that's why she did this for the recognition that's why she could be recognized she just wanted to show Jesus I get it I remember what you deliver me from and this is the least I can do it everything I have and it's the least that I can do until time should be no more than broken alabaster box would tell the story of the abundant love of God for a fallen race she did not know that her offering was an object lesson of the undying love of Jesus but just think about this guys God literally remember the Holy Spirit planned for her God literally use this woman who the people the community want nothing to do with even a religious leader wants nothing to do with God uses her to minister to Jesus just like last night when we talked about Alija in Moses God is using people to minister to the needs of Jesus. When to talk about another 1 on Sabbath morning so when I was being sent to minister to Jesus I love this. He has so much faith in this woman that no 1 else had faith in and she thrives and her give still speaks today by the grace of God because she followed the call of God into life I think it's amazing you're offering can bring Jesus that same level of satisfaction and love given what you've got given what you can it brings gloom joy and gladness to his heart in this is why you want your story told but you know the beautiful thing is her story can be your story doesn't just have to be hers. Took her multiple encounters with the grace of Christ to be set free and to finally get it but what she did she was a force to be reckoned with so if you feel this evening that you've mastered too many times and that you can't come back you can you can bring your offering of gratitude to the feet of Jesus and I assure you he will be glad to receive it he will have her story can indeed be your story and my question to you this evening is have you forgotten where you came from. Have you lost sight of how precious it is to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus and it is given what you got Does he even matter to you anymore or is he just some aspect of your daily schedule at best and in reality he just part of your weekly schedule you get in the car you get a happy sat with me head on your way is your story like that of Simon's Jesus has radically transform your life you are on the brink of death and exile Jesus saves your soul and you find yourself today losing sight of all of it does he really do anything for you you hear stories about Jesus and he seems like this for a figure that is of historical significance. If that church story the grace of Christ is amazing and it's available to you this evening the fragrant offering of his sacrifice can be something to awaken to you the beauty of what's available and he wants to know this evening are you willing to give it another go or are you willing to confess and acknowledge the fact you've forgotten where you came from the article you think you are and that you had a desperate need of something that you can't provide for yourself we're told in the faith or live by Want to leaven it in 88 materials as well that what is justification by faith it is the work of God only in the glory of man in the dust and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself and when men see their nothingness then they are prepared to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ have you lost sight of your nothingness this evening if you have that can change in him. Hopefully this evening this reminder this woman's story can can stir something in our hearts and recognize that there is something better maybe you find yourself like idea that Jesus deserves better than I've given him that can change what I'd like to do is invite those who are coming out for a closing music to come but I want you to take some time for introspection as they're playing music to just reflect where am I right now am I who I think I am Have I lost sight of that true reality that I need Jesus there's nothing good in me I've failed in many many factions in my experience and chiefly in forgetting just how precious and sweet Jesus is we can lay that at his feet the sea in the game and we can come home and we can be transformed by the power in the grace of Christ Jesus God in heaven I asked 1st and foremost that you would forgive us for losing sight of where we came from of not giving Hugh what you deserve. And the Racine assuming that it brings grief to you when you don't receive that which is due you for most praise adoration and service and Lord I just pray that through a message that I wish to be communicated more clearly than I feel I have this evening I pray that you would minister to our hearts you speak clearly to our consciences in that we would see the things you need us to see and you would mold and shape us in the people you have for us to be but above all we want to see Jesus and our response to the cross to see our true condition our true need and all we want to fall at your feet and receive from you would only you can give so I pray now as we take this time to search your hearts to confess to you or that you would minister to us in a very special special way that time begins now. Father I think you. In the presence of Jesus is joy ever more and I pray now that you would open our eyes. To how we can share what it is that we're coming to learn of the course this week with the people in our city of influence to share within the beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ and what he's done for us and God I pray that you would be with what's going to be shared throughout the remainder of this weekend as we continue to search your hearts and realize how you dealt with us when we run when we stumbled and when we failed that you're still pursuing us you still love us and you have something better to offer us than we're currently seeking for ourselves so that I choose to receive that this evening afresh and I pray that for each of us cover our sins I pray the Lord with the blood of Jesus Phyllis with your Holy Spirit. And protect us as we leave this place to see we ask these things now in Christ Jesus' name. In. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio hers if you would like to listen to more sermon leave it W W W.


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