TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• 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. (Romans 1:16 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• For the last six weeks, I’ve been having online movie night with some of the hair stylists from the Great Clips franchise I work with (no, I can’t cut hair… everyone asks me that. Trust me… I can’t even cut a straight line on paper. No one wants me to have scissors near their hair).
Online movie night began as a morale booster during quarantine. And since this isn’t a work-function and I’m a contractor, we’ve been watching faith-based movies. There are only a few of us watching together, but it’s been a fun thing to look forward to every week. We talked last night about continuing movie night on at least a monthly basis once they return to work.
Last night, we watched “God’s Not Dead 2.” It’s the first movie we’ve watched that none of us had seen and actually, I think I liked it even better than the first one.
Melissa Joan Hart played the main character, Grace Wesley, and in the movie, she’s a teacher who answered a student’s question and then found herself in a legal battle, accused of proselytizing in the classroom. The poignant line from the movie was, “I am not going to be afraid to say the name Jesus.”
It’s a line that hit me hard. And not-so-coincidentally, it hit me hard during the movie (I don’t believe in coincidences—that’s another topic). I had a phone call while we were watching from someone who constantly challenges me about my faith. The subject is a bit of a landmine between us and since I didn’t want to spark a debate at that moment, I didn’t tell him the title.
I took the easy way out. The truth is that I honestly couldn’t get into a debate at that point because I had people waiting on me, but I also didn’t WANT the debate at all. However, it’s something I will be addressing later today. And I’m praying that it will be a non-contentious conversation.
Putting my failure from last night aside for now, the name of Jesus is a landmine for many. We hesitate to bring Him up for fear of offending… or being asked a question we can’t answer… We go on social media and we talk about any and everything… from recipes to political opinions to gardening projects to the latest antics of the kids. But how often do we take the opportunity to say Jesus’ name and praise Him for the world to hear? How often do we talk about Him? Share about Him?
Paul wrote, “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” (Romans 1:16). Our salvation and the eternity we will enjoy is because of Jesus! His name is power (Philippians 2:9-11)! We cannot be ashamed, scared, or even hesitant to speak it!
It’s no secret that it’s getting harder and harder to be a Christian in this country, despite the fact that our Constitution states that we have freedom of religion. People will go to extraordinary lengths to criticize Christians and even try to bring them down with lawsuits and accusations. But we can’t worry about what others will think about us (or even do to us) because of our faith. As David wrote in Psalm 56:11, “In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” The answer is nothing! Nothing that God won’t allow! And if He allows you to be persecuted for your faith, then you have to trust His plan and purpose. Whether your defense of your faith is a private matter or on public trial, God will always equip us for whatever journey He asks us to take.
We need to value the holiness of Jesus and remember who He is—the Son of God! The light of the world! Our Savior and Redeemer! And when I ponder all that He’s done for us, it breaks my heart that I’ve ever hesitated to speak of Him and praise Him.
With that said, the other line from the movie that spoke to me was also spoken by the character, Grace: “I would rather stand with God and be judged by the world, than stand with the world and be judged by God.”
Me too, Grace. Me too.
Today, as you pray, praise the name of Jesus! Ask the Holy Spirit to embolden your heart that you won’t be ashamed, embarrassed, or hesitant to let anyone know that He is your Lord and Savior!
SHARING ••• Please share with others! Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.