Romans 10:11 “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed”.
As with most things in my life, I have quite a varied religious background. Born a Methodist, raised a Mormon, I spent a lot of time researching religions. Within my own family there are Catholics, Mormons, Buddhists, Jewish, Pentecostal, Methodist, Baptist, Lutherans, and atheist. To say our family reunions are interesting is a bit of an understatement.
My relationship with God and Christ truly came into being the year I turned 50. I have great respect for all the religions that my friends and family belong to. I just could not find a feeling of belonging or anything that filled that God shaped hole in my heart. I was just going through the motions of church without having any real knowledge or understanding of what was truly available to my hurting, sinful, wounded soul.
Currently sweetheart and I do not belong to a “religion” per se. We attend Fellowship Of The Woodlands in Texas. It is what is most commonly referred to as a mega church. It is non denominational and strives to make everyone feel welcome, especially if you are struggling to find your place in God’s world. We regularly have guest speakers at the church who have experienced hitting bottom and finding God’s Grace in the rubble of their lives. Many of our pastoral team regularly recounts the events that brought them into the service of God.
All of this little autobiography brings me to the song Amazing Grace. A song that I knew from the earliest times of my childhood religious experiences, it always was just a beautiful, haunting hymn that brought a stirring to my heart. The singers in my family have regularly used it as in solo performances at their various churches. Its words and references never fail to bring tears of joy and sadness to my face.
A few Sundays ago, Greg Long from the group Avalon sang this song midway through our service. Unlike most churches, we are always standing during the music portions. This time however, because it was out of sequence of our regular singing time, we were all seated. As the first words drifted through the huge sanctuary, you could literally feel the Holy Spirit coursing through the building. Women rustled in their purses for handkerchiefs, men trying to look stoic; everyone was on the edge of their seats with the anticipation of each healing word that flows from that song.
Suddenly I found myself standing, hands reaching for the Heavens, praising Him with all the pain that tends to build up in my sinners soul. Knowing that He has forgiven me of my past sins, made me clean again, brought me to His feet and covered me with His Grace and Mercy, I was unashamed of my public display of affection for my Abba. For a moment I felt the eyes of the sanctuary on me. My first thought was that there was judgment in those gazes. Then I felt relief pour out of the woman next to me as she stood and then a man and then another and another until we were all standing. Our voices were loud and strong, broken only by the occasional catch that comes in the voice of someone who realizes that God has reached out and covered us in His Grace.
Never be afraid dear friends to show a public love for your God. Never hold back in sharing His Love and Mercy with those you meet. Never ever ever be ashamed of what you have gone through if the end result is that you have found Christ and received His healing forgiveness of you sins. He has promised you that He “will forgive (your) wickedness and will never again remember (your) sins.” Heb 8:12. Once you have been given His Amazing Grace, there is nothing and no one that stands between you and Heaven.