How do we deal with shame?

I had the privilege this past Sunday to speak at a church on the subject of shame.  Because of how powerful shame can be I thought I would basically blog my sermon.  Here it is:

What is shame? Guilt says I feel bad for doing wrong. Shame says I feel worthless because there is something wrong with me.

Where did shame come from? (Genesis 3) When Adam and Eve sinned there eyes were opened, and they realized they were naked.  In Genesis 2:25 they were naked with no shame, but the moment they sinned, in their nakedness they felt shame.

What does shame cause us to do?

  • Cover up (Genesis 3:7)
  • Hide (Genesis 3:8)
  • Be afraid (Genesis 3:10)
  • Blame others (Genesis 3:12-13)

We all do this.  We battle shame.  We want to cover up or hide.  We are afraid of God, or if we are not careful, we blame others for our problems.  There is one thought however I find really neat.  It is this:

God looks for us in the midst of our shame (Genesis 3:8-9).  God still went walking in the cool of the day looking for Adam and Eve knowing they had sinned.  God could turn His back on us in our shame, but instead, He meets us right in the middle of it.  He demonstrated that most emphatically through Christ.

Christ encounters a woman in John 8 who felt a ton of shame, but he did not condemn her.  Even though He has the power to do so.  What is the point?

Only Jesus can really condemn us (John 8:7).  He will condemn those who do not know Him, but I love what He tells the woman in John 8.

Through trust in Him & His cross we are not condemned (John 8:11).  Praise the Lord!!!!

Shame often comes from sin, and even drives us to sin more. The cross motivates us & empowers us to leave our life of sin (John 8:11).

Could we like the woman be freed and empowered to leave our lives of sin and to follow Jesus with everything we have!

If you want to listen to my sermon from Sunday online, you can click on this link:

How do we deal with shame sermon

 

 

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Living by Faith

As I read Hebrews 11, I see men and women of great faith.  One could say that the choices and decisions they made in life did not make sense, but one could definitely say they showed great trust in God.

At the end of 2006 a friend of mine challenged me to live by faith.  At first I just thought this sounded cliché, but as he kept talking, there was something that resonated.  He basically asked me if I was willing to live a life devoted to God, even if what God asked of me could not be explained.

As my wife and I prayed at the end of that year, we told the Lord He could have our life.  We declared to Him that we wanted our life to be explained by only one thing: complete dependence on Him (a life only explained by faith in Christ).

Since that time, much has happened.  We planted a church, only to watch it collapse.  Even through all of that, God’s hand was with us.  I had a vasectomy reversal, and Kelly quickly became pregnant after this procedure.  As many of you know, Caleb Micah was stillborn.  It was so hard to wrap our arms around this, but even through that, God was with us in the midst of it.  We sensed God leading us to pursue adoption, and we did.  Every avenue we pursued was not an open door, but we were willing to pursue what God put on our heart.  Most recently, He has given us Anna Kate (almost 2), and Emma Hope (almost 10 months).  In addition to this, He has had us step out in faith ministry wise and attempt to tear down the idol of internet porn.  All of these decisions can only be explained by walking in faith.

I share all that to say this: Kelly is pregnant again, and she is due 4/17/15.  I am sure many will read this and be shocked, but we want you to know that God has called us to have a big family to impact His Kingdom for His Glory.

More than anything what we want to do is love Him, obey Him, and live by faith.  Be in prayer for us as I continue to tackle internet porn in the strength of the Lord’s might.  We have seen God do some amazing things in the lives of men, students, and families.  The gospel brings freedom, and we are seeing God bring that with several.  Also, we ask that you be in prayer for Kelly and our unborn child.  Pregnancy is very hard on Kelly physically.  We ask that you pray God’s grace would be enough for her through this pregnancy, and we ask for you to pray God’s hand of protection over our child.

As you read this, may you be inspired to live a life of faith.  As you read this, maybe God will encourage you to share with us or someone else what living by faith looks like in your life.  Bottom line:  May the love of Christ compel us to live a faith life fully surrendered to our Lord!