"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Romans 1:16).
One of the definitions of "ashamed" according to Webster's Dictionary is "feeling humiliated or embarrassed." Paul was abundantly clear that he was not embarrassed by the Gospel of Christ and maintained that "to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21).
As our culture grows colder toward Christianity, we must never allow ridicule and hatred to weaken our resolve to preach Christ. Our Lord Jesus reminded us that the world would hate us and "that it hated me before it hated you" (John 15:18). He also warned us that "whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 10:33).
In Paul's letter to the Thessalonians, he pointed out that we should speak, "not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts" (I Thessalonians 2:4). He also exhorted us to seek God's approval when he asked the probing question, "For do I now persuade men, or God?" (Galatians 1:10).
As David reflected on the magnificent splendor of God's Creation, he was humbled by his comparative insignificance and asked, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him?" (Psalm 8:4). Sadly the world asks "who is God, that we should be mindful of Him?" It is revolting that mankind could muster a trace of shame toward its loving Creator. Yet this rebellion is graciously washed away, by the blood of Jesus Christ, for those who put their faith in Him.
As we are bombarded by worldly messages encouraging us to seek our own autonomy, may we look "unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2) and proclaim that "nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed" (II Timothy 1:12). MDR