For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. -Romans 1:16 (NIV)
There is an overwhelming amount of devotional writing in books and online about perseverance, faith, and weathering storms, and with good reason: Agents of light walk a hard walk in the face of a world that spits on them and despises them. We are denounced, condemned, and insulted. Some of us suffer far, far worse treatment for our walk.
But to effectively walk the walk and run the race light, we must embrace our identities in Christ. We must hold fast to His promises. Along with donning the full armor of God, we must wield the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) to cast His searing light on the dark lies that convincingly sound like truth to the ones who accuse us.
We live in a world where Christianity is considered the backward belief system of people who don’t want to face a reality only measurable by science and empirical observation. I know. I used to be on the other side of the fence for 40 years. Here in the United States, the culture allegedly stresses equality for all, but it’s increasingly obvious that it means the suppression of Christianity, while letting other groups—even from other Abrahamic belief systems—through the gate of approval.
It would be so easy to shrink and be quiet and not share the Good News in our walk.
Because of this, it is crucial that we understand and embrace what Jesus did for us. He came down from Heaven, became Man, and was the final sacrifice for our sins and salvation. He loved us so unconditionally that we should do no less for those around us, including the ones who scorn and belittle us. Did He not walk and and suffer and bear the unimaginable burden of the world’s sins, yet do it all with grace and humility? And yet, His life shouted loudly to the world that a new hope was here, and we could choose it if we would only receive it.
Do you remember how you felt when you surrendered your life to Jesus and the Spirit entered your heart? Remember that, and you will know that there is nothing you wouldn’t do for the One who gave everything for your salvation.
Walk and talk boldly. This doesn’t mean that you hit people over the head with a bible or judge others. It means that the world should know that you are a believer, an agent of light, and that your walk gracefully but unashamedly shows it. Even if every single person in the world turned on you, you must remember that you are loved, because He loves you more than anyone in this world ever could.
The excellent Oswald Chambers devotional “Becoming the ‘Filth of the World'” further explains:
Or you can say, “I don’t care if I am treated like ‘the filth of the world’ as long as the gospel is proclaimed.” A true servant of Jesus Christ is one who is willing to experience martyrdom for the reality of the gospel of God.