Monday, August 31,2020
Week 3: Day 11
Focus of the week: Giving yourself grace brings God’s peace
Please read Isaiah 53:1-6
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
This week we are entering into new territory in our peace journey. Where the last ten days we have focused on peace with God (our One-on-one relationship with the Lord), the next few weeks we will concentrate on peace within ( the rest vs. the wrestling of our own heart). It’s important to recognize we cannot have “peace within" unless we first have “peace with God”.
Two of the greatest barriers that keep us from experiencing God’s peace are guilt and shame. If you watched the weekend video you saw our elementary skit showing how guilt and shame can keep us bound and weighted down and not let us experience the freedom of peace. When we experience guilt over a sin, it is meant to draw us to the Lord so that we will confess and repent; as a result, we will gain peaceful restoration with the Lord. I think we often think of guilt as being a “bad” thing”; on the contrary it’s a “good” thing as it leads us right where we need to be - the feet of Jesus. Sometimes, however, even though we know God has forgiven us, we have a really hard time giving ourselves grace. Instead of nailing that sin to the cross and leaving it in the rear view, we hold onto it, and then we ultimately add shame on top of guilt. If you are like me, this can happen before we even know it’s happening! Somehow we choose to put those hot and heavy coats back on and carry that guilt iced with a thick layer of shame in the 100 degree weather. In other words we choose to carry our own burden: we pay our own penitence.
Take time to reread the focus passage about the death of our Savior. Allow Jesus to be the One to experience your guilt and your shame. That is exactly what He came to earth to do. He gave His life for this and took all of your punishment . He does this for all your past, present, and future sins. It seems too good to be true but indeed it is the TRUTH!
You do not have to despise yourself, because he was despised, and we esteemed him not (v.3).
You do not have to punish yourself because he was stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted (v.4).
You do not have to weigh yourself down or scold yourself because he was crushed for (your) inquiries; upon him was the chastisement that brought (you) peace (v.6).
Are you putting those coats of guilt and shame on in the hot weather trying your best to carry them around ? If so, it’s time to take them off, nail them to the cross and walk away. Fully embrace the extreme act of love from your Savior Jesus, so that you can walk with God’s peace inside your soul.
Foe further reading : Galatians 5:1; Romans 8:1-2; John 8:36.
Help us to truly understand what You did for us on the cross. Every time we want to put those heavy coats of guilt and shame back on, please help us feel your forgiveness and visualize those coats nailed to that cross. Show us how to extend grace to sometimes the hardest person- OURSELVES. Help us get out of our own way and allow You in to do your Holy work in our lives. We admit some days we have ways of making things so difficult on ourselves . Give us peace as we give ourselves grace knowing You have done the heavy lifting on our behalf. And THANK YOU Lord for being what only You can be - our Savior. Amen.