"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” NKJVAt times it is easy to become afraid of preaching or speaking of Christ. Yet in our country is there any good reason for that?
Technically yes. . . in our culture we have been conditioned for religious freedom; no longer pure religious freedom of religion, but now freedom from religion, the touch of religion, the importance of religion and the sharing of the "Christian religion".
Mental blocks that, at times, seem too prove stronger than threats of death in silencing our faith.
If faced with a gun, most of us would say that we would not deny Christ. We cannot know what our actual response would be until faced with just such a situation of course; many of those believing themselves brave and firm in faith might crumble, with many of those ashamed at their own cowardice and self-doubt, believing they are too weak to stand in such a situation, rising to the occasion and finding strength in the Lord to remain faithful and true. However, violence and death tend to break through the minds barriers, and a clear choice leaves no confusion. In such a situation, we place on the scale of our hearts Christ, and our fear of the oppressor, consequence, death, challenge or what have you. Whichever holds more weight would likely be our choice, with only God and the Spirit able to 'fix' the scale if we are open to His strength and support and one of the faithful, even if weak in the flesh.
But the culture is corrosive to our confidence in our faith in Christ.
Any time we might place faith on the scale to be compared with the things in our lives, we never dig deep enough into our hearts to reach it. The shallow concerns catch us up unaware and toss us against waves of confusion, self doubt and worry in a sea of hesitation.
We must resolve to be planted firmly in Christ. Resolve to push through the caution tape in our lives that keeps us bound in a room of religious noninterference and inaction, knowing that by God's strength, not only flimsy tape of wooden doors, entire walls can be taken down to free us from the place where we feel stuck.
While sounding simple, and rightly so, simple and easy are two different things, and some might find it easier or more difficult than others.
To strengthen the resolve we hold in our Christian faith and be assured in His will we must seek after Him. Pray, read and study the Bible, fill our lives and thoughts with Christ in whatever way we think is needed and good!
This still requires resolve, the making of a clear decision to center your life on Christ, but it is the 'starting choice' from which the rest of our faith is built and supported.
Normally I would have some kind of application for myself. A statement of what I can and desire to do with what God has revealed to me in this verse, but today is somewhat different. I want to thank God for this exhortation and reminder showing me that I have made the choice and that I am chasing after Him right now, fighting against the conditionings of society that 'normal Christianity' is not, should not and has never been RADICAL Christianity!
I am building my faith and preparing myself to face things great and small with the strength of my God in me and supporting me so that I will not in weakness and fear be stopped by the large stones or through inattentiveness tripped up by the little stones and feel some petty, ridicules, reprehensible shame against my loving brother and king, Jesus Christ, or the perfect words He spoke, whether for fear of sharing His gospel or embarrassment at the stares and opinions of my peers for following after Him.
If an application had to be given, I suppose it would be this:
That I not forget the need to continuously resolve myself with God's strength and encouragement, in the study of his word and prayer and continual preparation for even the smallest of trials faced in the world. That I never get trapped in the petty concerns of this world brought about by our perspective-less culture, and never feel any shame for Christ because of what others may think of my faith or His words.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.