Kim Walker-Smith's new album,On My Side, is out today and we couldn't be more excited to share it with you. In celebration of her release, we're providing free resources for Throne Room. Get a free chart + listen to the New Song Cafe to hear an exclusive acoustic performance and learn the song below*.
Shame is much easier to wear than grace. Shame is what we know. We’re accustomed to its fit, its feel. We never seem to be enough. We are always falling short. And so we move through life weighed down by an unnecessary burden.
On the hill of Calvary
The light of all the world
With the world on his shoulders
The weight of all our shame
Shame takes over whenever we lose sight of the cross. Without the cross, our sin defines us. No matter how long you’ve been a believer in Jesus Christ, the temptation to go back to our old way remains, the way of the law.
We like the law because it gives us a sense that we’re earning our keep. Follow these rules, and you’re safe. Break them, and you’ve failed. But the gospel flips this legalistic thinking upside-down. “Therefore,” writes Paul in Romans, “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son” (Rom. 8:1-3).
When Jesus died on the cross on Calvary, he set us free from sin and shame. Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
By his wounds I am set free
By his blood I’ve been redeemed
The great divide he crossed for me
Oh, praise the God of Calvary
By his wounds we were healed, and we are now a new creation, children of a God who bridged the divide between us with his son Jesus. Let’s exchange our clothes of shame and be clothed in grace instead. Walking and living in this gift given to us by the God of Calvary.
We feel the brokenness of this world every day, don’t we? Maybe you feel it in your relationships, in a struggle you’re facing or even in your own body. Something is off here. We don’t quite feel at home. We are always yearning for something more because we were made for something more. “For this world is not our permanent home,” Hebrews says, “we are looking forward to a home yet to come” (Heb. 13:14).
This world is not what it was meant to be
All this pain, all this suffering
There’s a better place waiting for me
Our real home has not yet come, but we are given a taste in scripture of what it will be like: “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Rev. 21:3-4).
In heaven,every chain is broken, every fear is gone. The things of this world that enslave us today—our sin, our circumstance, our mortality—will have no hold over us in eternity. Whatever feels broken here, will be made whole in our eternal home.
In the daily grind, it’s hard to remember this isn’t all there is. We get lost in the shuffle and in the mess of it all. This is why we have to intentionally stop and remind ourselves of the hope we have in Jesus, the freedom that is to come and the home that we were made for. Knowing this, we can boldly sing:
“Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” (Psalm 32:1, NIV)
Funny thing about the Bible… When you start reading it, you slowly begin to recognize yourself in the characters of the story. With prayer and conviction, we often swallow the lump in our throat as it dawns on us: We are Adam and Eve, trying to cover our shame. We are Peter, denying Christ when the gospel becomes counter-cultural. At our worst, we are the same ones who nailed Him to the cross. Our sin held Him there.
"I’m the one who held the nail / It was cold between my fingertips / I’ve hidden in the garden / I’ve denied You with my very lips"
It’s humbling, isn’t it? The gap between our depravity and His holiness is infinite. Our sins are oftentimes more than we can bear and greater than we can count. The canyon between who we are and who we were created to be gets wider by the day, it seems. Yet, God promises that the outstretched arms of His Son are more than enough to bridge that great divide.
The Bible plainly confirms this truth: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, NIV)
Forgiveness rushes in like a balm to our souls, allowing us to bask in the liberty a relationship with Christ provides. Forgiveness is such an extravagant gift. However, it comes with great responsibility. If we seek the Father’s forgiveness, He always promises to forgive His children, but He also expects us to be just as quick to forgive.
There’s the rub. We desperately want to be shown grace, but when it comes to extending that same grace to others, we’re quick to dole out judgement instead of the mercy Jesus desires us to reciprocate. With so many viewpoints at war in today’s society, it’s easy to focus on the things that divide us. It’s easy to point fingers and hurl insults. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that differing opinions equal differing sides of the equation. It’s easy to desire revenge and far more difficult to turn the other cheek.
Christ never said forgiveness would be easy. If anything, it’s perhaps one of the hardest things we’ll ever do this side of eternity. Yet, He asks us to never forget the sacrifice He made that covers all sins.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another,” He commands, “forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32, NIV)
He extends forgiveness so that we’ll give it away to others. And it’s in that exchange where we find true freedom. Just like anything else He bestows upon His children, forgiveness is a lavish gift we don't deserve. Yet, the Giver gives it away freely and often. And He invites us to do the same.
"You look at me, arms open / Forgiven, Forgiven / Child, there is freedom / From all of it / Say goodbye to every sin / You are forgiven"
We are so excited to announce the anticipated release of Passion’s newest album “Worthy Of Your Name”! This record includes powerful songs from some of our generation’s most influential worship leaders. We pray that you and your congregations are encouraged and inspired by the rich Gospel truths declared in these songs.
Below you’ll find song pages + resources along with New Song Cafés*. Enjoy!