This week’s Bridge podcast features a sermon from Unka Glen on how to know who you can listen to, an original Jed Brewer worship song recorded live in Chicago, and a fresh take on a classic hymn by Knoxville folk duo Southern Harmonic.
Stream it above or download it free on iTunes or our Website
If you’re needing a little extra worship-time in your week, check this out. I bet you’ll dig it.
Fear writes its own gospel. It replaces the true gospel message, one that brings courage and passion and boldness, with a false and ugly gospel of worry, where I’m found cringing in my lack of accomplishment, and my ongoing sins. Fear opens the door to lies and makes me easy to manipulate.
Guilt writes its own gospel. It teaches us the absurd lie that our bad behavior changes God’s mind about us. Guilt teaches us to “pay” for our own sins by beating up on ourselves, thus ignoring the need for a Savior. It teaches us that it’s not God’s love that binds our relationship together, it’s my behavior. But the true gospel teaches us: if it’s paid for, put it behind you.
Shame writes it’s own gospel. It preaches the lie that you are what you’ve done, therefore, you can’t escape your past. The one true gospel says that I am who loves me, and that God loves me in a way that is too deep and wide and tall for me to comprehend. Fear, guilt, and shame open the door to the enemy’s main lie: you are not worthy.
So let’s dismiss these shabby, disgusting, and religious-sounding fake gospels, and return to the real gospel: I am a sinner saved by grace. I didn’t earn it, I never was worthy of it, I’m saved because God is in charge, and that’s exactly how God wanted it to be. And, it turns out, I’m exactly the kind of scoundrel who will accept eternal life in paradise without deserving it in the least.
So now my focus needs to be on my savior, not on the sins He’s already paid for. My focus needs to be on the good he is calling me to, not the sin He is calling me from.
“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group”
“Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said.
‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’” -John 8:3,9-11
Even the earthly consequences of lust are not beyond Jesus’ ability to restore and repair. Jesus can heal and make positive things come from even the most negative of consequences. You are never too late or too far to come back to God.
Think to yourself ‘what would my life look like if I didn’t have this doubt and this worry, if I just knew for a fact God had my back? What kind of things would I do?’ Then, even if you can just manage it for day, go do those things. I think what you will find is that those doubts and worries will shrink in comparison to intimacy with God.
Jesus came to set you free not only from your sin, but from the guilt and shame that fuels it. The reality is that you will mess up. You will look at something you shouldn’t, do something you shouldn’t. After that is over you will have a choice, to go back to Jesus and figure out how to get it right next time; or to assume that God is disgusted with you and try to find solace in the little pleasure that lust brought you. God does not condemn you, don’t try to condemn yourself on His behalf. God’s grace is bigger than your any of your sins, even lust.
If the way you look really didn’t matter at all anymore, where would you get your worth? I know that’s a weird question. In fact, you might want ease on back and read that through one more time, but a bit more slowly. If nobody cared how anyone looks, how would you measure your value? That sounds…
This is beautiful, and so important. Take a second to check this out.