The Road Through Romans: I Belong

100_5431We are moving through the book of Romans a verse at a time and today we come to verse 6 of chapter 1. If you have missed any of our previous discussion they can be found on THE ROAD THROUGH ROMANS PAGE.

Romans 1:6 reads,

And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

I don’t know what growing up for you was like. My experience was echoed in the movie Diary Of a Wimpy Kid. Only for me there never really was that moment where I exploded onto the hero’s stage. I was just a wimpy kid. I was the overweight guy, who got good grades, played flute in the band and got picked last in every gym class line up (not even kidding there).

One time in volley ball I got placed on the team and was told “if the ball comes to you just step out of the way. We don’t want you to foul up our game.”

I left the game and sat on the sidelines and that seemed to make everyone happy. I immersed myself in a book and went to that place all misfits go to when they are hurt, the imagination.

I share that to relay to you one of the reasons I am a Christian today. Like many others I know I found it hard to fit in to a world that valued certain attributes I didn’t have and downplayed other attributes I did have. When I came to Christ I found a place to belong. I found Someone who accepted me for who I was and what I could do and who actually valued it. More than that He told me that He was the One who made me this way and that I was CALLED TO BELONG TO HIM AND USE MY GIFTS FOR HIM.

Maybe I don’t fit in with the world. Maybe I don’t even fit in with most of the church. That is OK because I fit in with Jesus and He likes me just fine.  I have discovered that, I can serve the world in the church on the basis of His acceptance. I don’t need any body else’s.

How has belonging to Christ healed your self-perception?

Pastor Wrinkles: Unintended Consequences Pt. 2

Sunset Prayer

Yesterday we started a discussion around the fall of man from my latest sermon entitled “Unintended Consequences”. If you missed the first part of the discussion it can be found


Here is pt. 2 of that discussion:

Read Ge. 2:15- 3:19

At the moment of their disobedience (eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as shown in Ge. 3) something changed for Adam and Eve. Call it genetic. Call it spiritual. Nobody really knows, and truth be told it was probably a bit of both things, but something changed in the moment they disobeyed. They lost their significance, their sufficiency and their security, BUT they also lost something else as well. Adam and Eve at the point of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil lost their “Assurance”

Much is made of the fact that before the fall Adam and Eve were naked and after the fall they needed clothes. Many people say that God did this to keep them from lusting after one another. Well that may be a problem today but I don’t believe that was Adam or Eve’s problem back then. First, they were married. Second the issue mentioned around nakedness in the Garden is not lust but shame Ge. 2:25 says “they were both naked in the Garden and felt no shame.” The reason they sewed fig leaves together in Ge. 3:7 was because suddenly they were ashamed.

Shame is a lack of self-assurance. The word used for shame in Ge. 2:25 is the word “Buwsh” which means “to be disappointed in yourself in front of another person.”

Before the fall Adam and Eve did not judge themselves or feel unworthy in front of each other. After eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil their eyes were opened. Suddenly they began to judge everything around them and instead of seeing the good in things they started seeing the bad in things.

All our disappointment in who we are comes from the fall.  Every time you call yourself  “fat”, “ugly”,  “weak” or “stupid”, every time you look in the mirror and want to cover up some blemish you are experiencing the power of the fall.

God’s intended world had people filled with confidence and assurance in who they were created to be. His thought was that men would succeed at whatever they put their hands to and feel confident in themselves as they did it. Instead, the fall has us constantly fighting the fear that we are not enough and that at any moment the true us will show up and we will fail.

On a scale of one to ten how much has the fall affected you in your self-assurance?