A short reading and prayer for today
I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes – the Jew first and also the Gentile. Romans 1:16 NLT
We are told that the apostle Paul had a particularly unimpressive appearance. According to tradition he was an ugly little chap with heavy eyebrows, bandy legs, a bald head, a hooked nose, bad eyesight and with no great gifts as a speaker. How could such a person have an impact on the awesome city of Rome which stood at the heart of a vast and confident empire? The fact is that his ministry had an enormous impact on that city and it was because he was absolutely sure of what God had called him to do. He was bursting with pride about the Good News. I love the expression that he was not ashamed of the Good News! It almost sounds like a joke because he was the complete opposite. He was willing to give every second of his time and every ounce of energy to letting people know about Jesus and his gift of salvation.
I wonder what you speak about with pride. Last year one of our daughters completed her degree and the other got married. As you would probably expect I am more than happy to be given any opportunity to talk about them. Perhaps you love talking about your grandchildren, or your successes at work, or the improvements you’ve made to your home. It’s good for us to speak with enthusiasm and pleasure about all these things. But I wonder what you sound like when you are talking about your Christian faith. Are you full of pride? I’m really pleased if that is the case, but to be brutally honest churches often given the impression that they are deeply ashamed of the Good News of Christ. They keep it to themselves and squirm at any opportunity to share it with others.
Paul’s example should be a challenge and encouragement to us all. Like Paul, we have every reason to be proud of the Good News. Nothing else in this world can transform a person’s life in the way that Christ can, and he alone can set us free to be the people that God has made us to be.
What are the things that you are proud to speak about, and how does that challenge the way in which you speak about your faith?
Loving Father, thank you that you have called us to share the Good News of Christ. Help us to become more bold in the way that we pass it on to others. Amen
Photo – Mussenden Temple, Downhill, Castlerock