Christ Died for Your Sins and Your Shame

 

shame quote

Christ didn’t just die for your sins. He died for your shame, for the ugliest things you’ve experienced and the ugliest things you’ve done. His punishment paid for your peace and proves your immeasurable worth. Resist the voices that tell you otherwise. {Heb.12:2; Isa. 53:5}

You’re no less loved by the Healer if your wounds are self-inflicted. ~Beth Moore

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Big Flavor, Served Plain

big flavor

Nothing can add to the cross.

Policing and modifying others’ behaviors won’t teach them of a crucified Christ and won’t coax them into relationship with Him. Adding anything else to the work Christ does in each person just messes up the flavor. As E.G. White noted, the shortness of time ought not be urged as an incentive to seek Christ. It savors of selfishness. Is it necessary that the terrors of the day of God be held before us to compel us through fear to right action? This ought not to be. Jesus [alone] is attractive [TMK, p. 320]. Heart Check: Why do we insist on telling Christ He’s not enough? [CLICK HERE TO READ MORE]

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He Chose The Mess

blood splatter crossToday, I went through a fire safety training where the demonstrator talked about how much of a mess it can cause to discharge a fire extinguisher. Of course, nobody wants to have to clean up a huge mess, but an even less desirable outcome is having nothing salvageable to clean up because everything was completely consumed in a fire. In conclusion, he said, “When you have to choose between a fire and a mess, choose the mess!” That simple phrase struck a chord deep within me.

I’ve previously discussed how messy the cross (Calvary) must have been and how messy God’s grace still is (CLICK HERE). To spare us from the wages of sin, which is death, to spare us from hell’s fire, we serve a God who chose the mess. He chose the bloody, messy cross, and although it’s been a mess, although I was a mess, He took the nails. He conquered death. He chose the mess! I hope you enjoy this song by CeCe Winans about how the cross wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. >>>>

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How I Almost Quit Christianity

HOW I ALMOST QUIT CHRISTIANITY

“If my only reference was the comments or actions of professed Christians, heaven is not a place I’d want to be….What started with my disdain for others’ bad behavior ended with repentance for my own…as Pastor Tullian Tchividjian stated, “A preacher who doesn’t believe he’s that bad will attract people who don’t think they’re that bad. And that’s bad…” Taking lightly the depths of my own depravity takes lightly the depths of God’s abundant grace…I’m a Christian. I have thorns. I need grace!” READ THE REST HERE…

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The Beautiful Things Project

up to you beauty

Last week I revisited an old place with a new perspective. When I visited this time last summer, all I saw was all I needed to see as I stood at the edge of the property, now overrun with tall weeds. I peered across at the dilapidated house, now crumbling even at the foundation, with missing windows, dangling doors, and a sunken ceiling. The ugliness on the outside compared very little to what ugly memories it held, so my heart was gladdened to see it decaying in the summer sun. I felt God clearly reminding me that He was doing away with old things, the old places of pain and shame in my life, and doing something new and beautiful.

This time, I took in the same scene, only the house was even more decrepit than before, the master bedroom having collapsed into the former den and only a shell of the building still there. But, even there, there in the dust, in the remaining hovel that was once a home, even there I saw beauty I’d not seen before. I saw plenty of old things, yes, but I saw new things growing all around, and that made me smile. I saw several sassafras trees and saplings and even took one home to remind me God is still doing new, beautiful things in old, ugly places. I’ll be sharing more of these beautiful things in The Beautiful Things Project, and I want YOU to join me!

Everyone has a story, and it makes all of our lives more beautiful to listen. Join me in The Beautiful Things Project where you can share YOUR beautiful things, things others may find ugly, things you once found ugly, or things re-purposed or restored. Watch the brief video below, subscribe, share, and send pictures and/or descriptions of your beautiful things. Let’s commit to seeing beauty in every single thing!

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grace

Grace Finds Beauty in Everything

 

What a Mess!

bloody cross

The Messy Foot of the Cross

“This place is a mess!” My mother pointed that out to us when we were kids, and now that I have four active children ranging from preschool to teen years, I frequently point it out, as well. But the messy place I’m referencing today isn’t my home. I’m continually struck by the messiness of another place, a place called grace. Grace refuses to be bound, refuses to be neatly packaged, refuses to land on just me or just you. It’s messy, overflowing onto everyone, getting all over everything. The same grace that is enough for you and me is sufficient for the most heinous of criminals, the most wretched of souls.

No matter what you’ve done and no matter what’s been done to you, God’s grace covers you, the ones you’ve harmed and the ones who’ve harmed you most. This comment is not at all to diminish the reality of suffering you may have experienced or the scars you may still bear. I’m simply sharing what I’ve come to believe, which is that those who’ve wounded me the deepest are living under the same grace by which I stand.

The most concise description of grace is: unmerited favor. We don’t deserve it. There’s nothing we can do to earn grace, and bless God, nothing we can do to be unworthy of it. Grace refuses to have an exclusive target, yet is determined to never miss its intended mark. A friend recently wrote a blog post, Grace Like Snow, and I had the thought, “Indeed, grace is like snow.” It’s not neat; it flutters on down, falling on everything around.

After revisiting a detailed description of the physical death of Jesus Christ, I remain convinced that Golgotha was a terribly messy place and that anyone physically involved in the death of Christ left covered in the same blood that paid their price. Those committing the worst crime against Jesus were the most covered in His precious blood. It’s amazing how the worst circumstances and worst offenses make grace all the more incomprehensible and all the more invaluable. As Christ hung on the cross, He begged for forgiveness of those same, unrepentant sinners who were yet causing His death. They were covered and didn’t even know it, covered by His blood, covered by His grace. What a mess the cross surely was. What a mess His grace surely is. It gets everywhere!

There’s a place exhuming every depth

Climbing every height, spanning every breadth

And this place has covered every cost

Still covers the saved, still saves the lost

Messy grace moves us to love the unlovable.

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My Two Cents

Still Worth Two Cents!

Still Worth Two Cents!

When I saw these coins, I saw myself. They don’t look like much, but bless God, they’re still as valuable as the day they were minted! Their worth is based less on their material (which used to be pure copper) and more on the image they’ve been imprinted with. God made man from dust, then He breathed into man and man became a living soul. We used to be just dirt, but God made us in HIS image; we’ve been imprinted with the image of God and THAT determines our worth. As if that wasn’t enough, He shed His blood for us; what a high price He decided we’re worth!

I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and just as valuable to God as the day He began to knit me together in my  mother’s womb (Psalm 139). In fact, you were precious to Him and loved by Him from even before that, for the Word declares His steadfast love is FROM everlasting TO everlasting for you (Psalm 103:17). He’s always loved you, will always treasure you beyond measure! What life brings your way does NOT determine your worth! Battered and bruised as you may be, you are treasured by God, made in His image, and still worth the blood of Jesus!

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made