Happy Monday morning! I certainly hate to start a Monday morning off in a heavy way, but here we go. Let me start with this question: What are you ashamed of?
I’m sure some of you just thought, wow that’s depressing. However, I would suspect that most of us have things in our past we deeply regret; things that leave us feeling inadequate. Truthfully, shame is one of the most powerful emotions we experience. The problem with shame is that it not only causes emotional problems, but it often limits our ability to deal with those problems. Shame makes our problems much bigger while making us feel too small to deal with the issue. With that in mind, check out these words from the Apostle Paul.
READ ROMANS 1:16-17
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
Paul unashamedly preached the gospel of Jesus everywhere, and yet Paul was very aware of what we are like on the inside. He understood our shame. He understood that we feel inadequate. However, he also understood that in our inadequacy we could not only be forgiven, but we could live the kind of life God designed us to live because of the grace God gave us through the death of Jesus. Paul understood that our shame will hold us down, but the good news of Jesus can set us free.
As you pray today, ask God to help you live by faith in response to the gift of grace he has shown us through Jesus.
Read Romans 5-7 this week to prepare your heart and mind for the sermon this coming weekend.