Tag Archives: Sin

Know Him As Savior First

An excerpt out of Calling All Workers “The Harvest Is Ripe, the Worker Is You!” by Michelle E. Caswell
Get your copy on purelyhisministry.com, abooksmart.com, barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com or Evangel Bookstore.Screenshot 2015-03-09 20.12.02

The more you realize how much you have truly been forgiven for, the deeper you will be able to love. You are not any better than anyone else. We are all horrible sinners. The quicker you know that, the more deeply you can connect with the Lord and others. God knows how bad we are, how good we think we are, and He still chose us. God sees the end from the beginning. He saw all the sins you were going to commit, and He looked at you and said, “See that one? I’ll take her as my own.” Let that one sink in a minute.

God has so many names and titles, but you need to know Him as your Savior first, because the greatest commandment is love—and the key to experiencing that kind of love is realizing what you’ve been forgiven for.
Those who have been forgiven much, love much.
— Luke 7:47 (paraphrase of verse)

What have you been forgiven for? Reach into the depths of your painful past, and recount the things He has forgiven you for—in order for you to love better. This will also give you the joy of your salvation back! Keep in mind, it’s important to look at your sin without downplaying it by comparing it to someone else’s “worse” sin.

Real Life Example:
I had been in rehab for a few months at the time, and I remember holding onto the “fact” that I was a good person who happened to have a drug addiction. I mean, “Come on Lord…I would give my last cigarette, smoke my last bowl of marijuana with someone, make dinner for elderly neighbors, I was even nice when I turned a guy down who asked me to dance. I was a good person, and I still am.”

I was trying to make myself not feel so bad. In fact, I was justifying my behavior to the Lord, while trying to convince myself that my “good deeds” could cancel out my sin. I wanted to hold onto some shred of self-esteem. That’s when the Lord knocked me off my high horse and showed me my motives.

He said, “Look at the reasons that you chose to do those things for people…it was all about what they thought of you, not that you cared about them. You made dinner for those elderly women, because a guy was watching you—and you wanted him to think that you would be a good wife. Apart from me, you are nothing.”

I doubled over, holding my stomach and bawling. I realized that I had absolutely nothing to offer, and there was no good in me. That’s the day I really began to change. I was emptied of myself, and the Lord was able to start filling me back up with Him.

When you realize the sin in your own life—whether past or present—and recognize Jesus as your much-needed Savior, it will help you relate better to those the Lord calls you to work with, and will give you a deeper compassion for them. You don’t have to have a super crazy testimony to have a deep understanding and appreciation for God’s grace and how to love His people. You don’t need to experience the exact same trauma or sin in your past to be able to empathize with someone’s deep pain. However, when truly recognizing your own deep pains and horrible sin choices, you will be more equipped with compassion than if you don’t allow yourself to go there. So GO THERE. Take some time with the Lord, and ask Him to remind you of all the things He’s forgiven you for—and then begin to thank Him.

Too many times, we want to compare our sins to another, and decide for ourselves that their sin is worse than ours. That is not how the Lord weighs sin. You have been forgiven of so much, so take the time to recognize it, and watch the joy of your salvation return!

“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown.
But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
— Luke 7:47

Take Your Place

God used older women to save my life and teach me how to live for Him and now He’s counting on me to do the same for someone else. I have a huge passion for women and girls who are feeling alone and stuck in sin. There is alone without any friends and there is alone in a crowd, because no one REALLY knows her. We weren’t created to be alone, we were made for real relationships with real women. Those who have been rescued have the duty and privilege of rescuing others. We shouldn’t be leaving it up to society to raise up young women when it’s clearly our responsibility according to scripture.

“As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience. Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good works and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.” Titus 2:1-5

Ladies we have been given the perfect love by a perfect God, don’t you think we ought to give it away to the hurting women of this world? They are desperately looking for love and direction like we formally were. Who better to give it to them than us? We are His hands and feet now, so He is depending on us to love others like He loves us. God didn’t allow my sin to stop Him from reaching me through those women, in fact, He busted through the boundaries I had in place and saved my life. Once a meth addict now a ministry leader all because older women to a risk on me.

Whether you are 90, 60, 30, 20 or 14…you are always an older woman to someone, whether in age or maturity based on your experiences. Think of the things you learned by being around women who cared about you and taught you, by how they lived their life. We as older women need to take our rightful place and teach the younger women how to make it in this world. It’s tough for all of us, but imagine if you didn’t have anyone positive in your life. They need relationship and we need relationship-it is all about relationship. This is not a new concept or revelation, this is straight from the Bible and it works IF we will do what it says. Besides, if you’re already living like this, just start taking someone with you, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Think about the impact that those women had on my life and now the impact I’m having on so many others. God has a way bigger plan than any of us realize, so find an older woman for yourself and be an older woman for another. It’s time ladies….let’s turn this world upside down one Girl at a time-together!

Pregnant Again?? Part 3

A few years ago, I was listening to a Bible teaching out of Genesis about Jacob and his wife Rebekah (who was barren at the time), she said to her husband “Give me children lest I die.” I looked across the room to see my friend abruptly stand up, grab her stuff and storm out of the room. A few minutes later she briskly made a Bee Line for me, leaned over and whispered loudly in my ear, “Every kid I ever had, I killed. Rebekah wanted children so badly and couldn’t. What kind of person does that make me?” She burst into angry tears and then stormed out of the room again.

God used that study to bust open a wound that still needed to be healed in her and apparently wanted to use it to open one in me too. She had three abortions that she hadn’t allowed herself to heal from or even feel the emotions of the loss, which is very common. Her confession got me to think about my own experience and what I hadn’t yet dealt with. I had already forgiven myself at that time, but I hadn’t processed the emotions, except for the shame. I could feel my eyes start to well up, so I found a quiet place alone. You see, in order to survive emotionally through having the abortions, I turned off all of my emotions the best I could and tried to just think of it as a medical procedure. Once the “procedure” was over I chose to never think about it again. If something happened that reminded me then I would quickly dismiss the thought and move onto something else to distract me, but I couldn’t do it this time.

“Lord please tell my kids that I love them both and that I am SO sorry for what I did. I look forward to finally meeting them someday. Please ask them to forgive me?” My head was bowed when He showed me that classic picture of Jesus with all the little kids around Him, it usually has the scripture “Do not keep the little children from coming to me.” Using that mental image the Lord revealed to me that He has had my babies with Him in Heaven since the moment of their death here on Earth. He had been raising them both along with my friend’s three children and every other aborted baby. He has been raising all of those kids in Heaven safely and perfectly, “Training them up in the way they should go, so that when they are old they will never depart.” He has been holding them and adoring them this whole time.

Tears streaming down my face as I pictured their little faces and I said it again, as if He didn’t hear me the first time. “Lord, please tell them that I am so sorry. Please ask them to forgive me. And tell them that I can’t wait to see them someday.” The Lord responded in such a gentle, but profound way, “They have already forgiven you. I have raised them in forgiveness.” I needed to hear those precious words from Him. God’s grace never ceases to absolutely BLOW ME AWAY.

I had known that the souls of my kids were in Heaven, but I had never pictured them living and growing up there. That image was so enlightening to me. After the Lord showed me that vision I really wanted to find that picture to remind me of what He shared with me. The following day I went to a garage sale and wouldn’t you know it…I found that picture of Jesus and the children for $2.00. It now hangs in my home as a reminder of God’s grace and goodness.

Side note…Notice that the picture has two girls and two boys. I believe it represents the four kids I would have had. Fast forward…I now have two biological boys and two stepdaughters. God has been returning all that Satan has stolen from me, I will receive some of it here on Earth and the rest I will receive in Heaven.

I do not share this part of my story to encourage anyone to have an abortion, rather to encourage you not to, because I and most women I talk to wish we could take it back and have those children with us today, but we don’t. You do not need to make the same mistake we did. When you allow, truly allow, a story like this to penetrate your heart, why would you or any of us choose to sin against a God who loves sinners like this? It is His goodness and grace that has led me to repentance again and again.

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” Romans 6:1-2

Jesus & Children

Impossible

If you have never been forgiven by God then don’t even try forgiving others, it won’t work. You would be kidding yourself to think that you can forgive someone when you yourself have not been forgiven. Being forgiven by a person is NOT the same as being forgiven by God. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

You can’t give what you don’t have. It’s impossible! Jesus did His part by dying to pay for your sins to be forgiven-your part is receiving that forgiveness and then give it away. “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

Forgiven Much

How do you have such a deep relationship with Jesus when you didn’t grow up in the church like I did? What makes you different?” My honest answer, “You probably take your salvation for granted. Maybe you think you’re a good person. It’s not like you were a murderer or something horrible like that, right? I think the difference between you and I is that I know I’m not a  good person . I know my sins were horrific and I deserved to live in Hell for all of Eternity. Do you?”

So maybe you didn’t get into drugs, get divorced or murder anyone. But the truth is-you have been forgiven of WAY more than you give God credit for. Oh sure, maybe you weren’t “as bad as me,” but you were bad. Go back to the day you said “yes” to Jesus. Why did you decide that would be the day? What did you need to be forgiven for? What did you need to be saved from?

Take some time today and thank the Lord for ALL that you’ve been forgiven for. Stop comparing yourself to others. Your list is long and it continues to grow, so keep it real. What should crush your heart in a good way, is that He knew the list and He still chose to die for you and pay the price. When you truly realize and accept that Jesus died for your horrific sin, you will begin to love Him and others in a way that will blow your mind. We have all been forgiven of SO MUCH, but only few really grasp it, because the others are too busy comparing their sin to someone else, but that’s not how God weighs things.

 Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that’s why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7:47