Last night I went to the second of 2 showings of Chondra Pierce’s third movie theater event, Unashamed. It was amazing! Interspersed with her stand-up routine were interviews with high profile Christians who have had to make very public stances for their faith that has made an impact on contracts, and so on. If you did not make it to either of the showings this week look for it when it comes out on DVD. It is a must see!
The testimonies in this film are a great reminder of what our role is as ambassadors for Christ.
Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ: Be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20 BSB
I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should. Ephesians 6:20 NLT
Though Paul was physically in chains, he did not let that stop him from preaching the Gospel, writing letters of encouragement and instruction to the churches, and continually praying for others. He knew he would only really be imprisoned if he gave up.
How often do we imprison ourselves by allowing our circumstances to overwhelm us and drag us into the pit? We allow our thoughts and the voice of our enemy to drown out the call of Holy Spirit to come and be still and stop striving, be refreshed in His presence, strengthened by God’s grace, renew our thoughts in the Word, build our faith in Jesus’ promises, and set free from the chain that tries to pull us into that pit through praise and gratitude.
Even when we feel harassed or unfairly treated for our faith, in the U.S. we really haven’t begun to really experience persecution. Not to the point of being forced from our homes into exile, imprisoned, tortured, raped, enslaved, forced to watch our children tortured and killed, or being executed ourselves. We are on the brink of worse, if things don’t change. Our society is becoming much less tolerant of free speech and other “rights” we now enjoy.
Our freedom is not what the U.S. Constitution says it is, nor what other people would allow. Our Freedom as disciples of Christ Jesus and children of the One True God come from Him alone.
34Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. 35A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. John 8:34-36 NLT
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 ESV
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17 ESV
16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:16, 25-26 ESV
Let us live in the freedom Jesus died to give us. Keeping in step with Holy Spirit, not ahead or behind, keeping pace with Him as He teaches, corrects, and guides each step. We cannot go wrong when we live this God-given way of life.
As Jesus’ ambassadors we must make every effort to shine His light always, in word and deed, in all circumstances. So many are doing the wrong things in the name of Jesus and pushing others farther from Him. True they should not be looking for perfection from imperfect humans, but we do need to reflect Jesus’ image, and bear the fruit of the changes/renewal that has occurred within us. If there is no fruit, there is no change, no testimony, no witness to the power of Christ to save and transform lives. Too many brand themselves as “Christian” because they say that they believe in God. Well, the devil believes God exists, too, but He isn’t going to heaven. He knows the Bible, too, and he will twist it and use it to trip up those that say they are Christians, but don’t know the Word of God for themselves. If we don’t know the Word, we can’t live the Word. If we aren’t living the Word, we’re still living in bondage to the world and the truth is not in us after all. We can’t say I believe in God or even I believe in Jesus and then live like hell and expect to inherit the kingdom like a child of God. It doesn’t work that way. Those that truly believe allow Holy Spirit to transform them and their lives from the inside out. It takes cooperation!
To be a disciple of Christ is a commitment to living like Christ.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. Matthew 16:24 NLT
This means denying all of our natural tendencies and selfish ways and motives to put Jesus and the needs of others above our own.
That is how we learn to experience true JOY! For more on this be looking for installment #3, Transformed and Free!
To be unashamed of the Gospel is to live a life sold out to the Gospel! That’s freedom in Christ!
At the end of the film Chondra sang this song. Take a few minutes to listen and sing along!
I Am Not Ashamed – The Heritage Singers
Blessings and peace in abundance be yours,
© 2019 Julia Melatis, Hope & Joy Ministries, all rights reserved.
Scripture references used:
NLT, Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
BSB, The Berean Bible. (www.Berean.Bible)Berean Study Bible (BSB) © 2016, 2018, 2019 by Bible Hub and Berean.Bible. Used by Permission. All rights Reserved.
ESV, The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.