Posts Tagged ‘Shame


Jesus Frees Us From Prison

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana. This message is based on Galatians 3:15-25.


Jesus Frees Us From Our Past

The latest message from Griffith 1st Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana. This is the second message in our series, “Jesus Frees Us” and is based on Galatians 1:11-24.


The Heavy Burden of Guilt

My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. — Psalm 38:4 (NIV)

Guilt is a heavy burden, is it not?  When you’ve done something for which you are truly ashamed, the guilt of that sin weighs on you like a 2-ton boulder.  It presses down on you and consumes your thoughts.  “Why did I do it?  What was I thinking?  What if I get caught?  How could I have been so foolish?!?”  The guilt of our sins is all too real.

The forgiveness that Christ has paid for on the cross is real, too.  Hebrews 8:12 makes this promise for those who trust in Christ for salvation under God’s new covenant: “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”  When we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, the heavy weight and burden of guilt is lifted off of us and we can move and breathe and truly live!  We are free from the burden of guilt!  Only Christ can free us from it.  Only He can rescue us from our guilt and only He can cleanse our consciences.

Are you carrying around a heavy load of guilt today?  Are you being crushed under the weight of a burden of guilt?  It’s time to be set free!  Jesus wants to lift that heavy burden off of you and quiet those nagging voices of guilt in your mind.  Let go of the burden.  You are free in Christ.  “…if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36, NIV).  Amen!

PRAYER: Help me, O Father, to live in the freedom You give through Jesus. Remind me of the forgiveness You have imparted to me. Lord, I cannot bear the guilt and weight of my sin and shame. Thank You for sending Jesus to take it away. Help me to let go of the burden of my guilt today. In Jesus’ name, amen.


“I Have Sinned…”

Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. — (Psalm 51:10-12, NIV)

After committing adultery with Bathsheba and murdering her husband, Uriah, David was caught in his sin.  Accused of the crime by the prophet Nathan, David confessed simply, “I have sinned against the LORD.”  He did not try to cover it up or pass the buck.  He admitted his sin and sometime later he penned Psalm 51.

David knew that sin has consequences.  His heart had been damaged and he needed God to give him a new one.  His spirit was weak and he needed it to be renewed with strength.  His fellowship with God had been broken and he needed to sense the intimacy he had had with God previously.  He longed for the Holy Spirit’s comforting presence.  His joy was gone, replaced by guilt over his sin.  Finally, he asks for a spirit that is surrendered to the will of God.

How does the knowledge of your sin affect you?  Do you carry around a burden of guilt when you have sinned against the Lord?  Does your spirit seem crushed and broken?  Is your fellowship with Jesus disturbed?  Do you lose the joy of life and salvation?  Does Psalm 51 resonate with you?  Take heart, my friends!  Jesus died to forgive our sins and joy, fellowship and refreshment are only a step away.  Confess your sin to the Lord, knowing that He is faithful and has forgiven you for every sinful thought, word and deed.  May we never take His grace for granted and may we always be willing to repent.
PRAYER: Father God, I have sinned against You time and time again. I have sinned against You in word, thought and deed. I am in need of Your mercy today. Do not treat me as my sins deserve. Heal my broken heart and spirit. Fill me with the joy of Your salvation today. Thank You for forgiving me over and over again. In Jesus’ saving name I pray, amen.

The Past Is The Past

James 2:25-26 (NIV)
In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
​Twice in the New Testament (Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25), Rahab is held up as a model of faith.  Rahab was a prostitute.  Yes, a prostitute.  Rahab, a prostitute, is considered a hero in the Bible.​  She was considered righteous because of simple faith expressed in action.  She trusted in God and she did the right thing and was declared right with God.
You see, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past.  It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or the sins you’ve committed.  It doesn’t matter what you’ve said or thought.  It doesn’t matter what relationships you have screwed up.  It doesn’t matter what jobs you may have worked in the past.  The past is the past and while those experiences may have shaped you, they don’t have to define you.  Rahab was a prostitute in the past, but she became a hero and model of faith.  You may have been an addict in the past, but you can be a hero of faith now.  You may have been an abuser in the past, but you can be a hero of faith now.  You may have been a doubter in the past, but you can be a hero of faith now.  You may have cheated in the past, but you can be a hero of faith now.  Whatever your past is, leave it in the past.  
When Jesus comes into your life, He makes you brand new.  He takes that which is old and makes it new.  He does away with all of the past mistakes and failures.  He does away with the guilt and the shame.  He cleanses you by His blood and fills you with the Holy Spirit.  He washes away the guilty stains and sets you on a new course toward a new destiny.  Don’t let your past define you or keep you from living a life of faith and faithfulness now.  Put hands and feet to your faith and live a faithful life starting today.  
PRAYER:  Father God, I live with guilt and shame over past regrets and mistakes.  I have sinned against You and against others.  I need to be made brand new.  I want to live a life of faith in and faithfulness to Jesus.  Help me today to live out my faith in real ways.  I don’t want to merely say, “I believe.”  I want my actions to back up my words.  Thank You for saving me and making me new in Jesus’ powerful name, Amen.

The Joy of Freedom

There seems to be some kind of siren’s call for God’s people to return to a former way of life.  If you were not raised in the church, perhaps your call is to return to a life of sinfulness.  If you were raised in a church where an emphasis was placed on your ability to follow rules, maybe you are driven to return to rule-following instead of embracing grace.  If you were raised in the church and rebelled against God for a time, but returned to Him, you may hear the call of the prodigal.  I believe it is a call to the familiar and to be comfortable.
Following Jesus is not easy.  He calls us to a narrow road and a narrow gate.  It is a call to leave former ways behind and to embrace the new creation He’s made you to be.  The temptation is to abandon the freedom of grace for a former way of life that leads to slavery.  That slavery might be the familiar rules of your past that are comfortable and safe.  The slavery might be the prison of sinfulness.  It feels good (for a time), so you leave the home of forgiveness and mercy for a far off land of slavery to sin.  That slavery might be the old habits and addictions that you gave up so long ago to follow Jesus.  The call of sin and temptation is just too great and you end up leaving the eternal joy of following Jesus for the temporary fix of sin.
We have to resist the call of the siren of sin and instead run to Jesus for grace.  We know that sin enslaves us to guilt, shame and fear.  Grace frees us up to experience the spiritual blessings of knowing God.  Whatever has enslaved you, know that the shackles have been loosed.  The chains are off.  The jail door is open.  You can leave anytime you choose.  You’ve been set free and all you have to do is take a step back to Jesus Christ and you will find the joy of freedom once again.
Galatians 4:8-11 (NIV)
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

The Grace Business

Moses and the Israelites came to the Desert of Sinai and stood in the shadow of Mt. Sinai.  God called Moses up to the mountain to meet with Him.  How terrifying and yet exhilarating that must have been!  To meet with God!  Terrifying because He is God and He is holy and mighty.  Exhilarating because, honestly, how many people could meet with the Lord and live to tell about it?  Moses had such a special relationship with God.  God told Moses to tell the Israelites that He was calling them to be His special people.  If they would obey His commands and keep His covenant with them, then they would be His people.  This is what the people said:

The people all responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has said.” – Exodus 19:8a (NIV)

If you know anything about the history of the Israelites from the Old Testament, then you know that this is a promise that they did not keep.  They broke their promise and they broke their covenant with God time and time again.  God, in His mercy and grace, did not destroy them as a people.  He gave them second chance after second chance.
Sound familiar?  Maybe the story of the Israelites is your story, too.  You’ve broken God’s commands time and again.  You carry around guilt and shame because of your sin.  You wonder how God could love you and forgive you after all of your failures.  You know, deep down, that you just don’t deserve His grace.
Well, that’s the amazing thing about grace, my friends.  Jesus came and died as an expression of God’s love and grace.  God is in the grace business!  Long before you and me were ever thought of, God made a way of salvation by grace through faith in His Son, Jesus.

there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. – Romans 8:1-2 (NIV)

We are free and we are forgiven!  There is no condemnation because we are in Jesus!  He has rescued us and redeemed us.  He bought us with His blood.  Gone are the guilt and the shame and the fear of punishment.  They are replaced by grace and mercy and unconditional love.  So live today in the freedom that Christ has given you.  He loves you with an unending, undying, unconditional love and nothing can separate you from it!

Exodus 19

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

At Mount Sinai

19 In the third month after the Israelites left Egypt—on the very day—they came to the Desert of Sinai. After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.

Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. The people all responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has said.” So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord.

The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said.

10 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes 11 and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not go up the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 13 He shall surely be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on him. Whether man or animal, he shall not be permitted to live.’ Only when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast may they go up to the mountain.”

14 After Moses had gone down the mountain to the people, he consecrated them, and they washed their clothes.15 Then he said to the people, “Prepare yourselves for the third day. Abstain from sexual relations.”

16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, 19 and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.

20 The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up 21 and the Lord said to him, “Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see the Lord and many of them perish. 22 Even the priests, who approach the Lord, must consecrate themselves, or the Lord will break out against them.”

23 Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, because you yourself warned us, ‘Put limits around the mountain and set it apart as holy.’”

24 The Lord replied, “Go down and bring Aaron up with you. But the priests and the people must not force their way through to come up to the Lord, or he will break out against them.”

25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.

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