ashamed16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. (Romans 1:16 NIV)

There’s not a day that goes by that God doesn’t give us plenty of opportunities to share His love, in word and in deed, with others. If you are like me then there have been times in your life when you were talking to someone and you sensed, you felt, you KNEW that God had opened a door to speak up about Jesus, to share your faith, to witness about the difference Jesus has made in your life, or to share the message of the Cross of Jesus with an unbeliever, but fear and uncertainty kept you from doing what God had given you the opportunity to do. “Fear” and “uncertainty” are the tools of the enemy to convince us that we should keep our mouths shut.

I fear that if I share my faith in Jesus with others they will reject me. I fear that if I am open about my faith that others will label me. I fear that those who know me best will point out my flaws if I speak up about my love for Jesus. I fear that if I speak openly about Jesus that I will be persecuted because of my beliefs. The Apostle Paul knew all about these fears, yet he wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes; first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”

Uncertainty is also a paralyzing tool used by the enemy to get us to remain silent when God is calling us to speak up. I’m uncertain that I will be able to answer their questions. I’m uncertain if it is really God that is leading me to speak up. I’m uncertain that I know enough to adequately explain the Gospel to those the Lord leads into my life. My “uncertainty” and “fear” are two sides of the same coin. My fear and uncertainty make me uncomfortable. I’ve learned that my discomfort is a normal, natural reaction to an unfamiliar situation and that the only way to see my fear and uncertainty diminish is to follow God’s lead and speak up any way. Will I stumble over my words? Absolutely! Will I be able to answer all of their questions? Absolutely not! Will I face persecution? Will others make fun, snicker, or call me names? Probably. Will I be persecuted? Any persecution we might face in our society is certainly nothing like our brothers and sisters are facing daily in places around the world where they are losing their lives for the sake of the gospel. We must recognize our fear and uncertainty for what they are…nothing more than a ruse used by the enemy to get us to remain silent.

Recently, twenty-one of our brothers in Christ were beheaded because of their faith. They were beheaded for no other reason than that they were followers of Jesus. It has been reported that some of them were mouthing, “Lord Jesus Christ” as they prepared to die while others were saying, “Jesus help me.” Paul said, “…we glory in our sufferings…” Whether we “suffer” rejection, mockery, alienation, or something much worse…we should never be ashamed of the good news of the One who died so that we might have everlasting life. That is news that is too good to keep to yourself!

 

52 Verses 52 Weeks: Week 8
Romans 1:16
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