Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
I Am Not Ashamed Of The Gospel
Mathew 10: 16 – 23
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves – verse 16”
Often we struggle with the opposition we face when we try to live an honest Christian life, and with the increasing duplicity that seems to surround us. So we do well to listen to Jesus' words about sheep among wolves, and the need to know how to be both wise and transparent. Jesus knows all this, yet he still sends us to take the Gospel to this difficult world. But he also promises us his assistance: he asks us not to worry!
Jesus does not allow us to idealize the life of the disciple; he tells us that it will be difficult, challenging us by his words and by his example. There is going to be a clear interval of time ‘before the Son of Man comes back. But the followers of Jesus will not be entirely on their own. They will be able to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit – sent by the Father – no matter what troubles come. The circumstances in which Jesus invites us to share the Good News and the obstacles we experience in doing this are very different today than they were in Jesus’ time. Jesus foretells hardship, but he also promises real support as he invites us to trust him fully. When we feel at our weakest and least effective, it will be the Holy Spirit speaking through us.
Jesus expects us to live outside our comfort zone. He challenges us to defend our faith. Jesus says it as it is. Jesus urges his apostles to persevere in face of the persecution and trials they will encounter while announcing the good news. He assures them that they need not worry for the Spirit's power will speak through them.
Jesus teaches the Twelve how to persevere in times of persecution. He warns them that they will meet with hostility and hatred because of him, but they are to continue to bear witness to his values. The ultimate reassurance and promise of the Lord are that the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Just as Jesus was not abandoned by his Father in his hour of need, so too Christian believers are not abandoned in difficulty and persecution. Rather, the Spirit of God will enlighten and strengthen them. As believers in Christ, we should not be ashamed of our Lord and Savior. Likewise, we should not be ashamed to present the good news of Salvation in Christ to others.
Lord, please strengthen my faith and give me courage so that I may not shrink back from doing your will. Lord send forth your Holy Spirit when I feel weighed down by struggles and persecutions in my life. Help me to trust in the power of your Spirit, which guides me into the ways of truth and love. Amen.
Rev Baby John
Immanuel MTC Adoor