Romans 1:16, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
I really love this verse but I wish it applied to me.
The gospel is good news so why would I be ashamed of the gospel? After all it is the power of God to salvation. What could be better news than being saved? If I announced I had cured cancer or had ended world hunger I think people would be interested in hearing about it. I’d be excited to tell the world. I would share this with everyone I came in contact with because it would save lives. It would indeed be exciting and dramatic news.
So why would I be ashamed of the gospel?
If I’m a follower of Jesus Christ and I believe God’s word is true; I should desire to share this good news with everyone I come in contact with and most especially the ones closest to me. But I struggle in the area of the ones closest to me. It’s difficult to start the conversation. I’m afraid of what the reaction might be or I don’t want to invest the time it will take even though I know this contends with scripture.
Matthew 10:27-28 “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul, but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” I am without excuse. I know the commands and the words cut to my heart.
I know in these moments I am in sin. James 4:17 Therefore to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. I know this is “good”, it’s what I was created for, (Ephesians 2:10) so what holds me back?
The answer is self preservation. I like myself more than I should and I want them to like me more than I should. I don’t want to be thought of as “that guy” or “Here comes the preacher”….. But again this denies Christ; it is shame in the gospel.
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
Well there it is; “the line in the sand.” The one the Lord uses to define who the true followers will be. It separates the wheat from the chaff and the sheep from the goats; it’s the difference between the wide road and the narrow path because it’s just hard to do. In these times the Holy One is asking me questions and the questions demand a response.
What are you going to do Kevin, you going to cross the line? Who do you love, Me or you? Are you willing to be hated for My names sake? Did I suffer and die for you? Did they beat Me, spit on Me and mock Me so you could serve Me? Or do you want a “god” that makes your life better?
This battle continues to rage in my mind but daily by God’s grace I am learning to stand with Paul and boldly proclaim “I am NOT ashamed of the gospel” it “IS” the power of God to salvation, not to perfection but to the glory of the One that deserves my praise and obedience.
Consider your life today and ask yourself, if you are ashamed of the gospel?