"And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” 
Romans 5:5

Are you easily offended? 

Maybe you're feeling a little offended that I would even ask that question. 

Shame can create a filter of offense through which we view the world around us.When shame defines who we are, we can quickly think there is perpetually someone out to hurt us, and our wounds are always at risk of being exposed. It’s a miserable way to live.

But thankfully, Jesus offers a better way, and commissions us to a different life. His forgiveness is total and complete, and His call is free and fulfilling.

When real people choose to walk in forgiveness, it brings the real life Gospel into the real world around us. 

“These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 
1 Peter 1:7 (NIV)

Genuine. Real. Authentic. These are words that I hope describe me, but living in today's world, it's an uphill battle.  

The real struggle is, shame tells us we have not only screwed up, but that we are a screw up. Shame causes us to put on a good show, a strong face and pretend that everything is OK!  The truth  is, we have been perfectly and wonderfully made by a Creator who loves us and wants to see us thrive! 

There are a few phrases that, I believe, we all long to hear: "I see you." "You're doing a good job." And perhaps, the most meaningful one: "I forgive you."

Just like love, acceptance, and affirmation, forgiveness is one thing that, at our core, we're desperate to experience. 

Join us Sunday as we explore how we can not only hear forgiveness, but also receive the freedom that is found there.

"Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” Gen 2:25

When man and woman were first created they didn’t know shame. 

From the start, before all the “crazy”… we were created to:

1. know God. 

2. be known by others.

3. know no shame. 

It seems like a far-fetched idea, I know. But if you really think about it, these three things are what our hearts have been trying to re-capture ever since things went awry. 

We’re in the business of trying to achieve that which we think might help us really feel known. But on our own, it never seems to work. On our own, that (or those) in which we grab onto doesn't last, or comes with strings attached, or, even worst yet, they don't like what they see. 

Thank God He doesn’t leave us alone or on our own.

Thank God He knows our business.

Thank God He wants to be known by us.

Thank God He acquired our shame for in exchange for His grace.

May the peace of God that transcends all understanding guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus… today!

Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.  -Luke 22:60-62

The feelings of guilt and shame must have been overpowering for Peter on the night of Jesus’ death. But whatever happened to Peter after the resurrection?

When we do something that is wrong, we experience guilt. However, shame can take it a step further...not only is what we do wrong, but who we are is wrong. And Peter was not only struggling with what he had done, but he was questioning who he really was. That’s where Jesus stepped in!

The lies of shame can be ruthless in their attack, but gratefully, Christ is relentless in His pursuit of us.