Monday, March 1, 2010

Are You Ashamed of Jesus?

Mark 8:38
Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the Holy Angels.

When children are young they naturally cling to their parents. I tried holding a newborn baby in church yesterday and he immediately recognized I was not his mother and started to cry. Now if you check back fourteen years later when that mother shows up at high school to hug her son he will be embarrassed and act like he doesn’t even know his own mother. It’s something about adolescents where young people begin to detach from the paternal bond especially as they try to assimilate into the social ranks of a generation that they so desperately need approval from.

This process is no different form how Christians deal with their relationship with Jesus Christ. Early on in our relationship with Jesus there was an intense bond with our Lord and Savior. Nobody could stop our devotion to Him or get in the way of us serving, coming to worship on a regular basis but as we began to assimilate into pop culture and began to be inundated with new teachings predicated on our own desires we became ashamed of Jesus. We were like Peter who denied Jesus as he was standing around the fire with non-followers saying, “I don’t know him.”

It seems that every pop culture mention of Jesus or Christians is some extreme parody of some character who is out of touch with reality or hypocritical. One of Pop Culture’s oldest iconic TV shows, the Simpsons, aired an episode where Marge was thinking of committing adultery with her “Christian” neighbor. He came to her door at her invitation for dinner. She said, “Where are the boys?” He said, “I just grounded them for watching a commercial of Grey’s Anatomy…” Christians and Christianity are now punch lines for TV shows and fodder for politically manipulated politicians who don’t love Jesus but use them for their conservative agendas.

On the Liberal side the bible is an inspirational book that we pick pieces of scripture out of to match our lifestyle and ask Jesus to endorse it. All the while Jesus is slipping out of vocabulary because as one famous televangelists has said, “the cross is offensive and we don’t want to offend.”

Jesus told his disciples, if you want to follow me, you have to take up your cross daily, deny yourselves and follow me. The problem is that we act like we don’t know him anymore in this adulterous generation. Adulterous in the sense that we have shifted our affection for Jesus to false gods and our love for people that can’t deliver. We are a sinful generation in the sense that we have missed the mark of being obedient to Jesus teaching.

When it’s time for us to recognize Jesus, we act like we don’t know him because we don’t want our educated and secular friends to know that we are associated with this outdated, old fashioned, Holy and righteous Savior who embarrasses the “hell” out of us because His standards will not allow us to be comfortable with the lifestyles that are contrary to His Holiness.

Jesus puts it so succinctly, “If you are ashamed of me, (act like you don’t know me) then I will be ashamed of you before the Father when I return with the Holy Angels.

Dear God,

Forgive us for acting funny when our friends came around and we hid the fact that we knew you. Forgive us for biting our tongues when people doubted you and spoke disrespectfully about your existence and we swallowed our words. Help us not to waiver in a world that lives with its own understanding but instead to stand for what’s right and once again cling to you our first love. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power unto salvation. I am not ashamed to testify. I am not ashamed to sing and shout. I want the world to know that you are so beautiful to me. I love you, Lord.

In Jesus Name,


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