Never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. . . With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. – 2 Timothy 1:8
4 The Sovereign LORD has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will.
5 The Sovereign LORD has spoken to me, and I have listened. I have not rebelled or turned away.
7 Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like flint, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be ashamed.
On the Jerry Seinfeld show in 1990, Jerry Seinfeld joked: “Surveys show that the number one fear of Americans is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. That means that at a funeral, the average American would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy.”
No one questioned the survey. Because for most of us, in our hearts we know it is true. Almost immediately, a new phrase, “Public speaking is more painful than death,” joined “Yada, Yada, Yada” in American vernacular.
How many times when seeking to share the truth of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, do we suffer spiritual laryngitis, freeze, and shrink back?
The Father in His wisdom has a solution. The Father’s children are to share a common curriculum. Morning by morning we are to spend quality time with the Father. This intimate association deepens our relationship with Him. It is the time of sharing, hearing, learning, and being prepared for what lies ahead. Such times sweeten the heart. Our words and actions grow out of our daily, direct interaction with the Father.
REFLECT & PRAY
If you know and feel certain that God has your back, then you can set your face like a flint. Be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Father, for you know that nothing you do for him is ever useless (1 Corinthians 15:58) (Stanley).
Father, the thought of receiving a wake-up call from you each morning thrills my heart.
The Father’s servant is empowered by Him. This empowerment makes him courageous and determined. He has set his face like flint. He is utterly resolved to do the Father’s will. He is strong, and fearless and will not shrink back or be deflected. He will not even flinch.
Isaiah 50:7 Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not in be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like flint, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be ashamed.
The Hebrew term translated ashamed is bosh. It means to be characterized by feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment, disappointment, or remorse. It has overtones of being or feeling worthless.
Can you imagine the apostle Paul ever recoiling, shrinking back in weakness and fear? Was he ever reticent or at a loss for words?
1 Corinthians 2:3-5
3 I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling,
4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Even though he had human limitations, Paul stood tall in the Spirit. He relied upon the power of the Holy Spirit and the gospel itself.
Ephesians 6:11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
“The Fellowship of the Unashamed” is a prayer that has inspired many to stand strong in their faith and to live unashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This prayer was found among the papers of a young African pastor who was martyred in Zimbabwe some 100+ years ago.
According to Southern Nazarene University, the prayer was passed on by missionary Louise Robinson Chapman who served in Africa from 1920-1940.
As a young preacher from Zimbabwe so memorably expressed it:
I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power.
The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.
My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I’m finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, praise, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer and labor by power.
My pace is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heaven. My road is narrow. My way rough. My companions few. My guide is reliable, and my mission is clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I’ve stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give ’til I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He’ll have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear! clear!