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She Who Has Been Forgiven Much, Loves Much

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This week we have seen that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) – that women and men are equally sinful and equally in desperate need of the grace, mercy and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

We took a look at how I thought I was such a “good person” or “good Christian” for so many years – and then how God revealed to me the depths of my own sin and depravity in December of 2008 when I read the book Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a]you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,”[b] also said, “You shall not murder.”[c] If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.  James 8:2-11

I have broken many of God’s commands – too many times to even count.  I am a law-breaker.

Today – we look at Jesus’ incredible mercy, grace and forgiveness that He offers freely to all who put their faith completely in Him as both Savior AND Lord.  And we look at the only proper response to Him.

LUKE 7 – A parable of Jesus:

41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty.42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?

43 Simon (the pharisee) replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

FROM PEACEFULWIFE :

I used to think that this parable of Jesus meant that I would never be able to love Him as much as, say, a murderer, a thief, an adulterer – you know – a REALLY AWFUL sinner.  I figured that those kinds of people would be able to love Jesus a lot once they repented and turned to Him because they had been horrible sinners.  But I would never be able to love Him that deeply because I was “not a really awful sinner.”

Then God showed me the depths of my sin (yesterday’s post).

Suddenly, I saw that I, April Cassidy, am a wretched sinner.  Not just a bit of a sinner – but a wretched sinner.  I realized that there is no human on earth who has more sin than I do in the sight of my holy God.  I realized for the first time the MASSIVE sin debt I owed to God.  I didn’t just owe Him a few thousand bucks.  I owed Him billions.  Me.  And I had no way to repay Him.

I wanted to run away and live in a cave for the rest of my life.

  • For the first time, I realized just how spiritually impoverished I was.  For the first time I realized that there truly was NO GOOD in me at all.  Jesus calls this being “poor in spirit” – and He blesses this posture of humility in the beatitudes.
  • For the first time, I realized just how much Jesus paid for on my behalf on the cross – how much I deserved that punishment and God’s wrath on my wickedness.
  • For the first time, I saw the depths of the grace, love, mercy and forgiveness of Christ.
  • For the first time, I realized that I had been forgiven MUCH.

Then I began to love Jesus MUCH.

MY RESPONSE

I became willing to:

  • fall on my face in the deepest mourning and weeping over my sin – repent and turn to Christ
  • give up anything for Jesus – anything He calls sin – I want it GONE.
  • surrender my life to Jesus daily, being His servant, His slave – I owe Him EVERYTHING!  How could I do anything less than sacrifice all that I am, all that I have and all that I might ever be?  He is so worthy!
  • throw out everything my culture had taught me that was against the Word of God, even if it meant I looked crazy to the world.  I didn’t care.
  • seek to please Jesus and honor Him no matter the cost.
  • grant Him total access to my heart and my life, holding nothing back.
  • die to myself, nail my sinful nature to the cross (as often as it takes) – then give up my wisdom, my understanding, my culture, my political correctness, my feminist and worldly mindset, my materialism, my selfishness, my pride, my desires, my plans, my hopes, my rights and my dreams
  • live for Christ – pick up my cross and embrace His wisdom, His understanding, His desires, His plans, His Word, His will, His dreams and seek His glory alone.
  • make Jesus truly LORD of my life and keep Him as THE FOCUS and PURPOSE of my life.
  • seek His face, desire to know Him more, have the deepest hunger to read His Word, hear His voice and be in His presence.
  • praise Him in my heart all day long every day.
  • develop a thankful, grateful heart for all He has done for me.
  • give up seeking the approval of other people.
  • give up every idol – my pride, my desire for control, my feelings of being loved – and to see my idols as poison.
  • wait on God – as long as it takes – but I refused to run ahead and try to take control anymore.  I decided I would wait right where I was until I was 80 years old if I had to – but I was not going to run ahead of God or my husband’s leadership any more.
  • become a sincere disciple of Christ with total devotion to Him.
  • face my deepest fears and take a leap of faith, trusting Christ Jesus to be strong enough and wise enough to lead me.
  • trash my understanding of godliness, Christianity, femininity, masculinity, marriage, family, God, Jesus, God’s Word and build completely from scratch on the foundation of Christ and His Word alone.  Even if I was the only one who chose this path.  Nothing mattered anymore but Jesus, knowing and loving Him, serving Him, pleasing Him and bringing Him glory and praise.
  • find my contentment completely in Christ alone – no matter what my circumstances may be.

10 thoughts on “She Who Has Been Forgiven Much, Loves Much

  1. Very true, thank you April. My marriage is so blessed since I started reading your posts, I thank God for using you to help me and other women. I am glad I found this blog early in my marriage

  2. BY BALLISTA74:

    In the spiritual economy, sin is sin is sin. We want to rationalize things away. I’m a good person. At least I’m not as bad as Joe over there or Suzy over there…or April on that blog…

    If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. (James 2:8-10)

    In God’s economy, lying is the same as adultery. Giving respect to persons is the same as murder. If you break God’s law, you are breaking God’s law. And that only has one penalty:

    For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

    All flesh that has been tainted by sin will be burned up. All of it. This is the wage that sin earns. I can not stand in my flesh before the Lord nor continue in the Lord with my flesh. But praise be to God that He gave us the grace through Christ Jesus to be saved of our souls. Not of our flesh, what is profane will be burnt away.

    I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

    The properly performed baptism is a symbol of this. Dead with Christ in the grave, raised to life in Him. But only in faith. You can not hold onto the flesh of old. You can not hold onto your sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) and expect to see the gates of heaven. You can not hold onto one scrap of the flesh or one part of the world and expect to be welcomed into the fold as a “good and faithful servant”. Only dying in the flesh so Christ may live within you will get that done.

    Great testimony the last couple of days, April!

  3. It seems that in many Christian marriages (I actually think this is an understatement), the reality is that the wife is the religious leader who is praying, “Lord, I thank you that I am not like that publican over there (my husband).” The husband may or may not be praying, “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner” — but I think husbands are praying that more often than their wives. Yet most Christian wives are unaware that this is their attitude (or, if they are aware, would say that they are right to feel this way).

    So, praise God for the wives who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

  4. Another encouraging posts for those of us trying to improve our relationships with our husbands and the Lord.

    Could you recommend a book that would help me to study the Bible? Spending regular time in God’s word is one area that I struggle with. Having some type of primer showing me how to break it down into manageable steps would be helpful. Thanks!

    1. LisainVermont,
      Read the Bible for Life is a great study tool by Guthrie. 🙂

      But to me, the most important thing is just to get in and read, asking God to speak to you and with a willing heart to obey anything you see He is saying. Maybe start with the gospel of John, then Acts, Romans and the epistles. Then maybe Psalms, Isaiah and Jeremiah.

      I try to read about a chapter per day, but if you have time, you can read more. It is more important to absorb what you are reading than to read as much as you cAn, in my view. 🙂

      You can also listen to or read sermons by John Piper or David Platt, they bring the Bible to life. 🙂

  5. April, thank you for your transparency and insight. I find your posts to be challenging and refreshing. You and David are spot-on with where God is working on me right now… Guilty, guilty, guilty of a holier-than-thou (dear husband) attitude. I am grateful I serve a MIGHTY GOD, because He has a lot of work to do on my heart. The deeper I go into the discovery of true Biblical respect and submission, the more I realize how long this journey will be. But I’m also finding He is granting me peace to wait for it to unfold, rather than trying to hurry it along and check it off so I can pat myself on the back with a “Yep. Respect & Submission… done.” I guess God doesn’t work like that!

  6. Very nice video message. I am faithful in God to reunite my wife and I. Everythimg you’ve covered we’ve experienced.

    1. Hopeful Husband,
      I pray that God might heal each of you, draw you close to Himself and that He might reconcile your marriage and heal the deep wounds so that your marriage might bring glory and praise to God!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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