Briefing: If you were part of a team that came up with a cure for crime, would you be proud to be on that team or would you be ashamed?
Dispatch (Assignment): On a blank piece of paper, make two columns. In one column, write down things in your life you are ashamed of. Use the other column for things in your life that you are proud of. Read Romans 1:16.
On the Street: Not all law enforcement agencies are the same. Some are more accepting of a Christian walk and talk than others. I have met and gotten to know a great number of Christian leaders all across this country. These leaders range from officer ranks to chiefs of police. It goes without saying there are also many law enforcement agencies that frown on, and even discourage anything having to do with “religion.”
Think about the agency you work for; what is their stance on employees who share their faith? Is your faith dictated by your circumstances? Does it matter what other people think about your faith? Are you afraid of being ignored and avoided because you are not ashamed to tell people that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior?
Be careful not to start making excuses. I think we purposefully take a big gray paint brush and make very wide, noticeable strokes all over this issue of being ashamed. This is a black and white question, no room for gray. Are you ashamed of the Gospel?
Paul did not add this verse to condemn or to make us feel guilty if we are ashamed. I believe it is meant to shine a light on our thoughts and feelings towards God’s Word. We sometimes don’t realize there is an issue with fear until we are faced with the thing that makes us fearful. You tell everyone you are not afraid of spiders but how would you react if you walked into a spider web one night? I don’t know about you but I would scream like a child and run.
So be honest with yourself, it is the only way to get to the truth. If you look at yourself in the mirror and say, “yes, I admit I am ashamed to share the good news of Jesus with other people” now you can start to change. If you never faced the truth of your shame, you can’t repent and change.
If you are truly not ashamed of the Gospel then praise the Lord! If you are one of us who have found themselves “uncomfortable with sharing” there is good news. Start with prayer. Ask God to give you courage and strength to stand up for Him and His gospel. Find some like-minded Christians to draw encouragement from. Get involved in a church or fellowship.
The reason we are taking time to make such an issue out of being ashamed is because of what Jesus says: “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38.
Picture yourself standing in a courtroom. You are the defendant and your attorney is Jesus. The prosecutor is Satan. Your defender, Jesus, and your accuser, Satan, are arguing for your soul and where you will spend eternity, heaven or hell. At the front of the courtroom is a Great White Throne and the judge is sitting on it. Satan gets to present his case first. Satan brings up all of those things you are so ashamed of. He goes on and on about every sin you have committed. Once Satan is finished presenting his case the Judge looks at Jesus and nods. Hopefully Jesus will stand up and show God the holes in His wrists and tell God that He has already paid the penalty for your sin, at which point God would find you innocent and you would be allowed to enter heaven. But what if you were ashamed of Jesus in this life? I can’t imagine how horrible it would be to watch Jesus stand up and say, “I don’t know this person, I can’t defend them”.
This matter of being ashamed is a matter of life or death. Make the decision to change your attitude about Jesus. That’s really all it takes, an attitude adjustment.
Investigational Resources: Acts 4:1-22
Officer Safety Principle: Go back to your list of the things you are ashamed of and the things you are proud of. Where would you put the Gospel?
from The Book of Romans Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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