Purpose: BE NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL

Purpose: For Thine Is The Kingdom, The Power, And The Glory Forever

Be Not Ashamed of the Gospel

Dear Children,

One of the most claimed verses in all of scripture I use when I pray for you is Romans 1:16. I continually ask the Lord to fill your heart, so you will be able to say with great confidence: I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.

I pray, children, you will never shrink away at the name of Jesus; but instead, you will speak with boldness the great mystery of who He is. Remember, you are the ambassadors of the most High King---the King of all kings, the Lord of all lords! Do you understand what this means? Listen to the Webster’s definition of ambassador: “a diplomatic official of the highest rank sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative, or sent on a special or temporary mission.” In other words, children, you have been appointed by God, your King, to represent Him in the very place you are living; you are on His special mission, which is to preach the good news of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Do you also realize, we have been given a position of “highest rank”? And do you know, the only way you have obtained this position is because of what Jesus did for you on the cross? Without this grace, we would have no rank at all. But now, because of His love, we have been clothed in beautiful robes of righteousness. He is not ashamed to call us His own!

So why is it that we, as humans, sometimes hide or seem ashamed of Him? When the name of Jesus is mentioned in a group of questionable believers, what do you do? I truly am asking this question to myself, and have been convicted to pray about it in my life, as well as yours. For too many years, instead of being poured out like a drink offering, I have been more like a water bottle with a security top on it, giving only drip- drops at a time (or giving only when it’s been sucked out of me). And for too many years, I’ve been tiptoeing instead of marching, whispering instead of shouting from the mountaintops! Children, I’m praying you won’t fall into the same trap of fear of rejection or shame, or whatever it is, that might keep you from claiming Christ aloud. I’m so thankful our God is a forgiving God, slow to anger and abounding in mercy. He forgave Peter for denying Him three times; He can also forgive me. But I must also repent (change direction), as Peter did, and march on. This does not mean that I, or you, have to be obnoxiously loud or abrasive when it comes to declaring Jesus Christ as our Savior. This approach may turn more people off than on to Him. But I am saying this: you and I need to be ready to seize every opportunity that comes our way to give all unbelievers, or struggling Christians, a reason for the Hope that you have in your heart. Your one gentle, yet affirming, answer may lead one life out of darkness into Light!

Always remember, your “special mission”: Jesus has commanded you, as His ambassadors, to speak to others about His wonderful saving grace, and His unconditional love. Your life matters in this matter! Yes, He could, because of who He is, do all this without you and me; but that’s not the way He chooses to work. Throughout all Scripture and all history, God has continually used the vessel of one human heart to touch the core of another human heart with His amazing love! He did this Himself, when He sent Jesus to live among us.

So, how about it? Are you His ambassador, His “resident representative” on this earth? You will win hearts, first, by your loving actions---by rolling up those righteous robes and getting involved in the muck of people’s lives, just like your King, Jesus, did for you. Loving action will get their attention. Then, your words will have meaning. And after you’ve gotten their attention, pray like Paul did, one of the greatest missionaries of all time: that you may speak boldly as (you) ought to speak (Eph. 6:20).

I forewarn you here, sweet ones, some will take what you have to say and value it as a great treasure, “selling” everything else in order to keep hold of this one great possession. Yet others may not. Be prepared for rejection, for suffering, for persecution, and for hardship. For example, Paul was an ambassador in chains, and Jesus was crucified. Take great hope in this promise, however; “If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. (I Peter 4:14). May you, my sweet children, be blessed with His precious Spirit, as you declare His name to all the world.

I love you


Teaching Suggestions for “Be Not Ashamed of the Gospel”:

1. Find a flashlight, turn it on and talk of Christ in you being the light of the world. Now, smother the flashlight with a thick pillow. Discuss its effectiveness, or ineffectiveness. What might the “pillow” in their life represent?

2. Find a water bottle with a security top on it, fill it with water, and talk of Christ in you as the Living Water. Firmly squeeze the bottle and watch the water pour out. Now close the top, and squeeze just as hard. Discuss its effectiveness, or ineffectiveness. Again, what might be keeping the “top “ closed?

3. Discuss how each child can let their “light shine” or how they can be “poured out” through actively loving someone with Christ’s love. Then encourage them to be ready to speak boldly of His beautiful gift of love and salvation!


Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the amazing gift of becoming your children when we claim Your Son, Jesus Christ, to be the Savior of our lives. You are not ashamed of us. As a matter of fact, You delight in us, You love us, You live in us, and You have already prepared a wonderful place for us in Heaven to live with Your forever. What incredible love . . . unending love!

Dear sweet Jesus, I ask You to forgive me for turning my back on this love, and even being afraid or ashamed to speak Your name to others. How can this be? Change my heart, dear Lord, so that my words will be a wellspring of Life to those who hear it. I want to speak, and I want my children to speak, with great boldness, this mystery of Your great love. May my children never hide their hearts or restrain their lips from praising You with gladness. Instead, may they joyfully proclaim Your righteousness, Your faithfulness, and Your truth to all the world, wherever that may be for them.

On the “flip-side” of speaking for You, Father, I also pray You would help them to learn to guard their tongue from speaking against You. May they heed to the voice of Your Spirit, and refrain from saying anything that will bring dishonor to Your Holy name. May they hate gossiping, cursing, lying, manipulating, and tearing others down. O God, help them to tame their tongue!

I pray my children would realize, what they choose to say (or not to say), has the ability to kill their witness for You, or bring it to life, by Your Spirit, in someone’s heart. May they train their tongue to be used for Your glory only: speaking of Your goodness, telling of Your great works, and spreading the wonderful news of Jesus, their Savior. I pray their desire would be to sing of Your glory as David, Your servant, did long ago. May their hearts echo his words, saying with confidence:

I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear it and rejoice. O magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.

Amen


Your Heavenly Father’s Letter of Love

Hebrews 11: 16b

Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared for them a city.

John 15:16

You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you.

II Corinthians 5:20-21

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on your behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

II Timothy 1:7-9

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me His prisoner; but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.

Isaiah 40:9

Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; lift it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”

Psalms 138: 1-3

I will give Thee thanks with all my heart; I will sing praises to Thee before the gods. I will bow down toward Thy holy temple, and give thanks to Thy name for Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth; For Thou hast magnified Thy word according to all Thy name. On the day I called Thou didst answer me; Thou didst make me bold with strength in my soul.

Going Deeper Into His Love

Scripture references in letter:

Acts 4:29-31; II Cor. 5:20-21; II Tim. 4: 6-7; II Tim. 1:7-9; Is. 40:9; Col. 4:5-6; Phil. 2;5-8; Matt. 13:44; Eph. 6:19- 20; John 15:16; I Peter 4: 12-16.

Scripture references in prayer:

Heb. 11:16; Pr. 10:11; Ps. 138:1-3; Ps. 9:1-2; James 3:2-12; Pr. 6:16-19; Pr. 15:1-4, 23

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