For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. Romans 1:16a (NLT)
I have an anniversary coming up. It’s a birthday, actually. In February 2011 I will celebrate 30 years since I heard Jesus call me to follow Him. Thirty years since I experienced the birth of new life that Jesus offered. Thirty years on this journey, clumsily walking (and sometimes stumbling) in Jesus’ footsteps.
I realize that, in many circles, it’s not politically correct to be a follower of Jesus. Many people deem it inappropriate to be public about your faith, especially if you’re a follower of Jesus. It’s easy to get labeled, stamped and dismissed by people’s pre-conceived notions. Along the way I’ve had others misunderstand me, and heard the whispers of their mockery. I suspect that some have kept their distance from me. It makes me sad, really. All I really want to do is love people.
I read Paul’s famous declaration this morning, and I felt my heart nod in agreement. I glance over my shoulder and can see things of which I am ashamed. I shake my head at many things I’ve said, and done and other things I’ve left undone. I am not, however, ashamed of Jesus or His Message.
I deserve punishment for my many moral failings, and Jesus did my time. He gave up His life, and paid the ultimate penalty that I deserve for my shameful words, acts, and omissions. That’s why I’m not ashamed of Him. I owe Him a bottomless debt of gratitude I can never possibly pay in full. He saved my life. How can I be ashamed of that?
So, here I am. It’s been 30 years since I embarked on my journey with Jesus. Step-by-step I’m trying to be more like Him and follow more closely in His footsteps. Mile-by-mile, year-by-year, I’m following Him home.Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and stuckincustoms