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Can I Overcome My Shame? (Y1.T1.D20)


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Some testimonies are harder to tell than others.


As a child, I adored the Bible, but my family stopped attending church when I was a tween. On my thirteenth birthday, my older sister took me to a rock concert, where I was introduced to marijuana.


By fifteen, I lived a double life—dedicated student by day, a promiscuous teenager by night. For years, I’d naïvely believed my older boyfriends loved me, only to discover how devalued I’d become.


On New Year’s Eve of my seventeenth year, while I was high on drugs and alcohol, men in their thirties took turns with me. I didn’t make it home until well past midnight. As the drugs wore off, the pain of what I’d become crushed me. How could anyone, especially God, ever love me?


A shame this deep is impossible to overcome alone.


The good news is God had a better plan for me. When the sun rose on January 1, 1981, I gave up the discos and drugs. I went to church with a school friend, and there I discovered Jesus was more than a man on a cross and a baby in a manger. The living God pulled me from my empty life and offered me salvation.


All the shame of my past was absorbed by the cross.


I wish I could say that was the last day I ever felt unworthy of God’s love. Like those people visiting the temple on the day Jesus dismissed the moneychangers and animal sellers, I sometimes find myself looking for a way to compensate God for my sins. But it’s unnecessary. The only sacrifice God seeks is a dedicated heart. Jesus, the sacrificial lamb, bore my sins and became my best friend.


You, too, can overcome any shameful part of your past by accepting the agape love the Savior has for you.


Bring Him Your Brokenness


1 For the law, having a shadow of the good to come, not the very image of the things, can never with the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Or else wouldn’t they have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having been once cleansed, would have had no more consciousness of sins? 3 But in those sacrifices there is a yearly reminder of sins. 4 For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins. 5 Therefore when he comes into the world, he says, (Hebrews 10:1–5a)

Hebrews 10:5b–7, Psalm 40:6–8


8 Previously saying, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you didn’t desire, neither had pleasure in them” (those which are offered according to the law), 9 then he has said, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He takes away the first, that he may establish the second, 10 by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 Every priest indeed stands day by day serving and offering often the same sacrifices which can never take away sins, 12 but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting until his enemies are made the footstool of his feet. 14 For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:8–14)


12 After this, he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they stayed there a few days. 13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 He found in the temple those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, and the changers of money sitting. 15 He made a whip of cords, and threw all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers’ money and overthrew their tables. 16 To those who sold the doves, he said, “Take these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a marketplace!” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, (John 2:12–17a)

John 2:17b, Psalm 69:9a

9b The reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.

10 When I wept and I fasted,

that was to my reproach.

11 When I made sackcloth my clothing,

I became a byword to them.

12 Those who sit in the gate talk about me.

I am the song of the drunkards.

13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, Yahweh, in an acceptable time.

God, in the abundance of your loving kindness, answer me in the truth of your salvation. (Psalm 69:9b–13)


1 Save me, God,

for the waters have come up to my neck!

2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold.

I have come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.

3 I am weary with my crying.

My throat is dry.

My eyes fail looking for my God.

4 Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head.

Those who want to cut me off, being my enemies wrongfully, are mighty.

I have to restore what I didn’t take away.

5 God, you know my foolishness.

My sins aren’t hidden from you.

6 Don’t let those who wait for you be shamed through me, Lord Yahweh of Armies.

Don’t let those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, God of Israel.

7 Because for your sake, I have borne reproach.

Shame has covered my face.

8 I have become a stranger to my brothers,

an alien to my mother’s children. (Psalm 69:1–8)


18 The Jews therefore answered him, “What sign do you show us, seeing that you do these things?”


19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”


20 The Jews therefore said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple! Will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he spoke of the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he said this, and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.


23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in his name, observing his signs which he did. 24 But Jesus didn’t entrust himself to them, because he knew everyone, 25 and because he didn’t need for anyone to testify concerning man; for he himself knew what was in man. (John 2:18–25)

Meditation Moment


Dear God,


Help me be sober and self-controlled, fully aware I have an enemy who seeks to devour me (1 Peter 5:8). Turn over the table of the money changers I’ve allowed in my life. When I confess my sins, You are faithful and just to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Come into my life and refocus my self-destructive behavior. I know the thoughts You think of me are filled with peace, and not of evil, to give me a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).


Amen.


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