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“Pray also for me,
that whenever I open my mouth,
words my be given me
so that I will fearlessly make known
the mystery of the gospel,
for which I am an ambassador in chains.
Pray that I may declare it fearlessly,
as I should.”
Fearlessly. How I would like to reach that point with Jesus. Paul experienced fear, it is obvious, because otherwise he would not be asking others to pray for him, that he would “fearlessly” proclaim and declare the truth.
We all struggle with this. Those of us who love Christ and are walking in the light, who want only to live for the
. We know fear. We know the fears of losing the friendship or outward respect of those we care about. We know the fears of being ostracized by co-workers. We know the fears of being thought of as weird or strange, branded as overzealous or fanatical by those who call themselves Christians. Kingdom of God
We may have family that opposes us. We may have people in positions of authority over us in life who could do us harm if they wished.
Whatever our position, we always think we have much to lose. Paul did. Whenever he spoke fearlessly, he ended up being flogged or stoned. And eventually, he knew he’d be killed for fearlessly proclaiming the gospel of Christ. Both pagan and religious hate the true gospel, because it pierces to the heart of their sin, and exposes with light the darkness they live in and are comfortable with.
Jesus was our example.
He was fearless when it counted, in the face of deadly opposition. Hundreds of thousands of our brethren through the centuries have faced deadly opposition, fearless when it counted, and stood the test, giving their lives when called upon.
Yet today, in
, and other affluent nations, we are afraid to say anything, and it is not for fear of losing our lives. It is for fear of losing our comfortable positions. We have compromised with the world to the extent that we count on all our “Christian comforts”. We are as affluent as the world. We love our nice homes, our status, our toys. We love our outwardly fine family relationships. The inside may be rotting, and our children and other loved ones may be going to hell on an express train, but we will not risk rejection by sharing the gospel with them. We won’t risk our important business connections. We won’t risk our money. We won’t risk anything really. Our fears are winning. America
We will express our outrage all day about political matters. We will declare our indignation at the economic situation. We will proclaim our opinions without a care.
But the gospel, well, that is another matter. Sharing our experiences with Christ to another person would jeopardize everything. Caring about Jesus, and His agenda today, now that’s a different thing.
We must measure the depth of our Christ-life by measuring the depth of our willingness to risk for His sake. Unwillingness to risk for Christ means we care more about what we are risking than what we might gain for His sake, and for the
. Let’s all take a hard look at what we’re not willing to lose today, and pray that God will raise us up like Paul to declare the mystery of the gospel, ambassadors even in chains, if need be. Kingdom of God