As far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us. — Psalm 103:12
Grace will replace our shame if we let it… if we trust in His great substitution for our striving. ~ Ruth Chou Simons
Hi, friends! It’s week three of the When Strivings Cease OBS! We ended last week talking about the story of two shame-based sons, one who ran away and one who stayed striving. I can relate with both brothers depending on the season of life. How about you?
Isn’t it surreal that there was a time when there was no shame? None of us can relate with that! We live with shame so closely that it seems normal. It’s hardly recognizable sometimes because we’re used to this awful companion who shrinks and blames us and keeps us back from God’s expansive blessings and plans for our lives.
If you’re anything like me, then you’re closely acquainted with shame. ~ RCS
For me it’s the sense of not enoughness no matter what I do. That one hits deepest, I think. Although I’ve done things I truly and profoundly regret, not measuring up still scrapes hardest at times, especially when I’m tired or worn out, sick or just down in the dumps.
It’s not just feeling unworthy over something you should or shouldn’t have done, but rather the nagging feeling that no matter what you do or don’t do, you’ll never get it right. Not enough. Forever lacking. Fundamentally incapable of being who others hope or expect you’ll be. ~ RCS
Outrunning shame has been a life-long hobby for me. Does that sound familiar to you, too?
Shame sprang from sin. It’s inherited from our first parents.
We can’t run from it. Can’t escape it. Can’t hide from it. We either get cynical and pretend to not care (false bravado), or we stay bathed in shame, or we choose to face it with Jesus and be freed from it!
The messages, the lie that if I do something bad then I am bad have to be addressed! The separation from God that tears at my soul… Doesn’t it rip yours as well? And yet, He still leans towards us. Better yet, He runs towards us!
He bore the weight of our sins. He wore it. He paid for it. That’s what grace it. It’s covering. It’s payment. It’s a remittance and free entry.
No one gets to put shame on we who have been forgiven by God. Once we’ve received His grace, it’s a done deal… 100%!
We are not covered in shame any more. Jesus has us covered… by His grace.
Let’s practice the presence of God. Let’s run to Him as He runs to us and take in His grace.
This week in your study:
- Watch the video for session three of When Strivings Cease on our study home page and take notes in your study guide on pages 63-66 and stick around to go through the questions afterward!
- Grab your Bible and enjoy your personal study this week on pages 67-94.
- Join the conversations about this week’s teaching and get to know our community in our private Facebook group.
Scriptures this Week
Jesus, You are so good to us! We can hardly comprehend Your goodness and mercy! We can hardly grasp the depth and breadth of Your grace. Help us to rejoice in it daily and to worship You with all of our hearts with celebration! We adore You and praise You! We love You, Jesus! Amen.