Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday: In the Presence of the Lord

Iris' TT topic is Possibilities. Visit her at Grace Alone to read more and to link your own.

I'm a collector of study Bibles. I have 4 or 5. Today I was reading the Week 1 devotion in my Women of Faith Study Bible.

It is a great place to start in this new year. I want to share some key points as part of my TT list, because I am very, very thankful for the truths this particular devotion contains.

God's Pursuit of You

Each day in the Garden of Eden is perfect. The soft ground cushions Adam and Eve's bare feet. The dew waters their surroundings to a perfect, lush green. Evenings in the garden are even better--if perfection can be improved on. That's when Adam and Eve walk with God. His presence surpasses the rest of their day and brings them joy and peace.

But this day is different. They hear the "sound of the Lord God" as He walks "in the garden in the cool of the day" (Genesis 3:8). But they don't run to meet Him. They don't feel the way they used to. They hide because they are filled with shame, a new emotion for them.
This is where most of us live, in confusion and even shame. See how the devotion goes on to explain the real definitions of shame:
God is calling you too. Are you running to meet Him--or are you hiding from Him? Shame can prevent an intimate, personal relationship with God. But it's important to differentiate between true shame and false shame.

You feel true shame if you feel guilty for your sin (and all of us sin). You feel false shame if you feel dirty because another person sinned against you...If you have been wounded by someone else's sin, you may feel a sense of shame, but it is not true shame.
I LOVE this part!!
Bring true shame to the cross of Jesus for forgiveness.

Bring false shame into the arms of Jesus for healing.

"He bore our sins in His body on the tree so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed." (1 Peter 2:24 NIV)
Look what Jesus has done for us:
"But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:22-23 NIV)
And now we stand before God in the image of His Son:
"But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved! And God raised us up with Christ and seated us in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:4-7 NIV)
And Jesus intercedes with God on our behalf:
"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
" (Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV)
And the closing remarks of the devotion are so important:
If your sin seems too great or horrible to be forgiven, or if your shame seems so overwhelming that it can't be removed, remember, Jesus loves you so much that He has already taken your sin and shame on Himself. He makes you clean from it. Receive His gift and let Him wash your shame away.
So, I am thankful:
  • That Jesus is there when I fail, to lift me up and put me back on the right track.
  • That He reminds me that I am His when I remember old hurts ("wounded by someone else's sin").
  • That I can be forgiving because He forgave me.
  • That I have the freedom to read my Bible and to share the Word of God with others.
And on a more everyday note:
  • I'm thankful for a good heat source in my house.
  • I'm thankful for enough warm clothes.
  • I'm thankful for my husband and son who see that our wood pile stays replenished.
  • I'm thankful God is healing my husband's sore back.
  • I'm thankful for the microwave *wink* so I can zap my coffee one more time. (I need a self-heating coffee mug!)
  • I'm thankful for the ability to make a hot supper for my family on this very cold day.
  • I'm thankful for the makes the cold a bit more bearable.
  • Somewhere, way down deep, I think I'm thankful for the extreme cold...not sure about that, I'll get back to you when the outside chores are done.
  • I'm thankful that Iris came up with this weekly reminder to be still and count my blessings.


Esthermay said...

. . . especially like the idea of bring TRUE shame to the cross as opposed to false shame. Today’s psychology & counseling techniques very much focus on false shame – there aren’t very many counselors that will pull out a Bible, open up to the Book of Romans and actually define true shame. HIS great love on the Cross was spent for that true shame. It is SIN that should shame us – and not-a’-one is to great or horrible to be covered. Jesus love us SO MUCH!
… therein end the words of Esthermay
:-)GREAT thoughts here!
Happy Thankful Thursday.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Oh dear. Some people collect ugly mugs; some collect study Bibles! thanks for your comment at Internet Cafe. It really meant a lot to me!

Laurie Ann said...

Great thoughts for today! I'm so glad you shared them. Happy Thankful Thursday!

Denise said...

Beautiful thoughts.