July 24 (Philippians 1:20)
…it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
Buttonholing someone against a wall as you recite Bible verses is not the best method of evangelism. Then again, never sharing the truth of Jesus with family and friends is not exactly the way to go either. Some people have indeed been hurt by overzealous evangelism, but too often we use this as an excuse to say nothing at all about Christ. We claim that we do not want to hurt people, but I think there is something else. We are afraid.
We say nothing at a family gathering because we do not want to upset someone and make the situation awkward. We say nothing at work because we are afraid we will be shunned and no longer able to do our jobs. We say nothing on social media because we fear the backlash.
Paul had a hope and expectation for himself not to be ashamed. He expected of himself to be full of courage. He felt this because God has the same hope and expectation. As we read in 2 Timothy1:7, He has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and self-control. Do you really want to be courageous in sharing the gospel, like Paul, or deep down are you afraid of it?
Lord, too often,
in fact nearly all the time, I am more concerned about the opinions and comments
of others than I am excited by and eager to share the good news of Jesus. Strengthen me, O God, against my fears. Make me strong and courageous that others may
come to the true and eternal life in Jesus through the testimony of my life and
words. In the name of Him Who was not
ashamed to die for me on the cross, Christ Jesus, I pray. Amen.
Copyright © 2016 by Steven R. Perkins