New Life in Christ Weekender
A short reminder of events happening this weekend
[Scroll down for a list of events this weekend.]
Dear New Life in Christ Church Family,
Shame. We all face it. Shame tells us “There is something wrong with you.” It says (especially to men), “You are weak.” It says (especially to women), “You are not a good enough _________” or “you are __________” (you fill in the blank of some aspect of your life).
Shame came to Adam and Eve in the Garden. It isn’t how they were created. The Bible tells us that they were “naked and unashamed.” There was nothing wrong with them, and they knew it. As spouses, they were safe and would not point out any flaws in their partner. Indeed, there were none to point out. They lived in security and confidence. They knew God and they knew God knew them.
All that changed when they ate the forbidden fruit. Once they ate it, they hid themselves. They knew something was wrong with them. They were afraid God would point out their wrong-ness. In their shame, they covered their nakedness with fig leaves and hid behind some bushes. The first attempt at man-made clothes was nothing more than two people trying to hide their own shame.
God sought them out. He sought them out while they hid in shame. He would not let them dwell there. He called out to them. He called them out. He disciplined them for their disobedience. There were consequences.
However, despite what Adam and Eve must have thought, God’s love did not change. He took away their self-created fig leaf coverings and covered them with animal skin. He shed the blood of an animal. In this death, a sacrifice was made and God cleansed them of their shame.
This was just the first sacrifice. God promised another sacrifice was going to come. In Genesis 3:15, God promised that one day the “seed of the woman” would come. The devil would attack Him and try to destroy Him. Satan would bruise the heel of the seed, but the “seed” would crush the devil’s head. This was all fulfilled when the devil put Jesus on the cross to die, but Jesus conquered sin, rose from the dead, and conquered death. This sacrifice would deal with our shame once for all.
Are you feeling shame? Is there some “thing” in your life that highlights your weakness? Is there some “thing” that makes you think that there is something wrong with you? Look to the gospel, the good news that Jesus takes away shame. It might be false shame. You might have genuine reasons for shame. He takes away both.
“For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”” – Romans 10:11
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
The thing about shame is that it is a lie. It is a lie on both sides. Shame says “you should be better” but the Bible says “you are far worse than you think you are”. Shame says, “no one could accept you the way you are.” The gospel says, “God loves you far more than you can imagine.”
There is no point in hiding behind a bush in shame, or clothing ourselves with the fig-leaves of our own self-righteousness. By faith, start with finding your acceptance from God. God does not focus on what it wrong with you. In fact, through Christ, He sees what is right.
We may need to accept the way God has made us. We may need to turn away from sinful behaviors. We may need to accept that a certain past event does not define us. We may need to accept that we are not responsible for the sins of others against us.
From all these causes of shame and many more, God cleanses us. He created, He redeemed, He cleanses. When we confess our shame to God, when we bring it to others for help, we find freedom from the shame.
And as we find the acceptance of God that comes through faith in Jesus Christ, the shame will melt away.
A Sunday Event:
On our upcoming Lord’s Day (THIS SUNDAY!) we will have our final picnic of the summer. It starts immediately after the service. Would you plan to join us? It is a time for great fellowship after great worship service and a great way to begin our end-of-the-year countdown.
The picnic starts with grilling around 11:45 AM. We will meet by the baseball fields.
Plan to bring some meat to grill for your family. Bring a dish to share with the rest of the church. We will provide the drinks, condiments, and eating utensils.
Here is what we need:
- We need GRILLS (can you bring yours?),
- Grill Masters,
- and we really need help with set up (meet around 8:30 AM to get it done before Sunday school classes) (seriously … Jonathan Allison usually does this by himself before service … a team of guys who can move tables and chairs is a HUGE help)
The weather looks great as of the time I wrote this, it also looks dry.
- Register for Adult and Children CHOIRS/DRAMA
- Needed Supplies for the Manse can be found here
- Sign up to Fold Bulletins
- Sign up to help with kitchen clean up here
What I’m Reading
- Book: Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens by Paul Tripp – The teen years “are the years of penetrating questions, the years of wonderful discussions never before possible. These are the years of failure and struggle that put the teen’s true heart on the table. These are the years of daily ministry and of great opportunity. These are not years merely to be survived! They are to be approached with a sense of hope and a sense of mission” (19). I’m leading a class on this for our September Sunday School classes. Pick up a book if you are planning to join us.
- Book: George Washington’s Sacred Fire by Peter Lillback– A very interesting book on the faith of George Washington. Was he a Deist? Peter Lillabeck says “no way!” and proves it with Washington’s own words. I found one early chapter on the Christian history of Virginia fascinating.
- Book: The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges – Why is it very important to keep our desires until control? Bridges makes the point, “”God most often appeals to our wills through our reason, sin and Satan usually speak to us through our desires.” If you were intrigued by the sermon last week, I suggest this book as Jerry Bridges is able to effectively call his readers to the pursuit of holiness (Hebrews 12:14).
- Book: Counter Culture: A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography by David Platt – “The more we consider these questions, the more we realize that religious liberty is a rare commodity in the world, and one which is increasingly uncommon in our own culture.” (215)
- Book: On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church by Deepak Reju – a very helpful book on preventing child sexual abuse in the church. We are seeking a new Director of Child Protection. If you are interested in serving in this way, please see me.
- 9:00 AM – Praise Team Rehearsal
- 9:00 AM – PROMOTION SUNDAY: Children’s Sunday School – Meet in the sanctuary to meet new Sunday school teachers.
- 9:00 AM – Adult Sunday School Classes. Find out more about adult classes online here.
- 10:00 AM – AM Worship Service –Pastor Doug Preaching– We are continuing our series on Leviticus this week.
- 11:45 AM – Let the Grilling Begin! Outdoor picnic
- No Evening Service (Picnic)
- No Open House (Picnic)