Summary: I am not ashamed of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I'm Not Ashamed!
I have a declaration to make this morning. A statement that I just can't keep to myself. I have been pondering the possible repercussions my announcement could bring about. I have been considering the potential consequences of my disclosure. I've weighed the benefits of keeping it to myself against the cost of letting the cat out of the bag. I don't know what is going to happen, but I've got to tell you this morning, I just can't keep it to myself - I am not ashamed of the Gospel of my Lord Jesus Christ.
I'm ashamed of a lot of things. I am ashamed of the things I have done and things I have failed to do. I am ashamed of seeing those who are hurting yet passing by while looking the other way. I am ashamed of not taking the time to celebrate with those whose joy has overflowed around me. I am ashamed of failing to help the lost find their way. I am ashamed of the days I have wasted, the grace I have tested, and that I have failed to give God my best. Oh, there are a lot of things that I am ashamed of, but I am not ashamed of the Gospel of my Lord Jesus Christ.
I am ashamed of my failure as a minister and the failure of many of those who share my call to be a shepherd. I am ashamed of how we preachers continue to search for happiness and fun when we serve the One whom the Bible calls a "man of sorrows." I am ashamed of the way we preachers validate our call by the size of the sanctuary issuing the invitation. I am ashamed at how we determine our value by the size of our check rather than the substance of His call. I am ashamed at how we determine our effectiveness by the applause of men rather than the approval of God. I am ashamed of how we fear those who sit on our Board and are bored with the One who sits on the Throne. I am ashamed at how we glory in the crowd rather than in the Cross. I am ashamed at how we tickle the ears of men and tear at the heart of God. I am ashamed at how we turn our backs on the poor and outcasts who can't boost our budgets and instead, seek to boost our credibility with those who can. I am ashamed at how we twist and turn God's Word in order to tell people how good they are, rather than telling sinners how good God is. I am ashamed of my failure as a minister and many of those men I have been called alongside, but I am not ashamed of the Gospel of my Lord Jesus Christ.
I am ashamed at my failure as a father today and the way others of us who have been called to be fathers are failing. I am ashamed at how patient we can be with those we don't even know, and yet lose our patience with those little ones who need it most. I am ashamed of how we pledge our lives to the company and yet walk away from our families. I am ashamed of how we willingly give overtime to our boss and yet tell our kids, "Not now, honey, I'm too busy." I am ashamed of the high standards we hold up for our kids while lowering the cross bar of morality and holiness for our own lives. I am ashamed of how we tell our children how important it is to worship God and yet we rush out of worship to catch the latest sporting event on television. I am ashamed of how we teach our kids to have compassion on the poor and needy and yet lavish ourselves with more and more. I am ashamed of how we talk the good talk, but walk with a noticeable limp. I am ashamed of my failure as a father this morning, but I am not ashamed of the Gospel of my Lord Jesus Christ.