Jessica Albritton, NextGen Minister LHBC

Romans 1:16-17
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. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Growing up I was always so embarrassed of my hair. It made me different and being different as a child is not something you want to be. All my friends had black, blond, and brunette color variations and I was the only person in the entire town that had red hair. All I wanted was to have another shade of hair. I wanted to be the same as everyone else. I wanted to blend in but the color of my hair made me stand out in the most obvious way. Many would tell me my hair was beautiful and that they were jealous of my color, many expressed their desire to buy it from a bottle, but their comments didn’t faze me, they could have it for all I cared. As I have grown older I have come to better appreciate my hair but the desire to fit in and not stand out still rears its ugly head from time to time. 

Being a Christian is something that makes you stand out. All throughout the Bible this truth is echoed. There is verse after verse that speaks to believers living lives set apart by their faith not conforming to the patterns of the world. The gospel makes us different. By the world’s standards, being different is bad. Being different is uncomfortable. But the Bible teaches that being different is exactly what believers should strive for. The gospel is something that sets believers apart. Being a follower of Christ means to be different, act different, live different. 

Paul states in his letter to the church in Rome, “I am not ashamed of the gospel.” Here Paul is not merely stating he is unashamed, but he is inferring he is proud of the gospel. The thing that makes Paul different does not bring him shame, it brings him joy, and for that he is proud. 

As believers we have a responsibility to proclaim the message of Jesus and His salvation to all those we encounter. Paul made this his life’s mission, to boldly proclaim the good news of the gospel unashamedly to the lost world. Paul didn’t let life’s circumstances hold him back and hinder him from sharing the message of salvation. Paul had a faith in Jesus that was built on a solid foundation. Regardless of situation and circumstance Paul had a faith in Jesus that could not be waived. 

As believers in Jesus we have that same responsibility. In the book of 2 Timothy Paul writes that he fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith to the very end. That’s what we as followers of Christ are all called to do, fight the fight, finish the race, and keep the faith. But the goal is not to stumble across the finish line, the ultimate picture is to run confidently across that line free of the shame the world tries to impose. 

Heavenly Father, thank you for the good news of the gospel! Lord help me to run my race, unashamedly, and when the world tells me to cower in fear help me to boldly proclaim the good news to all those that need to hear! In Jesus name, amen! 

1 John 4:4
4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.