Your Ashamedness vs God’s Ashamedness

Friday, 2016-11-25

Scripture

Bible Reference: Luke 9:23-26

Bible Text: 23 Jesus continued to say to all of them, “Any of you who want to be my follower must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you every day for following me. 24 Any of you who try to save the life you have will lose it. But you who give up your life for me will save it. 25 It is worth nothing for you to have the whole world if you yourself are destroyed or lost. 26 Don’t be ashamed of me and my teaching. If that happens, I[a] will be ashamed of you when I come with my divine greatness and that of the Father and the holy angels.

Bible Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

My Take

While on the way to a business reception I remember being challenged in the presence of about 4 others, why is that I don’t drink alcoholic beverages and whether it was related to my religious beliefs. I’m not sure if the businessman was starting to think that he might be ashamed of me while at the reception if I was one of the few not drinking, but I believe it was intended to question my Christian stand on the subject of drinking alcohol. There are many other stories I hear of individuals being challenged with similar questions. At times, I believe it opens the door for entertainment while the Christian is put on the spot about a belief that may be contrary to the worldly beliefs of others in the group, but I also believe that many times Satan is using his messengers to challenge us on our beliefs so that we may question our selves and possibly sweep our God-infused beliefs ‘under the rug’. Friends, there are many times that it is safer to blend in with the rest, than to stand out like a sore thumb, all alone in believing something contrary to the crowd. Might I suggest that this challenge is our ‘cross’ that we must carry every day? Let’s compare for a moment. Jesus carried a cross all the way up to Calvary that He knew He would be hung on to die. He also knew that, as the Son of God, He had all power to reverse the whole crucifixion, for we know that previously He had disappeared from a crowd of witness during His earthly ministry. He had miraculously turned water into wine, caused the blind to see and brought the dead back to life. Was there something about this crucifixion that was more difficult or impossible than any of the miracles just mentioned? However, remember when He prayed to His Father in the garden? In response to His own pleading for the cup of suffering to be taken from Him, Jesus said to His Father “none the less, may Your will be done”. Now let’s consider our ‘cross’ that we are called to carry every day. Like Jesus, we may commit to Him in private that we are determined to carry our ‘cross’ each day. However, like Peter, I believe we often cave in to the popular thing to do – the joys of partying and going along with the crowd, even if it takes us into choice areas that we would never agree to, if we sought to do the will of God withough any worldly pressures. Friends, I believe this all boils down to two things: First – Popularity – which means that we want to be super popular with the organizer of an event where we may have to compromise, or we just allow Satan to misguide us into putting God into a ‘box’ – a segregated comfortable ‘box’ we call the church, or even in the privacy of our home. We want to fit in with the crowd. However, Secondly – is Integrity – which means that we will stand firm to our commitment to serve God in season and out of season; at church or on the byways and at our parties or worldly events. Friends, if we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, then transgress to living like the world, are we not saying that we are ok being a Christian in private, but publicly we are really ashamed of standing up for what God really teaches in His Word? Please allow me to be the first to tell you: that is not being a person of integrity. If you commit to something, or someone, let it exude from your mouth, your actions and every aspect of your life. If it’s in you, it will exude from you! I feel like these verses basically say that when we choose to be popular,  or feel ashamed to be obedient to God, we are showing that we are ashamed of Him. Isn’t that the same as saying that you are really not sure that you want to commit to God for all aspects of your life?  God declares that if this happens, He will shun us when He returns, for He will be ashamed of us. Is that what you truly want to happen? I pray that each of you reading this devotional today will stand firm and practice obedience to everything God teaches you to say and do, God being your helper!

Prayer

Lord, as I reflect on this today, my mind goes back to the sign that I see near the exit of many churches ‘you are now entering your mission field’, for daily we leave the comfort of our homes, and the safety of our commitment to you, to be bombarded by the practices of the world and the dictates of it’s leader. Lord, I pray that daily we can mimick Your words to Your Father and commit ourselves in saying:  not my will oh Lord, but may the words of our mouth, the meditation of our heart and the actions we take, be pleasing to You and represent Your compassion for our lives and witness, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to http://www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Be Not Ashamed of the Gospel

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: Nehemiah 8:1–3
Today’s Bible Text: On the first day of the seventh month, the people came together in the open area in front of the Water Gate. Then they asked Ezra, who was a teacher of the Law of Moses, to read to them from this Law that the LORD had given his people. Ezra the priest came with the Law and stood before the crowd of men, women, and the children who were old enough to understand. From early morning till noon, he read the Law of Moses to them, and they listened carefully.
The Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take Away: I found it awesome that the Israelites gathered in the square, in unity, and asked that the book of Moses be read to them. Friends, I had to stop and think carefully about when church goers would ever call the pastor and ask that he come and read the Bible in their large, public group setting. Also, think with me about the length of time that Ezra was allowed to read, and compare that to the length of time that we would sit around in a church service or allow a pastor to participate in a public setting. Could it be that we have come so far – perhaps in our knowledge and our modern day conveniences and technology, that we feel like we have a lot of things worked out on our own and really don’t need to sit through an extended period of training in the basics of God’s Word? I recently attended a prayer summit, and many attendees were very curious as to how we would handle sitting through a conference where all we would do is to wait before God, pray, read His Word and sing. However, we saw God come and bless us with His awesome presence, and the time slipped by without anyone losing their mind! I believe it comes down to what we are willing to set as a priority in our life. God is waiting for us to open our hearts and reach out to Him, so that he could fill us with His awesome presence. What are you willing to do in order to draw closer to God and allow Him to speak to you? Are you willing to fully surrender your life to Him? Are you willing to take God with you into your homes, into our churches and even into our public places? He hung on a cruel cross and died a criminal’s death for you and I, and never considered it ‘shameful’. Are you willing to do the same for His sake? I started this devotional yesterday, but due to illness I had to return to my bed. Praise God that I was able to pick it up again, because this chapter is loaded with great truths that can benefit us all.

Prayer: Father God, You endured it all for us. Please strengthen us so that we may be willing to allow You to shine through us wherever we may find ourselves. Please help us to never be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, no matter where we may find ourselves. Perhaps if Your children would truly be Your people out in the highways and byways, perhaps the lost might stand a chance of seeing Jesus and having a greater desire to know Him personally. Lord, unfortunately I believe that if we are not representing You well, we may very well be a stumbling block to someone coming to know You because we are not living the life we are claiming. Lord may that never be the case, I pray. I ask for boldness to be a better witness for You, and I ask this in the name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

2016