Wednesday, April 13, 2011


What makes you embarrassed or ashamed? No matter what our personality, there is usually someone or something that causes us to be silent when we should be vocal, idle when we should be active, and as a result, we turn and walk away with nothing accomplished for the Kingdom of God. Consider this statement by Matt Stave of Liberty University School of Law : In a world of political correctness devoid of the rule of law, tolerance has come to mean total rejection of Christianity and moral standards. Modern tolerance redefines words like 'marriage,' 'discrimination,' 'equality,' 'morality,' and even 'absolutes.' The word 'tolerance' as it is used today never includes opposing arguments or competing worldviews. Tolerance has become Orwellian and decidedly intolerant." In our peer pressure driven world, the spirit man of the believer has been squashed into intimidation. We want to be ‘politically correct’ and not offend, yet when I look at the life of Christ, I see a man who took on His peers and the religious leaders of His day with a persistent drive to return them to the truth. He healed on the Sabbath despite their objections. He chased the vendors and money changes from the temple courtyard, not once, but twice. He ate and fellowshipped with sinners. He touched lepers, and He ministered to women. He chose as His closest associates crude fishermen, and a hated tax collector. While his disciples were politically motivated, He was driven to please the Father—a purely spiritual agenda. He never once backed down in fear, even when facing Satan following the forty days of fasting in the wilderness. He knew who He was and what His mission entailed. He let nothing come between Him and his mission. He was unashamed!

Adolph Hitler wrote, "Mental confusion, contradiction of feeling, indecisiveness, panic; these are our weapons." These were not just the tools of Hitler. They have been the tools of Satan for centuries. When people refuse to make decisions based on the truths found in the Word of God, they are easily taken advantage of by those willing to choose for them. The price in Europe was the death of millions of God fearing people. If we want to be spiritually bold, we must be imitators of Jesus Christ. What things did Jesus do that made Him unashamedly different than the spiritual leaders around Him?

He knew His Mission

Jesus came on a mission. He knew the purpose of that mission from day one. His mission was to do the will of the Father who had sent Him from Heaven’s glories to the chaos of a sin sick world. His mission included confronting Satan and taking a stand against Him. It also included taking on the task of dying. It was through His death and resurrection that sin, sickness, and death would be forever conquered. His mission was never to conquer the Roman empire, to make Himself the High Priest of the synagogue, or to just lead 12 followers until He died. The mission was much bigger and more eternal in its scope. He saw you and me in the future. His mission was to bring hope to the hopeless, joy to the depressed, and healing to the sick. When He stood up in the synagogue and read from Isaiah 61:1, he was stating his mission publicly. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD...” He knew He was anointed for a proclaim bring freedom and hope at the right time to a people bound by sin and Satan. His time had come. It was the acceptable year of the Lord. Nothing side tracked Him. He was unashamed!

He knew His God

He clearly stated that He came, not to do His own will, but whatever His Father wanted Him to do. Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49). O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me (John 17:25) He took time from His disciples to go alone to pray and talk to the Father and get direction. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. (Matthew 14:23) This seems to be a hard one for many Christians, to get alone with God and spend time in prayer. We often arise in the morning at the last possible second, and rush off into our day of work and activities, rarely taking time to think about God, let alone get direction from Him. Yet we, like Jesus, are here on a mission, and we need to know the Father and what He wants to speak into our lives each day. We listen to the preacher sermonize each Sunday and think that is enough—after all, the preacher does hear from God doesn’t he? It is not enough. We need to know God for ourselves, and hear Him speak into our hearts. If we don’t know Him, how can we hope to speak for Him or even represent Him to our hurting world? Jesus made no apologies for knowing God...and he was unashamed!

He Knew the Word

It was very apparent that Jesus knew the Word. He, like most Jewish boys, learned first from His mother, all the basic principles of Jewish theology. They were obligated to memorize long passages of the Torah. When it came time for Jesus to come face to face with Satan in the wilderness, before His ministry really began, Jesus quoted at Satan, “ It is written”. Throughout His ministry Jesus is found quoting scripture. Some were prophecies from the Old Testament. Others were from the writings. He actually quoted from 24 different books of the Bible. He knew the Word. He was the Word. It flowed from Him freely to bring liberty to the captives. He was never ashamed to speak the Word to others to challenge, teach, or preach. He spoke it to Satan, to the Pharisees, to the disciples and to all who would listen. He was unashamed!

He Walked in the Spirit

Jesus knew that His boldness was not in his own human flesh, but that He required the supernatural boldness of the Holy Spirit flowing in and through Him. From the day He was baptized by John at the River Jordon, and the Holy Spirit came down upon Him in the form of a dove, He went forward in a holy boldness that amazed both the disciples, and the religious people of the day. They wondered how the son of a mere carpenter could speak and act with such authority. He knew the source of His authority...“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Matthew 28:17 It was heavenly endowed. He passed this authority on to those willing to serve him. He told the seventy he had sent out, 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19

Yes, we do not need to be ashamed. In fact, we need to adopt an attitude of boldness, given by the Holy Spirit, used with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, to challenge our culture today. There will be a price to pay. There will be persecution. But I am weary of watching our culture bow to the Muslims for fear of offending them and their religion while Christianity and the Bible are dashed to the ground as if Christians had no rights. I am weary of ‘offending’ gay rights. If I am ashamed of anything, it is the lack of responsiveness of those who call themselves Christians, to the attacks in our schools, our courts, our malls, and even in our stores. Christmas is more than Santa Claus and Easter is more than bunnies and eggs. It’s about Jesus, our resurrected Lord and I refuse to be ashamed of Him. He was not ashamed to die for you and me! How about you? Are you in the company of unashamed believers willing to speak what you believe? Let the Spirit guide you and walk tall and unashamed!

J. Johnson

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