Do you boldly proclaim or are you ashamed?

August 27, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
(Romans 1:16-17 (NIV))

Paul, in the face of danger and death, proudly proclaimed the gospel. He said that it is something that you should not be ashamed of and he is absolutely correct. If you are ashamed of the gospel, then you are not truly a believer in Jesus Christ. Jesus, Himself said:

If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
(Mark 8:38 (NIV))

It could not be simpler. We, as believers, must not be ashamed of the good news and we must proclaim it and not hide it from the world. It is the only thing that by which you can be saved. If you are ashamed of it, then you are not saved (re-read Mark 8:38). You have not accepted it completely, and will not be accepted by Jesus as part of His Body.

Take a serious look at what you believe and whether you would proclaim it to the world! Or, would you cower in shame and embarrassment at the thought of the world knowing? Your answer is very important, for it can mean your eternal life!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Am I convinced?

January 5, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.
(2 Timothy 1:12 (NIV))

Paul’s words to Timothy seem to start off to place blame, yet, he quickly turns that around to profess that he is not ashamed. He knows what he believes. He professes a faith that will see him through anything that the enemy may send his way.

How does this compare to what we have all been guilty of? How does this compare to our own situations?

For too many believers, blame is an easy thing to place. We have a tendency to revel in our own self pity in hopes that someone will acknowledge that we are suffering. I hate to say this, but it is almost an ego centered self pity. We want to be the best at something in order to draw attention to ourselves, so we seem to excel at suffering and blame.

God did not create us to be trapped in this ghastly situation. He did not send His Son, Jesus, to live, teach, suffer and die so that we can wallow in self pity and blame. He sent His Son to give us hope, grace and salvation. He did not send Him to give us suffering and self pity.

These come from the enemy.

When we, as the Body of Christ, suffer at the hands of unbelievers, have faith. Do not be ashamed when these attacks come your way, for they are designed to sway you from your faith. Rejoice in Jesus and stand firm in the assurance that He is able to guard what you have entrusted to Him.

The world does not understand how we can rejoice when we are suffering. The world wants to break us. The world wants to strip us of our faith. Our faith is not based on this world. Our faith is based on Jesus.

I once heard of a Chinese pastor who had been imprisoned for his faith. Part of his “job” while in prison was to shovel human waste. It is told that he stood waste deep in it for most of the day, yet he clung to his faith. He sang the whole day and always had a smile on his face in spite of his surroundings. He possessed a faith that saw him through all that the enemy sent his way.

Are you suffering because of your faith? Are you ashamed of your faith?

Examine your heart and ask yourself this question.

Am I convinced that Jesus is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him?

I pray that your answer is honest.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ashamed?

January 31, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
(Romans 1:16-17 (NIV))

Paul had it all in the eyes of Jewish society; education, position, authority and power. Yet, he abandoned it all after his experience on the road to Damascus. He was among the elite of “God’s Chosen People,” but, after a true encounter, he saw the foolishness of the path that he was on.

If Paul can say that he is not ashamed of the gospel after persecuting believers, we must be able to do the same. When he was converted, people did not trust him at first. It was actually several years before he embarked on what we now know as his ministry to the Gentiles. It took this time to grow in the faith and to gain the trust of other Jewish believers. Until this trust was gained from the believers, he was literally shunned by both believers and his old “friends” in Jewish society. He gave up everything for the sake of Jesus. His actions speak of what we must strive for.

If we are in a situation where it is not “politically correct” to be identified as a believer, do we stand firm in our faith, or do we avoid the issue? Do we let people know that we are committed to Jesus, or do we secretly pray that nobody asks or gives us away?

Think about Paul. He gave up everything that he had ever strived for in his life. He was not ashamed of the gospel. Are we?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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