Updated: Jun 3, 2019
While I was living in Uganda last summer and fall, I heard this message preached one Sunday at a local Jinja church:
Back when I was in Uganda, I remember being so moved by this passage, and going home to find the rest of the words, so that I could immediately write them down in my journal, so that I would never forget them.
Well, just this past Sunday at church, our Pastor spoke about this same concept.
Being unashamed of the gospel, of our faith, and of the One we have claimed to give our lives to, as followers of Christ.
Throughout the whole service, I couldn’t help but keep thinking of this passage – “The Fellowship of the Unashamed.” I went home and looked up the back story of this passage, and found out that the Author of this work was a Rwandan man in 1980, who was forced by his tribe to either renounce Christ or face certain death. He refused to renounce Christ, and was killed on the spot. The night before, he had written this passage, which was later found in his room.
Reading and being so moved by a passage like this, and now knowing the story behind it, it is truly so moving, and so convicting. The other morning while serving at church with my husband, I happened into the most beautiful conversation with someone I had just met. Within minutes, we were engulfed in conversation about the Lord. How he had moved in our lives, and why we are so passionate about helping others see that God really is real.
How is it that two strangers, having just met, can immediately connect on such a deep level? This really got me thinking. What is the one thing that we had in common, that is the first thing that came up in our conversation?
In a world full of so much hurt – shootings, war, negative media – I believe it is more important than ever before to learn the practice of setting our minds on things above. This is a biblical principle, that can be linked to so many different religions and mental health practices. But why do you think that is?
Because it is true.
The only way to survive this ever-changing world is to search for beauty amidst the brokenness, and in my own personal life, cling to the One who is going to make all things right again one day.
But that doesn’t mean we aren’t commanded to make beauty out of this life, now.
We are called to live abundant, joyful lives. Living a joyful life does not mean acting like life is “roses and daisies” all the time, but it does mean searching for joy in the mundane, everyday life.
It means choosing gratitude over grumbling, and searching for something positive to focus on in others and in the world around us.
Negative mindsets lead to negative thinking, which leads to negative living – that affects not only that one negative person, but entire friend groups, families, and communities.
While not everyone reading this blog may claim to be a Christian, for me personally, my walk with Jesus is what gives me joy. No matter what life has thrown my way, Jesus has been behind and before me. And He is doing the same for you, too. He will never leave you or forsake you. And He is always fighting for you. He wants to be your best friend, and sometimes it is in our most trying times that we learn how to let Him in. When all other people in your life may, at some point, disappoint you, He never will. His love is unending. He is full of grace. He loves you just as you are. There is absolutely nothing you could do to make Him love you any more or any less. And how comforting is that?
I don’t know who needed to read this today, but I hope and pray that this little message God put on my heart will speak to your heart, too. God loves you. And He is jealous for your love and affection. He wants all of you. Not just a part of you on Sunday morning or at Bible Study. But a relationship. A raw, real, and ever-growing and changing relationship. He loves to bless His children, with the hopes that they will grow to love Him, the blessing-giver, all the more.
And for that reason alone, I can say I am unashamed. Unashamed of my faith. Of the gospel. Of this hope that He has given me. During my time overseas serving in Uganda, going through some of the loneliest and trying times I have ever experienced while following God’s call, I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. He truly does want good things for His children, even when we may not currently understand what He is doing. He is always working for our good. Through every season, joy and sorrow, He is in it all, and making us more and more like His son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus was rejected by man, but glorified by God.
And as we grow in Christ like-ness, it means being “in this world, but not of it.” And by that, I mean, living our lives for His glory. Giving Him the credit where credit is due. And more importantly, being unashamed of the gospel. Being unashamed of being identified with the man who died, innocently, on a cross to grant us eternal life. A man who faced the greatest mockery and persecution for following God’s call on His life, but in the end, brought God all the glory through it. And never wavered amongst the lies and persecutions thrown His way, because He kept His mind on things above. On the opinion of His Heavenly Father.
His identity was set in being a son of God. And so is ours. As sons and daughters.
Let’s live unashamed of the gospel, amongst a hurting world that needs this hope more than ever before.
Let’s unite in the love of Christ, and spread this unconditional love and grace to others that only He can give.