We are at all times challenged to stand firm in our faith in Jesus Christ. Our culture tries to intimidate Christians with accusations that we are backward or narrow-minded. How we react to these charges is an indication of our spiritual progress.
The Apostle Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel because he knew it was "the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16). However, he also knew that there is a delicate balance between truth and grace: "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone" (Colossians 4:6).
We must remind one another continually that the world will never stop tempting us to conform to its image. But just as it is the strongest fish that swims upstream, it is the believer who refuses to be conformed to the world who brings the most honor to God.
When you begin to understand the incredible dynamikos (dynamite power) of the Gospel, you will cease to be ashamed of it. Through this dynamikos, you will swim upstream, proclaiming the power of the Gospel to a dying world.
The Christian life seems easier when we are safely within the walls of the church; it is when we stand with God in the world that we are tested. God chooses to use everyday people to advance His kingdom. He doesn't need a celebrity or a superstar to give Him credibility: He is His own best witness. But we must lean on Him and be His instrument when our call demands it.
Excerpted from My Journal, a monthly devotional magazine from Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef.
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