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Ashamed Of Jesus?
This week's scripture:
Phillipians 1:20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
Phillipians 1:20 and 21 are my two favorite verses in the Bible. Before I get into that, let me tell you a story. The Barnstink Brothers (see the "Characters" page) wanted to make a TV commercial. They can do anything for $49.95! They are really talented guys and do good work. But they are a little like, uh, rednecks. They wanted Alisha to be their TV spokeswoman and tell everyone about how well their trained squirrels paint houses. But she was embarrassed to be on TV talking about the Barnstink Brothers! Not because of the work they did, but because of the way they looked and talked. That's what being ashamed is.
In this scripture Paul is talking about not being embarrassed to be a Christian. He had good reasons to hide that he was a Christian. He had been a Jewish preacher. Most of the other Jewish preachers wanted "Christians" to die like Jesus did. In fact, Paul (his name used to be Saul) had been in charge of making sure some believers of Jesus died. Then he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord. So now the Jewish preachers and the government wanted any preachers of Jesus to die, including Paul.
He kept teaching people about Jesus. He had to use his brain to stay alive, but he never gave up on Jesus. He would keep preaching Jesus even if it meant death.
A lot of people have died because they loved Jesus. Starting in the days of Jesus, and continuing today, thousands, hundreds of thousands, maybe millions have died for Jesus. We don't really know. Some churches that called themselves Christian even killed Christians. Through about 1500 (Columbus' day) the Catholic church killed Christians who didn't obey Catholic rules. And the Catholic Church was wrong. Today, in places like Africa, South America, India, and China Christians are killed because they love Jesus and aren't ashamed to admit it. Even a girl in a high school here in the US was killed because she said she was a Christian.
You probably will not ever have that problem. You will probably never have to face death because you believe in Jesus. But you might face problems because you have Jesus in your heart. What if your friends are stealing and want you to do it with them? They will make fun of you if you don't. They might call you "sissy", "wimp", "cry baby" or even worse stuff. If that comes up, say "I am not ashamed. I am a Christian and what you are doing is wrong. Jesus died for me and I will not be embarrassed to do the right thing." Someday someone might be making fun of some Christians around you. You might have to speak up for them. Don't ever be embarrassed or ashamed to be a Christian. It's something to be proud of.
If you are a Christian, you belong to a club of people that have been very brave. Stand up for Jesus!
This week's prayer:
Thank you for dying for me. Please give me the courage to always be brave. Please help me to show others of your love.
Story posted August 23, 2000
This story includes Crazy Larry, MrGene, and Tonya
Crazy Larry had been watching Tonya for a few days. She had been hanging around with a new group of girls. They were all popular and wore the newest and most expensive clothes. One day he saw her outside of school.
"Hey Tonya, " he yelled, "can I talk to you a second?"
"Sure Larry. Whatcha want to talk to me about?"
"I've noticed you hanging around with your new friends."
"Yeah," she replied, "they're pretty cool. I guess they're cool enough to follow me around."
"Whatcha calling me wimpy for, orange head?" she asked, angrily.
"Oh, I've noticed a few things. That's all. You sure a wimp."
"Crazy Larry, you nut. What are you talking about? I'm hearing you, but you ain't making sense," she said.
Crazy Larry started laughing. "You always wear that 'Jesus' sweatshirt. Since you started hanging out with them you haven't worn it."
Tonya smirked at him, "I just wanted to style it up a little."
"Right," he replied. "I also noticed that whenever they start pointing and laughing at somebody, you do it too. You never acted that way before you started hanging out with them."
"You're just imagining things, Larry."
"Oh yeah?" He asked. "I overheard them say they were going to the mall Sunday morning. You said you couldn't go because you had to take care of your little brother."
"So what?" Tonya asked.
"You were going to church, and didn't want them to know, 'cause they won't think going to church is cool. You haven't told them that you are a Christian! I'm going to tell them, I'm going to tell them!"
"Don't Larry! Not yet. I'll tell them. If you don't tell them, I'll owe you a big favor," Tonya said.
"OK, Tonya. I won't tell the girls."
"Thanks, Larry. I owe you."
"You sure do, Tonya!"
Of course, Larry couldn't keep this to himself. He had to gossip a little bit. He went and found MrGene. He told MrGene the whole story. MrGene was upset about what he heard. He couldn't believe everything Crazy Larry said. So he prayed for wisdom, Tonya, the girls, and Crazy Larry. Then he went looking for Tonya. He found her talking with her new friends.
Welcome to the game page!
Just print out the game and play it on paper, or try to do it in your head!
V E P I S U E Q N B S S M E Q
E H H P D Q U A S W F Q P V C
V M Q I A B I D E M Z U H O C
M R B Z J T Z A Y C T I O K K
L H F A S I T A O X S R F J A
E Z U I R S Z O P H W R V Y W
T V R R H R L B O Q M E N Z P
L H A I C Z A X T E U L R A F
C M R R X G Y S I W D S U D F
D T P Q B T O N S E R L S Q V
T M I D L O R L M E O G R K A
O D J N P Z I A K R D R R O D
N R S H M P H R U E X T W L D
Y F H Z D S C O U R A G E G B
A H T H A L T N N M S U Q Q Y
All of these words are from the Bible Study or Story
Answer to game.
+ + + + + + + + N + S S + + +
E + + + + + + A + W + Q + + +
+ M + + + + I + E + + U + + +
+ + B + + T + A + C + I + + +
+ + + A S + T + O + + R + + +
E + + I R S + O + + + R + + +
+ V R + H R L + + + + E + + P
+ H A I + + A + + + + L + A +
C + R R + + + S + + D S U + +
+ T + + B + + + S E + L + + +
T + + + + + + + M E + + + + +
O + + + + + + A + + D + + + +
N + + + + + H + + + + + + + +
Y + + + + S C O U R A G E + +
A + + + A + + + + + + + + + +
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Copyright 2000 by Gene Powell