Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Don't Let The Past Define You

“Don’t Let The Past Define You”
By Zach Wood
Mark 14:27-31, 66-72

Life is not void of mistakes and failures.  We are imperfect and we will make mistakes and fail at things sometimes.  We will be lured by temptations in the world to follow a path that takes us into sin.  We will also have things that happen to us that we cannot control, but still make us feel ashamed and unworthy of true love. 

We must remember that our past does not define who we are.  Our past may contain consequences of mistakes we have made or pain from things that have happened to us, but that does not mean that we are failures.  We have made mistakes and we have failed, but we are not considered failures in the eyes of God Who created us so beautifully! 

In this passage, we read about Jesus predicting Peter’s denial.  Peter insists that he will never turn away from Jesus or deny Him.  But then later we read about how Peter moved on.  Peter was human and he messed up.  He was crushed after he heard the rooster crow three times.  I can’t imagine the immediate heartache that hit him when he heard the tragic alarm reminder of what Jesus had predicted.  Peter wept bitterly.  He was heartbroken.  But Jesus forgave him and then in Acts, Peter preaches a powerful sermon on the Day of Pentecost to start the early church.  Wow! 

All of us can relate to Peter in some way.  And perhaps maybe someone reading this has made more mistakes in your life that you can count and you think all you have done defines who you are and that you don’t deserve redemption.  It is so easy to let the past failures of our life define who we are, but Christ wants us to know that He gives hope that no one else can give.  We can break through the shackles of shame from our past hurts and mistakes.

Don’t let the past define you, let Christ define you! 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Leaving The Shackles Of Shame

“Leaving The Shackles Of Shame”
By Zach Wood
2 Corinthians 5:17

This week, I have been thinking so much about people who are buried in a past of shame, whatever that shame may be.  There are people hurting from past mistakes and also from past things that happened to them and have not gotten past those hurts and allowed Christ to renew them and restore them. 

As a new pastor, I hear a lot of conversations about people and their past hurts and shame.  It saddens me that so many people live in this shame and never find hope from it.  I am so thankful that Jesus Christ offers hope and restoration that nothing in this world can compare to or offer. 

Paul says in this passage that if we are in Christ, we are a New Creation!  We aren’t shackled anymore by the past that tries to haunt us.  We have a new life in Him.  But many people shy away from letting Christ heal that pain and help them move on.  They’ve done too many things to receive forgiveness and it’s not possible for them to come back and recover.  But that couldn’t be any further from the truth. 

Jesus Christ offers forgiveness and the chance to be restored and renewed.  Whatever your past may be and however you may be hurting, Jesus Christ can and will make you a New Creation!  You don’t have to live in the shackles of shame anymore.  He will remove those shackles, but you must let Him. 

Many people say they don’t deserve to be released or forgiven.  And the truth is no one does.  But Jesus gives us what we don’t deserve and offers that real hope and healing from the shackles of shame.

My prayer is that anyone who reads this will be reminded that God offers a true life of restoration and healing.  Maybe it’s a past addiction or some hurt that you experienced that you cannot move on from or heal from.  Are you willing to receive that healing from the past?

Allow Jesus Christ to break through and remove your shackles of shame.