Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Unashamed

Ryan Jacob
Long Island MTC, NY


16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “The one who is righteous will live by faith.”

Sometime ago, I had come across a story about an atheist Philosophy professor who would spend the entirety of a semester trying to reinforce his belief that, God did not exist upon the students. At the end of each semester, he would call out to the class and ask if anyone in the room still believed that there was a God. In 20 years no one had dared challenge him then. As the story goes, a freshman Christian who was required to take the class knew what awaited him at the end of the semester. Afraid he prayed every day for courage to stand regardless of what the professor would say or do. On the last day, as the professor had done for 20 years, he called out to the class and asked if there were any who still believed in the existence of God. To the shock and surprise of everyone in the room, the young man stood. The professor, as he had done previously, yelled at the student, taking a piece of chalk in his hand, and said if there is a God, then he would stop the chalk from breaking. Every other time he had done this the chalk would fall and shatter. But in this instance, the chalk rolled down and off the professor onto the ground, still whole. The story concluded with the professor running from the room and the student stepping forward and preaching to the entire class about God.

The story, whether true or not, illustrates a key point. How often do we find ourselves in situations where we hesitate or refuse to talk about our faith? It may in fact be the case that we remain silent more often than not when it comes to sharing with others about the love of Christ. Paul to the Romans makes it very clear; he is not ashamed of the gospel. And why should he be, as he goes on, it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone. This is a concept with a depth that we may not be aware of at first glance. The God of all things, who with a word created all that we are, has given us our faith through His grace and mercy (Ephesians 2:8). It is not something we have attained or developed by our own feats of strength and intelligence. It is a gift through which God’s love lives through us.

Our faith cannot, and should not, be a quiet declaration that we keep to ourselves. The point and purpose of this gift is not simply for us to enjoy individually. As we are all changed by the love of God, God in turn can then use us so others may see Him. In a world where many are persecuted for sharing their faith, we are often in more benign situations and unable to do so. As the young man did in the story above, we should pray to maintain the courage of our convictions and stand firm in the faith, that it is God’s will that guides us. 

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, we pray that we may have the courage to stand for our faith and to speak out for it as opportunities arise. We ask that you instill in us the will to continue to spread your love and that we work for Your kingdom so that people may see Your light through us.  Amen




THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Our silence does not save us from embarrassment or obtrusiveness. It simply prevents God from saving others through us.