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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snowy trees
It's snowing this morning and this is the southern view outside our home.

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"He's Not Ashamed!"

"Both the One who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers" (Hebrews 2:11).

Have you ever been ashamed?  If you're made of the human frailties that are commonplace to all of us there are things you've said, done or thought that later made you ashamed of yourself. 

Have you ever been ashamed of someone else – a family member, a close association or someone you esteemed as your leader?  I'm sure we can all relate to this familiar scenario as well.  

Shame because of sin is a healthy response that will hopefully lead to confession, repentance and a restored relationship with God. However, unresolved shame, following genuine confession and repentance of sin, demonstrates our failure to recognize Christ's work in our life and experiencing the glorious truth expressed in Romans 8:1, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." 

Likewise shame as a result of our associations can either be good or bad.  If the shame is due to a feeling of superiority its base is pride and that's bad.  If it's due to the recognition that "bad company destroys good character", it's healthy.

But I rejoice today in a wonderful truth expressed in the daily verse, "Both the One who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family."  The One (Jesus Christ) who makes men holy and those (that's us) who are made holy are in the same family. The basis is His finished work on the Cross.  The verse is so clear.  He "makes men holy" (active); we are "made holy" (passive).  There is no room for pride here, but rather a humble acceptance of what God has done by placing our faith in Him. Our proper response includes a heart filled with thanksgiving to Him for removing the scorn and shame that resulted from our sins. What a blessed truth!

"So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers."  We may find it helpful to personalize this verse by wording it, "So Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers." 

Have you placed your faith in Christ?  I'm not speaking of trying to live a moral life, going to church regularly, reading the Bible and other spiritual material or hosts of other good things that stimulate spiritual growth. 

I am speaking of placing your faith in the One who died for your sin.  Here's a prayer I said many years ago and often reaffirm in my heart. In fact I do so today.

"Lord Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner.  I believe that you came to this earth and died as a substitute for me.  I place my faith in You and what You have done for me.  I receive You into my life and choose this day to follow and serve You.  Thank You for hearing my prayer."

I welcome all of you to say this prayer with me today.  For many it will merely be an affirmation of previously expressed faith.  But for others it might be for the first time.  Welcome to the family of God!

I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God.
I've been washed in the fountain,
cleansed by His blood!

Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod.
For I'm part of the family, the family of God. *

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Today's prayer: See prayer in text of message.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources
(Click on the link to open and play. In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

* "The Family Of God"  Video  This has the background story of the song as well as a moving version.

"Amazing Love"  Video  
    I'm forgiven, because you were forsaken
    I'm accepted; you were condemned.
    I'm alive and well
    Your spirit is within me
    Because you died and rose again

"Today I Choose"  Video  A great expression of commitment to Christ!

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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