Category Archives: shame

Coming To Our Senses

TODAY’S VERSE
When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, “At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father.”
Luke 15:17-18 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It has only recently that we have understood why so many hidden emotions drive us. With the rise of the neurosciences, we have come to know more about intrinsic memory. What has been hidden can now become integrated into who we are. We can take all the negative beliefs, lies, and wounds that we have from our past and bring them to God. He, in turn, can reveal to us the truth of who we really are in these memories and help us change the way we believe about life and our self. This has been life-changing for me and the hundreds that I have taught. Insight also changed the prodigal son. For whatever reason, he too was driven and decided to leave home and spend his life doing whatever he wanted to. No pleasure was out of the question. But like so many others, there was a price to pay. Soon he found himself in desperate straits. It was at that point that Jesus said, “He finally came to His senses.” And I love what the son did next. Jesus said that he went home to his father. My friend, it is our Heavenly Father that can correct all our negative thinking. It is His love that can tell our hurting child inside us that all is well; we are loved. Our Father is waiting. He is happy to be with us; He longs to tell us the truth of who we are. Today, come to your senses. It is God who wants to forgive, to love, to heal, to set free. His grace is sufficient.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You with so many needs. So many emotions drive me. I need You to correct my thinking, heal my memories, and help me re-envision who I am. Father, I have come to my senses. I am coming to you. Help me see myself through Your eyes.
AMEN

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Shame and Grace

TODAY’S VERSE
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
II Thessalonians 2:15-17 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Shame and grace are perhaps the two of the most potent words in molding and shaping our beliefs about ourselves. Shame keeps us from accepting all the love God has for us. Grace invites us to embrace it. Lewis Smedes, in his book, “Shame and Grace,” writes, “The feeling of shame is about our very selves – not about something we did or said but about what we are. It tells us that we are unworthy. Totally. It is not a few seams in the garment of our selves need stitching; the whole fabric is frayed. We feel we are unacceptable.” How do we overcome such devastating feelings? How can we ever shake such deep emotion? Only through God’s grace. Paul says that it is God who loves us and by His grace gives us encouragement and hope. His grace encourages our hearts and strengthens us. Smedes writes, “Grace overcomes shame by simply accepting us, the whole of us, with no regard to our beauty or our ugliness, our virtue or our vices. We are accepted wholesale. Accepted with no possibility of being rejected. Accepted once and forever. Accepted at the ultimate depth of our being. We are given what we have longed for in every nook and nuance of every relationship.” Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. Are you listening? Today, read this devotional again and believe. God’s grace says it all. You are loved.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh, Father, melt my heart. Open me and pour your grace deep into my soul. I believe, but today help my unbelief. Lord, I renounce my shame and accept your unconditional love. Flood my being with the joy of Your grace I pray.
AMEN

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No Shame

TODAY’S VERSE
But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
Psalms 3:3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Shame. You know the drill. You drop your head and roll it down and away. As your shoulders slump, you let out a deep sigh. You talk, but it is without eye contact, constantly fighting looking down and away again. It is worse than a feeling of guilt. With guilt, you can confess your wrongdoing. Shame is deeper. It isn’t about “doing,” it’s about “being.” How do you repent of being something you are so ashamed of? How can you renew something so broken, so damaged, so worthless? Shame, more than an emotion, is a deeply worn brain map, a trait, a feeling that you are totally unworthy. But then there is God. God, who comes and lifts your head and whispers deep into your soul, “Don’t call what I have created, worthless.” God, whose love for you can soften the calloused skin around your heart and begin to birth new life. God who bestows glory on you. Our Lord God is the shame slayer. Today, let Him lift your head. And when He does, gaze into His face. Feel the glory He has given you. Let it radiate deep into your soul and believe. Believe you are loved. Believe that you were created for His glory and that your shame is a lie, a false belief, a shame given to you by others. Let Him tenderly lift your head and take away your shame.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I have felt such a deep sense of shame. I bring it to you today and ask You to banish it. Lift my head and let me see Your face. Let Your deep love penetrate my heart and set me free. Today, let me see myself the way You do. In Jesus’ Name.
AMEN

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No Shame

TODAY’S VERSE
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
Psalm 51:1-2 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Shame and guilt have so many of us in bondage. If it is not actual shame, it is the fear of being shamed. Yet this is not the way of life God has chosen for us. David knew this. In today’s passage, David is appealing to God to forgive him. He came to Him with complete abandonment, crying out for mercy, asking God to cleanse him from all his sin. He was counting on God’s unfailing love and compassion. Likewise, we come to God, through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, asking that all our sins be forgiven. But do we really believe that happens? Are we really forgiven? We need to get to that same place of trust that David was in. We need to know and experience the freedom that comes from the forgiveness of Christ. David accepted himself as clean. Will you? Live in His forgiveness today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I refuse to believe that You are ashamed of me or that you will abandon me because of my transgressions. I confess my sin and accept the death of Christ on the Cross as the substitution for my wrongdoings. Help me Lord rise, not in arrogance, but humility, knowing that I am cleansed and accepted by Your unconditional love. I choose to accept myself as forgiven and not ashamed. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Throw It Off

TODAY’S VERSE
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Paul uses the analogy of running a race to describe the Christian life. He paints a picture of a poor runner who has come to the starting blocks with a large heavy weight tied to him and chains wrapped around his legs. There is no way this runner is going to finish the race, let alone win. Instead, Paul suggests that the runner first throw off everything that hinders them. That could be events, habits, environments, attitudes, anything that “triggers” the desire to do things that Christ would not want us to do, or prevent us from doing what we should. We need to throw off anything that leads us toward Spiritual apathy or complacency. In their book “True Faced” the authors point out that in reality there are two kinds of sins. These are sins that we commit resulting in guilt and sins that are committed against us resulting in hurt. Both of these “sins” can trip us up. If we allow guilt to grow, it will spread like cancer in our Spirit. If we allow hurt to go unchecked, it can fester into sadness, anger, fear, malice, bitterness and many other negative attitudes. We need to deal with the sin in our life — both those that we commit and those committed against us. Then we can run the race. Today let us consider our own life. Are we running the race that God has called us to? If not, what is weighing us down? What is entangling us? Pray today that God would help you throw it off.

TODAY’S PRAYER:
Father, You know that I need to run in this race of life. I confess that I have let burdens weigh me down. I have let sins, both that I have committed and those committed against me, trip me up. Help me, Lord, throw off these things. Help me run today, free from all these issues that hinder me. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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He Lifts Your Head High

TODAY’S VERSE
But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
Psalm 3:3

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How many of us go around with a constant sense of shame? You know, head down, slumped shoulders, feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness. Many of us have had this for a long time. We are shame-based; it has become a state of mind. But God doesn’t want that for us. Jesus bore all the shame we would ever have on the cross for us. He is the shame slayer. David knew God in this way. He knew what it was to be ridiculed, underestimated and hunted like an animal. Yet he looked to God, the one who lifts his head high. We read the story that Jesus told of the Prodigal son and we marvel at the forgiveness and love of the father. Yet we miss another important part. The son was coming home to become a hired servant, but the father said nonsense, get the ring, the robe, and the sandals. All this signified sonship. The father restored the son’s honor. Let God do the same for you. Today, look up. You are a child of the king. Put on the ring, robe, and sandals and let His love lift your head high.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your great love for me. Thank You that I don’t have to feel a sense of shame. You have created me as a loved child of yours. Lift my head, today Lord. Help me gaze into Your radiant face and know that the shame is gone.
AMEN

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