Not Ashamed

Howdy y'all!
Lately I've had a little bit of a thought developing inside my head, and now I think it's time to put it on paper the Internet. At different times, I have struggled with being ashamed of my Savior. Maybe not in a way that I would remove His Name from my blog, or the bumper sticker from my car, but ashamed nonetheless. I would say that being a bold Christian is not popular and does not attract many followers on a blog or friends in real life. It probably attracts stronger Christian friends and followers, but, quite frankly, those are in the minority. A post like "God is so amazing! Wow!" doesn't seem to be very "offensive" (in the right way, of course - the offense of the cross) or a vague "Christian" song is highly unlikely to step on toes. In fact, these posts can be considered "cool" by shallow Christians and meaningless drivel to unbelievers which can easily be ignored. A frank, unashamed presentation of the Gospel or a firm stand on a touchy subject is not quite so tolerable to weak Christians or unbelievers. I confess that I have toned down a little bit on my Christian-related writing because I would hate to scare anyone off by being too "radical." It would be correct to say that it is a fear of man. And the Bible has things to say against that.

"The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe."
-Proverbs 29:25

On Tuesday, Pastor shared from Mark chapter 5. Check out verses 1-20. Here we see Jesus casting demons out of a crazy man. People have tried to tie him up with chains (I highly doubt they were decorative chains. Probably something more like a tow chain for vehicles.) but he just rips them to shreds. They couldn't tame him either. He runs around the mountains naked and howls and cuts himself. And then Jesus appears on the shore. The possessed man runs to Him and worships. The devils inside of him make him scream, "What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God?" They put Jesus under oath to not torment them. Jesus asks the man, "What is thy name?" The devils reply, "Legion: for we are many." For some reason the devils don't want to leave the country, so they ask Jesus if the can enter a large herd of pigs nearby. Jesus gives them permission, and then they proceed to mass-slaughter two-thousand pigs. The people who had been watching the pigs ran off as fast as they could and told everyone for miles around what had just happened. Pretty soon everybody was gathered around, and there was the man, sitting in front of Jesus and listening to Him. He had clothes on, the demons were gone, and he was thinking straight. The people gathered around and asked Him to come and teach them. They bowed down and worshiped. Oh, wait - they didn't. They asked Him to leave. They didn't just ask - they begged Him to leave. I don't know exactly why they wanted Him to leave. Maybe they were just scared. Maybe they just didn't want to lose any more pigs. Personally, if I had been so concerned about the pigs, I'd have asked Jesus to resurrect them. I mean, He did allow the devils enter them in the first place, so I know He'd have the power to raise them back up. I don't know exactly what caused them to say that. I do know that the formerly possessed man also begged Jesus to allow him to leave with Him. But Jesus didn't grant him that request. Instead, He said, "Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee." Now here's the reason I told the story. What's the next thing the man does? He begins to "publish in Decapolis" the things Jesus did to him. The word "publish" has a connotation to it. That connotation is not "whisper." It's not "casually pass on." It's not even "do a quick blog post with a Christian song that says that God is awesome." I think it's more like "publish it on the rooftops with a bullhorn for 12 hours straight and then do it again the next day." I think publish has a connotation of really letting everyone know something. You don't publish something when you're ashamed of it. You don't publish something when you're afraid of what your friends or their friends will think of it. You publish it when you know it's the truth and when you believe it. Well, Jesus is the way and the truth and the life, and NO man comes to the Father but by HIM! And I am not ashamed to publish that. May I encourage all my friends to not be ashamed to lift up Jesus' Holy Name and His Gospel? If you really, really, really believe that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven and eternal life, won't you unashamedly tell someone? Something as great or greater then having demons cast out has happened to us. We have "Christ in us, the Hope of glory" and we "know whom we have believed, and are persuaded that HE is able to keep that which we have committed against that day." I think of people I have not told because I was afraid of what they would think of me. What selfishness. Will they go to hell thinking I am a nice guy because I never stepped on their toes and said they were sinners in need of a Savior? Better that I should lose friends then that I should let them slip into a Christ-less eternity in the Lake of Fire. May God give us his grace to be the salt and light that we are meant to be.



And because no post would be complete without a song, here's one I've really been enjoying lately:
I Can Go In - Abigail Miller
For Christ's glory,
"Cowboy" Nick


Comments

  1. Excellent post, Nick! Dad is reading it too and he agrees :).

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post, Nick! Thank you for sharing. And...that's my favorite song. Holds a special place in this sister's heart :) Hope you have a blessed day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, we learned the song from y'all. I picture the guy on the front of the CD to be Tom, waiting to go in. I did have a blessed day on the 18th! Lol

      Delete
    2. Oh, ok...I didn't realize y'all hadn't heard it before. And I've never thought of it like that, but that's a good mental picture (I don't actually have the cd case...I just have the music ripped to my computer). But I have seen a YouTube video of it done by a deaf choir (I've attached the link), and when the guy "leaps of from his knees", I always picture Tom as the guy signing it rather than the guy that's actually doing it. If that makes sense. I can't wait for the day that I too can go in... I'll get to see him again :)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RNum_rLRUA

      Delete
  3. Amen, Nick! I know what you mean. All Christians could do better not being ashamed and being bold to witness.

    ReplyDelete
  4. TheronG5/19/2014

    Thoughts on why the people asked Jesus to leave:
    These people were Jews - they knew the law. Pigs were unclean, they shouldn't have been keeping pigs in the first place. That may be why Jesus allowed the demons to cause a mass pig suicide. Certainly that would be a reason to not ask Jesus to resurrect the pigs, because then what if He asks why are you keeping pigs in the first place? Furthermore, that would be an acknowledgement that Jesus could resurrect the pigs, that He was who He claimed to be. They didn't want to believe, but they didn't want anything more to happen to them, so they asked Jesus to leave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are some very deep thoughts. All "caught up in logistics," lol. To be honest, I don't know why they didn't ask Him to raise the pigs and why they asked Him to leave. Your thoughts have been filed away in my mind though.

      Delete
  5. TheronG5/19/2014

    Further thoughts, inspired by your penultimate sentence "Better that I should lose friends then that I should let them slip into a Christ-less eternity in the Lake of Fire."
    Can we do that? Can I really send someone else to Hell? That seems to me a remarkably arrogant claim to make. Does God really need me to do anything? It seems to me that if someone is supposed to be saved and I'm supposed to witness to them and I fall down on the job, God will find some other way to reach them.God does not need you or me or anyone else. A lot of people have an idea that the purpose of witnessing to people is for people to be saved, but it's not. The reason for publishing in Decapolis and elsewhere is obedience and glorifying God. If we start being too focused on seeing people saved, then that can lead to arrogance ("X people have been saved because of what *I* have done") or to discouragement if we don't see the results we want.

    I've gone very Calvinist in this comment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right. My finite mind has difficulty fitting God's sovereignty and the part we play in it together. As far as arrogance, if we always keep in mind who we are (nothing) and who He is, we should be able (by His grace) to keep that in check. Thanks for sharing these thoughts, Theron!

      Delete
  6. This was a thought-provoking admonishment, Nick. Too many times my witness has been diluted by the filthy influence of the world or simply from my own fear. Thank you for this reminder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad it was a blessing to you! :D

      Delete
  7. Sorry everybody for getting back to the comments so late! I'll try better in the future... :D

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you, Nick for the words of this blogpost. How true, sadly, people would rather hear worldliness than Bible, or even praise (Christians, not want to hear God's Word and praises?!). We simply need to give out the gospel and daily praise to our Savior, "the fruit of our lips". The only thing that matters is what God thinks of us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting, Mrs V! It is sometimes hard to remember that what God thinks of us (me) is more important than what others think,

      Delete

Post a Comment

If you enjoyed (or didn't enjoy) this article, consider leaving a comment so I know that ya stopped by. :) Go ahead, use smiley faces. :D And please keep your comment "with grace, seasoned with salt." Thanks!
"Cowboy" Nick

Popular posts from this blog

The God of Second Chances

Safety Day '15 (Part 2)

Forgiveness