“Have you ever been reluctant to share the gospel with another person?” I asked Stan one morning while we waited for Ricky to bring breakfast.”
“You might as well ask me if I’ve every taken a breath,” he replied with a smile. “Yeah, way too many times.”
“You ever think about why?” I asked.
“Why I would be reluctant to share the gospel?” Stan replied. “I used to think about it a lot.”
“Used to? Not any more? Why’s that?”
“The Holy Spirit, using the apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, showed me in a single verse the reason not to be reluctant.”
“A single verse?”
“Yeah,” Stan replied. “The apostle Paul was especially gifted by God to speak volumes in just a few words. And he did that by writing that he was not ashamed of the gospel.”
“Not ashamed of the gospel?”
“Yeah,” Stan replied. “And the Holy Spirit made it clear to me that it’s to be the same thing for me.”
“What same thing?”
“That if I’m not ashamed of the gospel, why would I act like I am?”
“You acted like you were ashamed of the gospel?” I replied. “How could that be?”
“Why else would I be so reluctant to tell other people about the gospel?” Stan said. “Did I not tell them because I was ashamed of what I believed?”
“Oh,” I replied. Good questions.”
“Exactly,” Stan said. “When those questions were presented to me through Paul’s letter and the voice of the Holy Spirit, my whole attitude about sharing the truth of the gospel with others was changed.”
“If you weren’t ashamed, why not tell them?” I responded. “Was that it?”
“That’s it,” Stan said. “As well, there was and always is the question of if I’m not ashamed of the gospel, why does my life look like I am or may be way too often.”
“Paul wrote that he was not ashamed because the gospel is the power of God for salvation to all who believe. Does my life display the power of God’s salvation?”
Bible verses to consider:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to every one who believes, to the Jew first and also the Greek. Romans 1:16.
For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18.
But we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:23-24.
For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. Mark 8:38.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for giving Jesus so that all who believe can know they will spend eternity in your presence. Thank you for those people who were not ashamed of the gospel and told me the truth so I could accept it. I confess that too often I act like I am ashamed of the gospel in that I do not tell others that it is the truth of your provision for them. Also, too often I act like I’m ashamed of the gospel because my life does not reflect a life that has been impacted by its power. Please, Father, forgive the foolish hypocrisy of claiming to be a Christian, but acting like I am ashamed of the gospel. Help me in following every step of your lead so I live this life in ways that manifest that I am, in fact, not ashamed of the gospel. Help me to live and proclaim it just as you intend. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted the truth of the gospel so you know you will spend eternity in God’s presence? If no, why? Why do you want to remain separated from God? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with living and proclaiming the gospel in ways that show you are not ashamed of it? Have there been times when you acted like you were ashamed of the gospel? If so, what was that all about? If you sense the need for change in any of this, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?