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Why Are We Ashamed of the Gospel?

Good NewsDo you find yourself hesitant to share your faith with the people around you?  Do you get flustered when asked about what you believe or your opinion on religious matters?  Many Christians find themselves in this condition.  I believe that the answer is found in Scripture.

In the past I posted about the power of God.  I defined it as the ability to produce change in the life of the believer.  This access to the life-changing power of God is vital to see the move of the Spirit in our lives and churches.

There is, however, an important ingredient that we very often trip over.  I am talking about the Gospel.  This is something that’s very misunderstood among Christians.  It’s extremely important to see the Gospel for what it is because it directly relates to the power of God.  I want to take a few posts to look at these factors.

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Romans 1:16

We probably all know by now that the word Gospel in the Bible is a Greek word that literally means the Good News.  What is this Good News?  According to the verse above, it’s the power of God to save everyone.  That’s the Good News in a nutshell.  God is powerful enough to save all who come to Him.

Because of this truth, Paul wrote, “I am not ashamed” of this Good News.  But that statement leads us to a thought provoking question.  If I am ashamed of it, is it really the Gospel?

Think about this illustration for a moment.  You were just promoted to Vice President of your company and your salary was doubled.  Would you be too ashamed to tell anyone about that good news?  If you had just won a new car, would you be too ashamed to speak about that?

When it comes to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I have to ask, what is it that we’re ashamed of and why?  Is it even the Good News that we’re talking about?  These are the issues I want to deal with over the next few posts.

My goal is to make you hungry for the true Gospel.  It really is the power of God to save those who believe it.  It carries with it the life-changing ability of God.  If we could only understand the truth about this Good News it would change the way we approach the world.

Question: Why do you think we get uneasy sharing our faith with others?

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2013 in Power of God, The Gospel

 

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The Fear of the Lord

Lightning 3What does that mean?  Should I be afraid of God?  Is He watching for any slip so He can zap me?

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord is misunderstood by many people.  I have talked to Christians who were so very afraid that they would mess up even a little.  They think that God is watching them so closely that if they make the smallest mistake, they will be penalized severely.

Fortunately that’s not what it means to walk in the fear of the Lord.  The best illustration I ever saw was a show about people who cut diamonds for a living.  The show chronicled the diamond from when it went on the auction block to when it’s stones ended up in the fine jewelry shop.

The winning bid was about 3 million dollars for this large diamond.  The jeweler was sure that he could more than triple the value by the way he cut it up into smaller stones.  What happened next surprised me.  I expected him to immediately begin the process of cutting the diamond.  Instead, he took the first three months to simply study the diamond.  He basically stared at the diamond for hours a day, making notes, drawings, and plans for the cuttings he would perform.  With a stone that valuable, he didn’t want to do anything that would ruin it.

That is a picture of the fear of the Lord.  I am not afraid that God is going to get upset at me and hurt me.  On the contrary, my relationship with God is so important to me that I fear anything coming to disrupt it.  It is so valuable to me that I don’t want to ruin it.  I want to walk before God in such a way that our fellowship grows daily.

Cultivate a true fear of the Lord.  Meditate upon how valuable it is to be in relationship with Him.  Then let that attitude motivate you to live a reverent life before Him.

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Giving Up Part 1

I Kings 19:3-4
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.  When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert.  He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die.  “I have had enough, LORD,” he said.  “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”

Elijah is probably one of the most powerful Old Testament figures.  Through him, God performed incredible miracles to turn Israel around.  Yet at this point in his life he was ready to throw in the towel.  He actually prayed for God to take his life.

What could cause such an uncompromising individual to leave the race?  The answer lies in the first line.  “Elijah was afraid.”  The evil queen, Jezebel, had ordered his arrest and execution.  Fear had gripped his heart in spite of the presence of God in his life.

How many times do we lose sight of our calling when faced with the overwhelming problems of life?  We need to take the same path that Elijah took – but not the same attitude.  We need to run to the place of solitude with God and pour out our heart in prayer.

Just like Elijah, we need to admit our faults and failings.  Only the Lord is able to meet the need of our inner man.

Use this time to seek the Lord’s help for the challenges you face.  Confess your failures and trials.  God stands ready to enfold you in His arms.  Allow His strength to work in you the restoration that is needed.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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