October 8, Tuesday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by Pastor Mark Chun (Radiance Christian Church, S. F.), was originally posted on March 13, 2013.

 

Devotional Thought for Today

“Shame on Me No More”

Psalms 25:1-3 (ESV)

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 2 O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.  3 Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. 

Lewis Smedes, who is a well-known author and Christian psychologist, describes shame as the emotions that are felt when there is a sense that we are being devalued, despised, and ultimately rejected.  Obviously, it is a very negative emotion that involves a great deal of pain and for that reason many of us struggle with deep feelings of shame. When we allow the enemy to speak lies, we can feel as if God despises us; however, the truth of the scriptures tells us that he will never put us to shame, for the Lord loves and adores us.   Nevertheless, he does “hate” the shame that he sees hidden within each of us.  

In Christ, we are all given a way out of our shame through God’s unconditional love and acceptance.  Smedes calls this the voice and touch of loving ownership. Only when we know that we belong to someone can we be truly freed from our shame.  The psalmist is imploring us to get back to the timeless truth that we belong to God, who alone can cover our shame.  

Does it sometimes feel like the circumstances of life are getting the best of you?    Are you struggling with a sense of shame over your sins and failures? Meditate on the forgiveness and unconditional love of God this morning.      

Prayer: Father, I am in such desperate need of Your love and acceptance.  It is so easy to shut You out of my life and not allow Your healing grace to cover all of my wounds.  Help me to yield to the work that You want to do deep within my soul knowing that You know what is best for me.   

Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 9


Lunch Break Study

Read Hebrews 12:2 (NIV): Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

Questions to Consider 

  1. What does it mean to “fix our eyes on Jesus”?  (Hebrews 12:1)
  2. How can we model our lives after the example of Christ, who is the author of our faith?  (Hebrews 12:2)
  3. What stands as the main barrier to the perfection of our faith?  (Hebrews 12:1, 3)

The perfection of our faith is a long and arduous process.  It takes us down many winding roads and through deep valleys but ultimately it brings us to the pinnacle of life.  

Note

  1. The Christian faith is often likened to a long endurance race.  Fixing our eyes on Jesus means making him the end goal of our lives.  Unfortunately, many treat their faith like a short sprint and never consider how important it is to finish well in life.    In order to do that, like a world-class athlete, believers have to orient their lives around one single goal.    
  2. To follow after Christ, we must live a life of self-denial and pick up our cross daily (Luke 9:23).   This requires endurance, casting off sin and shame, and setting our minds on the future glory that awaits us as God’s children.   
  3. Sin and the lack of perseverance is the main culprit for those who fall short of their God given destiny.  This is why the author of Hebrews exhorts us to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that entangles us.  All runners know that you cannot hope to finish the race well if you have any extra weight holding you down.  

Evening Reflection

As you prepare to end the day, what were some temptations you overcame?  Reflect on how God has sustained and helped you throughout this day.

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