THERE IS NO SHAME IN SHINING FOR JESUS
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith. Romans 1:16-17
We are only 5 days into the new year and man what a bunch of craziness in this world. I know that we are all tired of opening our mailboxes, turning on the TV or even opening up our social media to find more political ads and flyers that we all know we are going to throw away or disregard. It seems as though that money could be used to actually do something more productive in the world for Jesus, right? Have we really gotten to the stage in our country that we spend more money on a political campaigns than we do to fight homelessness and hunger. People all over the world are still struggling to find clean water or a safe place to sleep, and we are more worried about my vote??? I know I digressed, but I really wish that we would take the same amount of time to shine a LIGHT into the world and share the GOSPEL as we have wasted the time and efforts for something that will not truly matter for eternity. It is the true realization that something needs to change and we have to be the ones to create change. When did we finally lose our passion to present GOD as the choice for change instead of someone we all know struggles to tell or live the truth. Please understand that this is not a political rant today, but because of the seriousness of the day to our state, I felt the we needed to see it for what it really is.... we are now moving to putting more confidence in man than living in the confidence of God.
That is not an easy statement to make, but it blows my mind that we are really waiting for those who have not been called to change the world, to think that they are actually going to change the world. It is as if we are sitting in anticipation that this is finally going to be the one that is going to change everything. We are playing a game with our own reality thinking that man can do what we really know ONLY God can do. We cannot become the saving light for the world, we are just carriers of the LIGHT. We are the vessels that God has chosen to carry out the most important calling of all time... to Go and make disciples and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are to stop feeling as though we are wrong for being a Christian and let all the world know exactly what we believe and WHO we
believe in for eternity. I just want to let you know that I am Jason Wade... I am a Christ Follower and I am NOT ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. I pray that you will share that all over your social media today. Say Hello my name is.... and I am a Christ follower who is NOT ashamed of the Gospel. And then sit and wait to see how quickly the spiritual warfare will begin. Some people will say AMEN... others will unfriend you. Others will sit back and wait to see and read the comments and see where the story line goes. But I just want you to know that in 2021... just 5 days in, we need to set the foundation for who we are, whose we are, and the reality that we are not ashamed to be called a Christian. We have been given such a powerful message and just like when Moses stood in the presence of God and had to wear a veil on his face, everyone we encounter should be able to see the Gospel of Christ exuding out of our lives.
As Paul is writing to the people of Rome, we are able to see the power in the statement he makes about presenting the Gospel to the world. The reality is that there is POWER in the name of Jesus and that power is filled with grace, love and mercy that is available to EVERYONE in the world. God provided a plan for salvation that cannot be hidden and must be shared. We must be willing to go and shout it from the mountain tops, but I honestly believe that we have gotten so beaten down that we have started to believe that there is no more hope. Despair has trickled into the minds of God's people and now is the time that we need to stand up and shine truth and hope back into the world. It is not like there has been other times where God's people have been driven into despair by the circumstances of the world, but it is more about how the people of God responds to those circumstances that really matters. We all know that we are going to be tried and tested all along this journey called life, but we must never forget that God is never going to leave us. We must never forget that we have been challenged to take hold of the Gospel in such a way that it becomes a part of everything that we do each day. We must be willing to live into this confidence that is guided by faith so that those trapped in the world can see a light from our lives that can help lead them out of the wilderness and back on the path cut out by Jesus.
As we have stepped into the new year, we are already experiencing a testing of our faith. One that is going to continue to stretch us beyond boundaries that only faith can lead us through. I just hope and pray that all of us will honestly take a moment and realize that God is on our side. No matter how bad it may seem, God is ready to be revealed through the standing up of those who call themselves Christ followers. In reality, we should never leave a doubt in anyones' minds about the power of God. Paul encourages us to understand that the message of the Gospel is for EVERYONE. He says it was first for the Jew and then the Gentile. What Paul means is that the Gospel was first revealed to the Jew... the People of God at that time and is also available for the Gentile, the non-believers of their time. The Gospel is for everyone, but must be received as a step to salvation. The power of God's word is not meant to just be guidelines, but a transformative moment in everyone's life that will redirect their eternal destination. One that causes us to be humble and proud to call ourselves Christians and not scared and afraid to step out of the darkness with the LIGHT. Being a Christian truly is a privilege and a badge that I will wear for the rest of my life. I will not hide it our deny it, but I will gladly take any moment to share it to anyone who wants to hear it... and even those that don't. The Gospel of Christ has changed my life in so many ways and I just cannot remain hidden or quiet anymore. I know that there is a lot of evil in this world, but the only way the evil will be defeated is through the power of God. May we all never shy away from an opportunity to preach the word of God and in some cases use words. I will close today with the chorus of my one of my favorite hymns. Shine Jesus Shine fill this land with the Father's Glory, Blaze Spirit blaze, set our hearts on fire. Flow, river, flow flood teh nations with grace and mercy. Send forth Your Word, Lord and let their be LIGHT.