Romans 1:16- "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek."
Growing up, I always was faced(six days a week- five days at school and one day at church)with my dear Pastor Blanke's licence plate that had "RMNS116" on its face. From a very young age I recall thinking about this verse and conversing about it with my father and teachers at school. I remember pondering what that meant and asking myself if I was ashamed of the Gospel.
Sure, we could all think of a couple times we were convicted about this. Meeting someone new and wanting to proclaim God's gospel in your life and failing to do so because of what they may think or not having enough time, etc. What about being ashamed of the Gospel in someone else's life? Now, don't get me wrong, I know Paul isn't asking that question of us, but clearly just a few verses earlier in twelve he states, "...that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each others faith, both yours and mine." After that he talks about sharing the Gospel with all those in Rome. Does the question naturally arise? Maybe not, but I was thinking about it nonetheless.
Have you ever been ashamed of the Gospel? I have. Some times, I knew right away, and now I realize I didn't even know I had been. I see now I have, and have come to a place where I need to seek the Lord and ask once again to show me my sins of the past. The ones I have been ignorant of until now.
Have you ever been treated this way? I'm sure you have. I have been. And nothing hurts more than the feeling of condemnation when in reality, its doesn't exist.
The time I refused to converse with a fellow believer because even though I had, or so I thought, chose to overlook or forgive them for something they had done, I chose to not be seen with them or even encourage them WITH the Gospel. I chose not to let others know that I was behind them not on the basis of their deeds, but on the Gospel! The POWER of it in that persons life. The power that the Gospel gives to forgive them, restore them, love them, take away their guilt, continually declare that Christ paid for their sin and they DON'T have to!! I don't need to remind them of their sin because they are FREE from their sin and condemnation! Praise the Lord!
I was ashamed of the Gospel and chose not to partake in its POWER and LOVE! I chose not to declare to others not just the Gospel in context of evangelism, but of the daily POWER it gives me and my brothers and sisters!! Shame on me.
May the Lord grant me a ever fresh and sensitive fleshy heartbeat of the Power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord in my life and in the ones HE holds dear. And may I never again put aside anyone who comes with humble heart to me or anyone else in contrition and in surrender. But rather, love them and do whatever I can to help remind them of the Great Gospel of this life!
So go ahead, invite that person over, let everyone see at church that you show no partiality for the highly esteemed, encourage the lowly publicly, love them unconditionally. Just as Christ calls us to! For THIS is the GOSPEL and the POWER of it. Amen.