Friday, February 10, 2012

Instead of Shame

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

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The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.... 
because He has anointed me to....
bind up the brokenhearted, 
to proclaim freedom for the captives 
and release from darkness for the prisoners

Isaiah 61: 7 Instead of their shame
   my people will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
   they will rejoice in their inheritance;
and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs. 

Go back to the roots, to the beginning place where shame and brokenness started. For your part repent of those things you took part in that you know to be sin. For your part go back and forgive those who have wronged you, who have broken and damaged you. To forgive them does not mean that what they did to you was ok. It was never ok, but you can't hold on to it any longer. The things that you have done that have damaged and hurt others were not ok - but God forgives you.  If we do not forgive others we open our selves to the torment of the enemy. As long as the enemy has legal right to be connected to your life it will continue to hold you captive and under the weight of shame, guilt, oppression and depression. "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective". James 5:16  Find someone you trust and begin to confess your sins. Each confession, and every time you forgive and every time you repent the power of darkness over you life weakens and the chains that have held you bound will melt like wax in the presence of the Holy God to whom you belong.  Allow some one to speak over you the acceptance the forgiveness and blessings of God. If you can't find some one begin by confessing those things to the Lord and then read to yourself out loud from the Word the truth of his forgiveness acceptance and mercy towards you. Receive the Holy Spirit to help you and comfort you to lead you into all truth. 

It is sometime easier to stay in a familiar pain that has become comfortable or bearable, then it is to embrace and un-known future and the change of new life. You fear that you won't be able to define yourself with out this broken things that you have hung on to and allowed to define you as long as you can remember. It never was or is now, who or what God has called you to be. Let it go and allow God to speak His truth to you. He says you have a sound mind, he says you are adopted, accepted, wanted, beloved, desired, the apple of his eye. In Him you are righteous, holy, forgiven, clean, healed, called, anointed, a vessel of honor, a delight.

Instead of shame and disgrace God wants you to receive a double portion an inheritance, a purpose, a calling, to belong, to be loved, to be treasured. He wants to free you from oppression, guilt, shame, depression, rejection, fear, failure, sickness, lust, addiction, poverty and lack.  These are things you have grown to accept as part of who you are but they are never what God has intended. You work so hard to hide or justify these things in your life when all God is asking you to do is accept what Jesus has already done. Jesus comes and stands outside the door of the prison you have created and he says "Will you believe that I am able to release you. I am able and willing to forgive you." He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.

John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

I know for myself the road to freedom has been one of having to allow the Lord into those secret and hidden places. I have had to go back and face the pain that I have avoided and locked up and stuffed away in hidden places. I sometimes wondered if I would ever get through the rubble and brokenness. I realize while it has been a journey the Lord has walked so near me. Where I should have received his judgement I have received his compassion and forgiveness. He has come to me like the man left in the ditch by the side of the road.  The Lord, like the good Samaritan has stopped when others have passed me by or abandoned me. He has carried me to a place of shelter, he has tended to my wounds and provided for my care during the time of recovery. Like the lost son, who squandered his father inheritance on foolish living and choices only to find himself living with the pigs in the mud and filth. When that one decided to go home he found that the father had been watching, waiting, longing for his return. A long way off the Lord has seen you coming. In great joy he has jumped up and runs to meet you. He accepts you, not as a servant but as his son that was dead, but who has now returned. He loves you broken and dirty as you are in this instant, let him him wash you and give you clean robes, let him put on you his ring, the seal of his approval and acceptance. He celebrates and declares a great feast to rejoice over your return. You and I do not deserve any of it. It is never by our own merit that we are accepted. It is Jesus, sent to us by the great love of the Father who has paid the price with His own life to appropriate our freedom from sin and death and the chains that have so long kept us bound in digrace and shame.

 Today is a new day - you don't have to continue to wallow in the mud and the filth of the old sinful ways of life. He's not asking you to try and wash yourself before he will accept you. Come now- you cannot clean or heal or fix your own brokenness - but He can and He will, but the first step is to come accept what he Has already done.  Lay down your self sufficiency you can't make it on your own - you need Jesus.

Today if He is speaking to you do not harden your heart but receive the gift of His forgiveness. His grace is sufficient for you.  Hebrews 3:7-14 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert,
where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did.
 That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,  and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger,
   ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ” See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

Dear Lord,
Come now Lord Jesus into those places that we have kept back and hidden from you. Those areas of shame and disgrace that have held us captive to the old broken life of sin. Set us free, we choose to repent, we choose to forgive. Help that repentance and forgiveness to become a reality in our life. Help us to set our minds and our hearts on your truth. Help us to receive all that you have for each of us. Help us to see the gifts of grace, mercy and love that you have lavished upon us. Help us to pick up those things not because we deserve them but because you have created them for us and desire for us to have them. You have crated us for your pleasure - help us to come now and join in the great dance of your amazing love.

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