Shame or Joy
In the garden Adam and Eve were naked and were not ashamed
When they sinned – they were ashamed
On the cross, Christ was naked and He carried our shame
On the cross, Christ was naked and He was not ashamed
He was not ashamed because he bore our shame because He loved us
He was, is not ashamed of us
For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren
On the cross we became a family, His family –
Excruciating (from the cross) pain bonded us together
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
Christ did not allow the shame to destroy Him. He destroyed the shame by choosing Joy.
Be a workman who is not ashamed – rightly dividing the Word of truth.
Shame condemns but Joy overcomes shame
This is Holy Week
The events of this week are recorded in Sacred history. These events are considered holy. This is Holy Week. The Holy One was here. He lived and died. He walked and talked and worked. He learned. He suffered. He loved. And He was rejected. Since He lived here – lived here as we do – all of life is holy. This is Holy Week but now…
Now – all weeks are holy, and all work is holy, and all life is holy. Because He, He who was/is God became human, lived here on this earth. He lived and died and He was/is holy. Now all of life is holy. His Holiness invaded His terrestrial creation. He turned water into wine. He turned death into life. He turned sadness into joy. He turned drudgery into holiness. Daily work became daily blessing.
All of life is holy because He was here and He is holy. Farming is holy. Baking bread is holy. Teaching and studying are holy. Being a nurse is holy. All of life is holy. Because He was here and He is holy. All life of all believers is holy.
Holy – to be set apart. Set apart from wrong and sin. Set apart from all that is wrong. Whatever we do can be holy if we are holy. If we are set apart. Set apart from sin and wrong and abuse and politics and dishonesty and pride, and, and …
Even suffering is holy because it sets us apart. Apart to Him. He lived this week facing certain death. Like us. We live out our weeks facing certain death. And life. Life because He is life. On the other side of death was/is life. Life forever and forever. And so, even death is holy. It sets us apart. Apart from the temptations and sins of this life. Death is the eventual true holiness – it sets us apart from the presence of sin and tears and death. Like Him.
Like Him in His life and like Him in His death. All of life is holy. Whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. Not only is this week holy – all weeks are holy, no matter their sorrow or joy. They are holy because He is holy and we are His and so we are also holy. This week and all weeks until our holy week. The week we live before we die. Die to live. Die to live again – forever.
And so we live, and so we die, to live forever. He was despised and rejected of men, and so are we. It is part of being holy. We live – and He lives – in us. And His life in us gives us life to live each week, each day, each hour, each minute, each breath – holy.
Holy for Him because He is holy for us. Wholly for Him because He is wholly for us.
When God wants to drill a man,
And thrill a man,
And skill a man
When God wants to mold a man
To play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways!
How He ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which
Only God understands;
While his tortured heart is crying
And he lifts beseeching hands!
How He bends but never breaks
When his good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses,
And which every purpose fuses him;
By every act induces him
To try His splendor out-
God knows what He’s about.
Christ is the last Adam.
Christ did what Adam did not. Christ did not what Adam did.
We have the power of the life of Christ to live above the life of Adam.
Is it possible?
It is indeed. Today is my birthday. I am 70 years old. God has given me the allotted three-score-years-and ten. Will He give me four-score years? That remains to be seen.
What are my reflections after all these years? I have a surprising amount of contentment. Life has been good. I have no real regrets. My most pressing desire, in the words of the Apostle Paul, is to:
Be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
If, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
My testimony is that:
I know Him and
I know the power of His resurrection and
I know the fellowship of His sufferings,
I am being conformed to His death.
Great is His faithfulness to me.
His power is very real and has been real all through my life. He has given me the power to live a life of Godliness and holiness. He has given me a discipline of heart and life. He has given me love for so many people. He has given me the love of so many people.
His sufferings are also very real and have been all through my life.
Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered. So, have I. My most painful sufferings have been in relationships that were broken. That suffering in my life helps me to know and feel the heart of God and to live in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I thank God for: Lois, Rachel, Gail, Beth, Anne, Joel, and Mark – the most important people in my life. For the spouses God has provided for my children.
I thank God for grandchildren, those who are here and those who have gone before us to meet the Lord.
My greatest joy is to know that my children walk in truth.
My greatest happiness is to share the love and truth of God and see lives change from pain to happiness.
Love and Truth together make us Godly persons. That is my testimony.
So many people love me and I love so many people. That is what I want my legacy to be.