Sunday, March 20, 2011

IS there a cost for being ashamed of Jesus?

After Paul's first letter to Timothy, he writes him another letter from prison. In his first letter Paul encouraged Timothy to be bold in the face of false teaching. He also assured Timothy that he should not let anyone convince him that he is not capable of the responsibilities set before him because of his age. Although Timothy was very young, he was predestined by God to this leadership role.
 
As with Timothy, when we are born-again, God's Spirit dwells within us, we are given the very Spirit of God to teach us all things:

John 14:23-26 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me. 25 "These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Romans 8:8-9 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

Timothy has the Spirit dwelling in him, as such, Paul reminds Timothy (and us) that if the Holy Spirit be in you, you need not fear. For us today this may not seem like such a big deal (yet); but Timothy and the rest of the brethren were facing extreme persecution. Paul at the time of this writing was facing his own persecution, so he definitely was NOT on the outside looking in with a “you can do it” kind of cheer-leading. Paul was facing brutality and he affirms, “do not fear; fear is not of Christ, but it is of the enemy.”

2Timothy 1:7a For God has not given us a spirit of fear,

If God did not give us a Spirit of fear, what are the characteristics we should be experiencing when we are given the Holy Spirit?:

2Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

With power, love and sound mind we need not be timid in sharing The Gospel. We dare not be ashamed of sharing The Gospel. When we belong to Him it is nothing we did to earn or deserve it, but instead it is by His Grace we have been saved, as such, we have a purpose, a purpose He had planned for us before the foundation of the world. That purpose is to glorify Him:

2Timothy 1:8-10 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

Mark 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."

Do you lack to strength to turn away from the lusts of this world? Do you lack the boldness to speak the name of Jesus in certain company. Do you like the courage to share the Gospel?

I would contend that you may be trying to do it on your own strength. You need to understand that you are no match for Satan and the demons. They want you timid, sinful and ashamed. That is not what God wants for you. He wants you fearless for Him, He wants you hungering and thirsting for righteousness, He wants you to turn away for the lusts of this world. But all this can only be done through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, and you need to ask for Him:

Luke 11:13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
Mat 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

2Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

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