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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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WHEN IT'S A SHAME TO BE ASHAMED!

A little girl was telling her mother about her Bible class. She asked her mother, "Did you know that the teacher is Jesus' grandmother?" The mother replied, "That's interesting, dear. And how do you know?" Without missing a beat the little girl shot back, "Because she talks about Him all the time!" Grandparents are the most shameless people on earth! They stand ready to tell you about their grandchild/grandchildren any time, any place! Got a couple of hours? Just sit down and listen up!

The apostle Paul was a shameless man who could not and would not stop talking about Jesus and His gospel. As he pens 2 Timothy he is a prisoner, chained in a Roman dungeon, awaiting death (1:8; 2:9; 4:6-8). But even in that place of apparent shame and humiliation he is unashamed and can't stop talking about Jesus! Like a proud grandparent, for thirty years he has proudly proclaimed Christ to as many people as possible in as many places as possible. He was totally unashamed of Christ and the gospel. No less than three times in 2 Timothy 1, Paul either directly or indirectly challenges Timothy to not be ashamed: “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner.... I am not ashamed .... Onesiphorus often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain” (1:8, 12, 16). Paul wants Timothy to know it is a shame for a Christian to be ashamed of the gospel!

Someone once observed, “The church today is often paralyzed with timidity and slowly dying of dignity.” The church of Jesus Christ cannot afford to be ashamed of the gospel. First, because Jesus taught that if we are ashamed of Him and His words in this life, He will be ashamed of us in the next (Mark 8:38). Second, because sin and falsehood have many proponents who are out, loud, proud, passionate and unashamed in proclaiming perverted and erroneous messages. Third, because so much is at stake-our own souls and the souls of millions around us. Richard Baxter, a preacher of the 17th century, once said, “0 sirs, how plainly, how closely, how earnestly should we deliver a message of such moment as ours, when everlasting life or everlasting death of our fellow-men is involved in it! ... Oh, speak not one cold or careless word about so great a business as heaven or hell.” When it comes to the gospel of Christ, it's always a shame when a Christian is ashamed.

Dan Gulley, Evangelist
Smithville church of Christ