Are You Embarrassed to be Identified as a Christian?
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.
Our theme this month deals with boldness. We are in a time when our faith is being challenged. God desires that His children are not embarrassed to proclaim truth to a broken world.
Most of us are neither ashamed nor embarrassed to be called Americans. Many of us proudly display flags or other symbols, proclaiming our allegiance to this fine nation. We wear hats that advertise our favorite places and jerseys that tout our favorite teams. Our coffee mugs advertise favorite “haunts” and our car bumpers often tell all who follow about our hobbies, foods, and political views. Oh, we’re proud to “love chocolate”, vote for so and so, and have a kid at such and such school. We’re proud of visiting Alaska, eating at Clyde’s Steakhouse, and driving such and such SUV, but are we proud to be Christians? Now, I’m not promoting Christian bumper stickers, hats, mugs, flags, shirts, or even pens. But really, how do you identify with the cause of serving Christ?
Years ago, I received an email from my friends, the Hollenbeck’s, that reminds me of how we should identify with Christ:
“The Apostle Paul was converted to Christianity when he was confronted by a Heavenly vision/experience on the road to Damascus.
“As a result of his becoming a devoted follower of Christ and a passionate proclaimer of the gospel, he suffered innumerable trials including being thrown into prison for his faith.
“In spite of all that happened to him, he was so convinced of the reality of Jesus Christ and the gospel message that he boldly said, ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel (God’s good news of salvation) because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…’ Romans 1:16.
“Sadly, today, there are so many folks in places who are being terribly persecuted and even killed for their faith in Jesus Christ. May those of us in the free world continually remember those who are suffering for Jesus today.
“And for all who are followers of Christ, may the words of the hymn writer, Joseph Grigg, be true for each of us:
Ashamed of Jesus sooner far
Let evening blush to own a star…
And O, may this my glory be,
That Christ is not ashamed of me.
I wish to stand tall when confronted by others for my faith. Scripture reminds us that we have a responsibility to identify with Him who we love and serve… not in the clothes we wear or slogans we carry, but in the words we speak and in our actions. Jesus Christ humbly died for us so that we can proudly follow Him.
How does this scripture apply to how you will represent our Lord in your daily living? “And as we live with Christ, our love grows more perfect and complete; so we will not be ashamed and embarrassed at the day of judgment, but can face him with confidence and joy because he loves us and we love him too.” 1 John 4:17 (LB)
We often enjoy the pleasures of our faith, but complain when things get tough. Sometimes we may suggest to God that our faith, good works, and allegiance to Him should exempt us from trials, tribulations, pain, and suffering. Scripture reminds us that we join Christ in His suffering. “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord… But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.” 2 Timothy 1:8
Suggestion for Prayer
Thank God for the wonderful privilege of being a part of His family. Pray for boldness in your faith and for all those who are suffering for their faith around the world.
Jim Grassi, D. Min.