Posts Tagged ‘Ashamed’


1 Peter 3:13-18
Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.

As I interact with people at work, in my neighborhood, through common friends, etc. I have come to realize that there are two different worlds we live in because our calling and motivations are different. The two worlds are diametrically opposite because of who heads each world and it is obvious. Two challenges we face in living in both worlds are to be able to determine which side we are on and then to hold to our beliefs for the glory of the way we believe is right. I am a christian and I find that as much as I try, my calling requires me to stand apart from those who are not and show them the one who called me from darkness into light. The result is that I face the jeers of those who are not Christian as they are happy being in their skin and living in their knowledge or lack of. What does God have to say to those of us who He has saved from the darkness into His light? (more…)

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2 Timothy 1:8-10, 12
So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel… That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

Most people I know including myself aspire to live quite lives that are not tied up in unwanted publicity and strewn with suffering and hurt. Our goal is generally to enjoy lives with those we love, to be good citizens, work less and earn more, live peaceable lives and leave a legacy of goodness for our future generations. Paul was of a different mould and seemed to attract the wrath of those in authority, had a way of getting under their skin with his strong words and boldness, was obstinate about his beliefs and refused to budge on them, had a mob mentality and encouraged others to be like him or so it seems from his letters. Why is there such a diametrical difference between Paul as a man of God and us? What is God’s word to us today?

Paul was a passionate man who lived to share his beliefs, whether as Saul or as Paul. His transformation was brought about by God who chose him for His own purpose and used Paul’s passion to share the gospel instead of rejecting it. To live as a Christ follower is to live as one who opposes the world because the world aspires to glorify the Devil and his ideals whereas Christ lived to serve God and direct the world to Him. To an unbeliever, it might sound like I’ve lost my plot about who is right from wrong but when we examine the life of Jesus through the Bible, we understand the difference between the lie we live and the life we forgo. To the believer in Christ, to live a life that pleases the Devil is to live an unperturbed life where we co-exist with the world but to live for Christ is to accept a life full of challenges because we take a stand against the Devil and for Jesus who destroyed death and gave us life everlasting through His death and resurrection. Are you ashamed to live for Christ?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Mark 8:38 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

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Philippians 1:12-14, 19-21
Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly… for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

At our Bible study last Sunday, we learnt about the issue of complaining. The Israelites complained about how they missed their cucumbers and leeks back in Egypt and so God gave them so much manna and quail that they were repulsed by it. I fear that as a human, I will always be a complainer, a moaner and when asked what I want, I will always ask for things I desire. When we seek God, we are always asking and demanding and the focus is always ‘I’. Why is Paul’s motivation so different from ours and are we expected to be as insane as he was for Christ?

Paul talks about suffering as a blessing as did Jesus. Without suffering Jesus would not accomplish the greatest sacrifice of all and so also without suffering we cannot surpass the greatest challenge in our lives, US. We are instinctively selfish and care only about ourselves and our wants/needs/desires. However, when we are saved by the grace of God, we no longer belong to ourselves but to Him who saved us from death and destruction. We owe our lives to Him. In order for us to become like Him, we need to shed ourselves and that can only be achieved through total submission to Jesus Christ. That submission will cost us dearly but the reward is eternal. Are you in it for the here and now or are you in it for eternity? We cannot have the best of both worlds because Jesus reminds us that we cannot serve 2 gods at one time.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me


Luke 17:11-19
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

What a sight it must’ve been for those traveling with Jesus when ten lepers called out to him for healing as he passed them by. Over and over again in the gospels, we hear the plea of the poor, the suffering, the dying, the mourning and what is interesting about them is that they are not ashamed to call out to Jesus for help. What is even more amazing is that this is what the Lord appreciated and responded to with healing and the basis was their faith in him and his ability to heal them. In this passage above, it is the record of another great miracle but the response from those who were healed is what is most important for us today.

Last evening, we were visiting with dear friends who are better called family considering the relationship we share. They shared something from times past when they lived in Dubai that I would like us to do. Every Christmas, each person in their fellowship would bring in a list of prayer needs for the following year and these would be individually sealed in envelopes and stored by a custodian. The following Christmas, the envelope would be opened and the individuals would share the way the Lord worked in their lives. It would be outstanding to see how God answered prayers and people would express their gratitude to God for his manifold blessings. We need to know that God will answer our prayers if it is what he wants for us and we ask in faith. However, when God answers, what is our response? Have you been grateful to God for his countless blessings in your life? Have you thanked him and been grateful for his goodness? Lets be people of gratitude for what the Lord has done and is doing in our lives. Let’s not be the 9 healed lepers who forgot but rather like the one who was sincerely grateful.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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A Natural Canopy