Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ashamed of Jesus?

Jesus said, “Whoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38).

Sometimes following Jesus is not the popular thing to do. Thus, these words strike at the coward that lingers within our hearts during those times when social trends are decidely anti-christian.

God knows we must be motivated outside ourselves in order to rise above that within us which holds us down -- namely, the fear of failure, embarrassment, and rejection. This fear can be defeated by openly embracing Jesus Christ.

Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16).

He wrote his young disciple, Timothy, and encouraged him to take a stand for Jesus. He said, “God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.”(2 Tim 1:7,8).

Our response to Christ’s presence and purpose makes Him proud to stand up for us as our God! The writer of Hebrews tells us, “He is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Heb.2:11), and, “God is not ashamed to be called their God” (Heb.11:16).

Turning the pages in an old book, I came upon this wonderful poem by Joseph Grigg entitled Ashamed of Jesus?

Jesus, and shall it ever be, a mortal man ashamed of Thee?
Ashamed of Thee, whom angels praise, Whose glories shine through endless days?
Ashamed of Jesus! Sooner far let evening blush to own a star!
He sheds the beams of light divine O’er this benighted soul of mine.

Ashamed of Jesus! That dear Friend On whom my hopes of heaven depend!
No! When I blush, be this my shame, that I no more revere His name.
Ashamed of Jesus! Yes, I may, when I’ve no guilt to wash away;
no tear to wipe, no good to crave, no fears to quell, no soul to save.

Till then, nor is my boasting vain, Till then I boast a Savior slain.
And, O, may this my glory be, That Christ is not ashamed of me!

My friends -- when darkness increases our lights shines brightest. Do not be ashamed of Jesus under any circumstance. And He will not be ashamed of you!

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