“I am not ashamed of the gospel!”

 
We live in a cultural context that largely ignores, marginalizes, scoffs at, and rejects the gospel. As a result a significant number of Christians are intimidated, persecuted and martyred for their faith! On the other hand, at the same time the Holy Spirit is at work opening the hearts of people all over the world to the gospel message.
 
Apostle Paul had been a Christ-rejecter and Christian persecutor. But a personal encounter with the risen Christ and the message of the gospel completely transformed His life. Not only that, he had personally seen what the gospel could do to transform lives all over the ancient world.
 
As a result, here is his inspired testimony, uttered with deep conviction: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to EVERYONE who believes!” (Romans 1:16-17)
 
Derision and mockery could not silence him! Threats and imprisonment could not silence him! Persecution and assault could not silence him! Depression and discouragement could not silence him (read 2 Corinthians 1:8-11) And death could not (and has not) silenced his witness and the proclamation of the gospel!
 
That’s what the power of the Holy Spirit and an personal encounter with the risen Christ can accomplish in our lives! When threatened this is what ancient believers did… They prayed and said, “’Now Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus!’ And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:29-31)
 
I don’t know about you, but I want Paul’s testimony to be mine throughout the coming year… I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL! I want to share the gospel with others with conviction through the power of the Holy Spirit – not intimidated, but empowered!
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