Rags to Riches
Pain, so many women have been through it. Statistics tell us that 1 out of 4 women reading this were sexually abused as a child. These women, whether they were abused once or multiple times, often carry the rags of shame. They tend to see themselves as dirty and unclean. Many abused women feel that no godly man will ever want them. They believe that a good man will not want “used goods”.
Then there are married women who still deal with the bitterness of their abuse and it prevents healthy intimacy in marriage. Sexual abuse not dealt with can lead many women down a desolate road of poor self-esteem, bitterness and anger.
Unfortunately so many girls, who were abused as a child, grow up searching for love using their bodies as a way to try to gain that acceptance. Some abused girls become promiscuous in their teenage years, desperately looking for the acceptance and love that was stolen from them. Sin however, never fills voids but leaves us depleted and exhausted.
Then many other women, while they’ve never been physically abused, have experienced so much emotional and verbal abuse they have no confidence in themselves. Many women see themselves as not measuring up, not beautiful or intelligent enough. They struggle to rise above negative words and unrealistic expectations. They were born for riches but only see rags.
Let me share with you the story of one woman who started in rags but ended in riches.
Her story starts with the religious leaders of her day catching her in the middle of having sex. Talk about a humiliating and awkward position to be placed in. They made her stand in front of everyone and asked Jesus:
“Teacher, we caught this woman in the act of adultery. In his teachings, Moses ordered us to stone women like this to death. What do you say?” They asked this to test him. They wanted to find a reason to bring charges against him. Jesus bent down and used his finger to write on the ground. When they persisted in asking him questions, he straightened up and said, “The person who is sinless should be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he bent down again and continued writing on the ground. One by one, beginning with the older men, the scribes and Pharisees left. Jesus was left alone with the woman. Then Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Where did they go? Has anyone condemned you?” The woman answered, “No one, sir.” Jesus said, “I don’t condemn you either. Go! From now on don’t sin.” (John 8:3-11 GWT)
Beautiful woman I want you to know Jesus does not condemn you. Imagine yourself being in this scenario. Place your name where this woman was. What would you have done if your pastor or leader caught you having sex with someone else? Can you sympathize with her shame and embarrassment? Jesus could have banished her from His presence because of her sin. But Jesus did the opposite. He told her He didn’t condemn her. That is so powerful. Many people view God as an angry and vengeful God. They think He’s ready to banish them for their failures. Yet, I love what Jesus says, “I don’t condemn you…” let that sink in. Place yourself in that moment of sin and imagine Christ right now saying, “I don’t condemn you.”
Would you say that you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Have you asked Him to forgive you of your sins? If you answer yes to both of the questions I want you to know that God not only forgave you but He made you new. You are a new creation, the past in gone and you are pure.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence”(GWT). That word ‘new’ in the Greek is ‘kainos’ and Strong’s tells us it means: recently made, fresh, unused, unworn, of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon an unheard of. Woman of God today by the power of Christ you are NEW.
Let me close with this thought…
Joshua was wearing filthy clothes and was standing in front of the Messenger. The Messenger said to those who were standing in front of him, “Remove Joshua’s filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken your sin away from you, and I will dress you in fine clothing.” (Zechariah 3:3, 4 GWT)
Imagine yourself today as Joshua and the messenger is Jesus. ___________ was wearing filthy clothes and was standing in front of Jesus. Jesus said to those who were standing in front of him, ‘Remove _____________’s filthy clothes’ Then he said to ___________, ‘See, I have taken your sin away from you, and I will dress you in fine clothing’
Jesus says to you beautiful daughter, Remove your filthy clothes, which is your shame, bitterness, hurt, low self-esteem, hatred towards and maybe even yourself, and put on the beautiful clothing Jesus is providing to you. Jesus clothes you with, joy, peace, love, beauty, and FREEDOM!
Let God take you from Rags to Riches.
Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for kainos (Strong’s 2537)”. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2013. 16 Mar 2013. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm? Strongs=G2537&t=KJV >