Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Don't Be Ashamed

Since I have pledged my life to Christ Jesus, I need to live my life in such a way as to honor Him. To do anything else would bring shame to my life. One of the constant prayers of my life NEEDS to be: Father, grant me the wisdom, strength, and courage to live a life worthy of Your Son, Jesus.

This appears to be the prayer of the apostle Paul:
I honestly expect and hope that I will never do anything to be ashamed of. Whether I live or die, I always want to be as brave as I am now and bring honor to Christ.” ~ Philippians 1:20; CEV

The Apostle knew that his honor was connected to his commitment to Jesus. Paul had pledged his allegiance to Jesus, and his honor depended on living out his loyalty to his Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

This isn’t just about not doing wrong, but also showing the bravery as we do the right thing. It would bring shame to Paul to avoid doing what he knew Christ called him to do because he was afraid. Prison, court trials, and beatings didn’t make Paul feel ashamed, in fact they were a source of pride for him. Paul saw these things as badges of honor he received for bravely following Jesus. In Paul’s mind it would have been shameful for him not to endure these things because he was too afraid to live out his commitment to Jesus.

Refusing to do good, because of my fear, is just as shameful as being caught doing something that is sinful. It may not seem like it since people won’t be able to see where I have refused to obey, but it brings dishonor into my life none the less. The sinful behavior and the refusal to obey are equal because they both rob Jesus of the honor that He deserves.

Courage is what is needed to live life that brings glory and honor to Christ Jesus. Where does courage come from? How can I live a life of courage?

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