The Power of Shame.

“Do not let the afflicted be turned back in shame! Let the oppressed and poor praise your name!.” Psalms 74:21

We are all afflicted in some way. The dictionary gives this definition: “to cause pain or suffering; to be distressed so severely as to cause persistent suffering or anguish.” Many of us suffer or have suffered physically, from injuries, diseases, etc. The list is endless. Mental and emotional afflictions can cause more anguish than even physical pain. And, then there is spiritual affliction. This is where shame comes in; the single, cruelest weapon of torture, wielded by the Enemy of our Soul.

He is called The Accuser. The Word of God tells us that he accuses us before our God day and night.

He not only accuses us before God, he torments us with the shame of our failures, especially those in which we feel we have let God down, when we’ve stumbled in sin. Shame: the worst of afflictions, the cruelest of tortures.

What is shame’s ultimate purpose? To keep us from coming to God; to cause us to feel separated from his love.

Well, I want to share some very Good News to anyone agonizing in shame: Jesus destroyed the power of shame over two thousand years ago! He dealt it a permanent death blow as he took our sin and shame upon himself, made it his own and paid the price for it by suffering and dying in our place, upon the cross. When he died the scriptures tell us that the veil that prevented mankind from entering into the Holy of Holies was rent in two from top to bottom. This signifies that you and I are now free to enter into God’s Holy Throne Room, just as we are, to be cleansed forgiven and restored by him, in his very presence!

This is the fulfillment of the request in the above verse: “Do not let the afflicted be turned back in shame!”

God hasn’t let that happen. He has made a way for us to enter into his presence and not be turned back; and that way is Jesus! Now we are free to praise his Holy Name. ~Ron

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Facing Ziklag.

By: Ron Bouchard. theburningheart.com

“And David was greatly distressed: for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6

At this point in David’s life he was worn out from fleeing Saul. Though he was the rightful king of Israel everything appeared to be hopeless. So, he actually made the mistake of going over to the enemy of his own people and seeking refuge there. He approached Achish, king of Gath and offered him his sword and his army. In return Achish gave him the city of Ziklag for he and his men, plus their families, to live in. For the full story go to 1 Samuel Chapter 27 through Chapter 30 in the Bible.

What I would like to focus on is David’s dilemma at this point in his life. Because he was worn out by many unending trials he began to make bad decisions; decisions that would come back to haunt him. David can be you or me. We have all either been in his place or are going to be in his place at some point in our lives and God has graciously recorded his story in order that we can have guidance on how to face our own Ziklag.

Without going into the details, David and his men had gone off to a battlefield to actually fight their own people alongside the Philistines they were living with. Bad decision after bad decision! But, the other Philistine kings didn’t trust them, so Achish had to send them back to Ziklag. As they approached the city they saw smoke rising from it. When they got there they discovered that all their homes were destroyed, their belongings plundered and their families taken captive by the Amalekites. This brings us to the above verse. Things could not get any worse for David. Let’s run down his woes: Saul turned on him and was hunting him down. He was so desperate he turned to his enemy for refuge. His enemy ends up rejecting him. He goes back to his home and the Amalekites have utterly destroyed everything and taken the families of all the men captive. His men blame him for his poor leadership and are at a point where they decide to stone him. It doesn’t get much worse than that.

Think of it. Absolutely everyone connected with David has failed him, come against him, stopped trusting him and wanted to take their angst in life out on him. To top it off he has lost his home, his possesions and his family.There is one thing he hasn’t lost however and he has enough sense to remember. He hasn’t lost the love of God. Everyone else has rejected him. Everyone else has declared him a failure. Everyone else has given up on him. Everyone else wants to punish him. But, there was one who hadn’t given up on him; his Father God.

I want you to know, that regardless of what others think, or, how bad life has gotten for you, God has not given up on you. You can go to him right now and he will meet you right where you are at. He is not concerned with what others think about you, he is only concerned for you! David, at the lowest point in his life, when his own bad decisions brought him to the place he was at, remembered that his God was a God of love, a God of forgiveness, a God of hope and a God of new beginnings. He is not just that for David, he is that for you and I also! In the end of the story we find that God told David to pursue the Amalekites and they would recover everything they lost. God wants that for you and me also. Go, right now, and encourage yourself in the Lord your God . . . ~Ron

By: Ron Bouchard. theburningheart.com

A New Creation.

By: Ron Bouchard http://www.theburningheart.com

“So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old is passed away; look, what is new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Are you in Christ, my friend? Have you been made new? Think, just for a moment, what it would be like to be a completely new person. Think about the possibility of walking away from your old life and starting fresh, with the old baggage dead and gone, buried in a grave. Wouldn’t that be wonderful, if it were possible? God has made a way for it to be so. God has fashioned a deliverance for you, from your old life that is slowly crushing you, into a New Life waiting to be appropriated and lived!

” And all these things are from God who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and who has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18

Yes, this is God’s free gift to you. Freedom. Freedom from darkness, from sin, from shame and from guilt. No matter what you have done, God desires to be reconciled with you; and for you to be free to live the life you were truly created for. Bound in chains no more, the prison door opened wide; just like a calf let out of the stall, skipping and leaping and playing! This is your possibility . . .

The perfect gift. The most costly gift ever given. Jesus’ very life offered for you . . . Will you receive it today?

‘In other words, in Jesus Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and He has given us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:19

This is how we serve God, by offering His free Gift of Salvation to others, because we, ourselves have received it. Instead of offering people the things from our old life; angst, criticism, judgement, anger, bitterness, hatred, pride, etc.; we offer them the newness of Life that we have been given.

“Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His plea through us. We plead with you on Christ’s behalf, ‘Be reconciled to God!’ “ 2 Corinthians 5:20

What Good News it is to know this:

“God made the one who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 2:21

And, let me just say this: For any of my brothers and sisters in Jesus, who have gone back and dug up that grave where the old things are buried, I want you to know that your wandering back to the old things is forgiven as well. You can begin your walk with God anew. Take a moment and go again to the grave of the old things, put them were they belong and move on, celebrating your freedom in Jesus Christ!

“For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

His Eternal Blessings upon you, Ron

Ron Bouchard http://www.theburningheart.com