Have you ever denied God in front of others?
Have you ever been that person who sat quietly by as others insulted your Savior, Jesus Christ?
Unfortunately, there was a time in my life when that was true of me. In several instances in the past, I just shut my mouth as I listened to those around me criticize Christianity and portray its followers in various stereotypical ways.
As uncomfortable as I was, I didn’t want to risk being seen in a similar light.
And most certainly, I didn’t want to embrace the idea that suffering would be a part of my Christian faith.
The Easy Christian Life
I wanted the easy Christian life. You know, the kind of life where you gain all of the benefits of being a Christian, but forgo any type of hardship that might come along with it. I wanted to be able to call upon God to help me, but have Him leave me alone during the times when I thought things were going great.
In the secret places of my heart, I claimed to know God. But I certainly didn’t want to proclaim it in front of others with my own voice. I wasn’t ready for such a radical commitment. Playing it safe on the sidelines seemed like a good idea to me.
Looking back now, I don’t like thinking that was me. But it was.
It makes me sad that I ever treated Jesus like that – the one who saved me and loves me. I wish I had known then what I know now: that if there is anyone worth suffering for, worth proclaiming allegiance to, or worth picking up my cross for, it is Jesus Christ.I wish I had known then what I know now: that if there is anyone worth suffering for, worth proclaiming allegiance to, or worth picking up my cross for, it is Jesus Christ. Click To Tweet
For He did those very same things for me, only He did them first and on a much greater scale. And He didn’t have to think about it for a while or try to decide if I was worth it. He did it without reservation because He loves me so much. And He loves you that much too.
Romans 5:8 tells us this precious truth: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
I can never repay God for what He has done for me, and He doesn’t ask me to. But He has asked one thing of me: that I be unashamed of Jesus Christ and the gospel.
Luke 9:26 says, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory…” Perhaps this seems harsh, but in reality, God is just holding Jesus Christ up in his rightful place: a place of complete honor, where denying Him is not an option.
In Romans 1:16, the Apostle Paul states, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.”
In other words, how can we possibly be ashamed of the most amazing provision that God has provided for us?
Our Greatest Provision
Through Jesus Christ, God provided a perfect way for us to be with Him forever, even as sinful as we are. If we put our faith in Christ, He promises to cover us with His own blood, making us pure, “as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18), in front of a holy God that by His nature can stand for nothing less.
God simply asks that we honor His Son, that we not be ashamed of the very One who has saved us, the One who takes away all of our sin and shame.
Thankfully, I don’t have to contemplate anymore whether or not Jesus is worth suffering criticism or ridicule for believing in His name. He is worthy, and I know it because I realize the magnitude of what He has done for me.
If He can give His life for me, then I can unashamedly give all that I have left of my life for Him. It is not too much to ask.If He can give His life for me, then I can unashamedly give all that I have left of my life for Him. Click To Tweet
And if I face any type of persecution or suffering for my allegiance to Him, if people mock me or speak untrue things about me, I do not have to let fear rule my heart. I can look to Jesus, who “has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that [I] will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3).
“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great…” Matthew 5:11-12
Giving Christ My All
Living unashamedly is now the goal of my life.
And each day, as the love of my Savior grows in my heart, it is easier to stand before others and proclaim my allegiance to Him.
Christ gave up absolutely everything for me out of His great love for me. Therefore, I will live to serve Him with every moment I have left. I will give Him my all, so that by His grace others may believe and be saved. And one day when we see the face of Jesus, we will be able stand before Him–unashamed and unafraid.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15