Happy New Year!
Yes, I know that we are in the month of March. Yes, I realize that March is about to end and we are days away from entering into the month of April. To me, that’s beside the point. It is still a new year. 2019 to be exact. Now, let me ask you, how is it going for you so far?
No, really, how is it going?
Are you still working towards those New Year’s resolutions that you set for yourself back in December of last year? If so, good for you! Or do you find yourself like me right about now…at a crossroads?
Have you ever been at the crossroads your life and the only thing you’re left with is making the decision to stay where you are or cross over? What was it like realizing that you were at a vital point at which that decision must be made?
I’ll tell you what it has been like for me. It has been challenging. Here’s why.
Last year, I struggled with sharing my faith in God with others. Don’t get me wrong, the people around me know that I believe in God. Yet, when it came to speaking words I felt like God would lead me to say, I said nothing.
One day, I found myself questioning my behavior. I needed to know why was I doing that. It made no sense. I love God. I believe in Him and His Son, Jesus Christ. There’s nothing more that I want to do than to tell people about Him and what He, by His grace, has done. Why the silence?
Then it hit me. I had to ask myself another question. Am I ashamed to speak about Jesus? How could this be? Where did this shame come from? Why?
Let me tell you why. It was simply because the focus of what I had set my eyes on had shifted from looking at God to looking at the world. I had taken in too much of what the world was saying and doing. So much so that it provoked me to silence. And to truly be honest, I had become afraid to speak His name. Ouch!
It was no other person’s fault but my own. That’s why at the realization of my error, I knew I needed to regain focus and make a definitive decision. It comes down to one word.
I’ve decided to live unashamed of being saved by Jesus Christ.
Apostle Paul made it clear to the church in Romans that he had become sold out to living his life for Jesus Christ and preaching the gospel. To him, it was nothing that he was ashamed of.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. ~ Romans 1:16
On the day of December 3, 2006, my life had changed for the best. I gave my heart to Jesus that day. I was a sinner who needed desperately to be saved. I had tried everything in my own power to fix my life within my own strength, and nothing was working. I was even running from God. Like many people, I was not ready to give up the ways of the world. I ignorantly assumed that living for Jesus would be boring. How foolishly wrong I was.
My life, in the past thirteen years, has been everything but boring. I have witnessed God move in miraculous ways. He forgave me of all of my sins. He’s purified and cleansed me of the mess I had made of my life by removing what had made me feel so dirty and empty inside. He’s given me joy and peace that has surpassed all of my understanding.
Life with God has been such a blessing. I have been given an amazing gift. I see no reason to be ashamed of Him.
I will live my life being unashamed to speak of God’s Good News.
If I leave this earth knowing nothing else, I will assuredly know that God loves me. His word tells me so, and I believe it. Contrary to popular belief, we all need that love. We all need the gift of salvation that our Creator God has provided through His one and only Son.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. ~John 3:16
The love of God is something worth speaking about. Everyone born into this world deserves to know of this love. Why? God gave the ultimate sacrifice for us to know. Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God died for us all so that we could all know how much God loves us. Friend, that is good news worth telling. It’s become my testimony. I’m sticking to it.
Faith in God came to me by me hearing the word of God for myself. What I heard, by way of a preacher, I received. My life has changed for the best because of God’s Good News. Let’s just say that I know where my blessings have come from.
I will live my life unashamed of the hope I have in Jesus Christ.
I have always been a hopeful person, even when I was living life without Jesus Christ. It mattered not what I was going through. I stayed hopeful that I would somehow somewhere, eventually see change. Hope kept me strong when I thought I did not have the strength to carry on.
Today, I have a different hope. I have hope in the second coming of my Savior and Lord Jesus. I’m sure most of us have heard of the true story of the life of Jesus. But for those who have not, I will give you that good news.
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was born through a virgin named Mary. The power of the Holy Spirit of God impregnated her with the Son of God. The reason being was so that we, every man born into sin after the fall of the first Adam, could be saved from our sins. It was this purposed life that Jesus lived until it was time for Him to give up His life.
In giving up His life, He took all of our sins and nailed them to the cross. The body of Jesus was pierced so that His blood could be shed to purify and redeem us back to eternal life from eternal death. In three days, after He died and was buried, He rose again from the dead. This rising of Jesus signifies for all who come to believe in Him and the power of His resurrection, that we have risen to new life in Him.
That’s not all. People who give their lives to Jesus Christ become the Bride of Christ. Through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit that comes into their lives by way of confessing Jesus, they have now been empowered to live a different life than the one they previously lived. This new life sets them apart from the people of the world as God’s pure and holy chosen generation. And it is that generation that Jesus is coming back to claim.
I said all of that to say that the hope I now have is in the hope of His second coming. It is a hope that compels me to live my life according to the word of God. It is a hope that signifies that my life is not my own. It is a hope that declares that God knows best. It is a hope that comes into agreement with His standard of living for all whom He has created in this world. It is a hope that purifies me just as Jesus himself is pure.
With all that I have shared with you today, can you see why I have no reason to be ashamed? There is nothing wrong with living for and speaking of Jesus. Everything about Him and life in Him is all right. It is perfectly all right.
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
~1 John 3:3
This year, I am choosing to live differently. I am choosing to live completely unashamed. I have Who the world needs living inside of me. I will not sit by and be silent about or ashamed of Him any longer.
What about you? If you are saved, how do you currently feel about your walk with the Lord? Are you like I was? If so, then will you join me in changing that around?