Not Ashamed

 We were privileged to spend some time with our family members in Oregon over the past couple weeks. As usual, we got to help out with some work projects which we enjoy and also got to watch our son’s volley- ball team win four matches (they went undefeated in their conference) and our grandchildren’s soccer matches in which they each scored a goal and their teams won. As we were watching our granddaughter Lacey’s soccer match there was one priceless moment of which we wish we could have had a picture or video. One of the opponents, forgetting that you can’t use your hands, had reached down to pick up the ball when she remembered the rule and, with her hands about a foot apart—palms facing inward—she stopped and just stood there with a very sheepish grin on her face. It was like getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar!

     I was reminded of how, as believers, we are to exhorted to, as “little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming” (I Jn. 2:28).  To “abide in Him” is to continue walking in obedience to His Word in dependence upon Him, being “filled with (controlled by) the Holy Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).  One day—and it could be any time and probably very soon—Jesus will return for His Church, the Bride of Christ, and we will be caught up to meet Him in the air and will be ushered into Heaven. We need to live expecting His return at any moment such that we won’t be ashamed to see Him come, having been caught in sin—with our hand in the cookie jar!  Oh, if we know Him as Savior, we will be caught up along with every other believer, but we should live so that we are excited to see Him come and not be embarrassed that we are not presently living for Him and His kingdom.  We want to have an “abundant entrance” into heaven (II Pet. 1:11). That is the hope and reality for a Christian who lives a faithful, obedient, fruitful life here on earth. Peter’s point is that a Christian who pursues the virtues listed in verses 5-7 (moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love) will not only enjoy assurance in the present, but full, rich rewards in the future life (cf I Cor. 4:5; Rev. 22:12).
     The Apostle Peter speaks of how believers are going to suffer, but we need to be sure it is for the right reasons. “and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong” (I Pet. 3:16,17).
     The Apostle Paul’s challenge to young Timothy was to “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth” (II Tim. 2:15). If we are to “abide in Christ” and not be ashamed when He returns, we need to be diligent in our study of Scripture, applying good rules of Bible interpretation, and then applying it to our lives.  And, as Paul said, that takes work. It is so much easier just to let others do the work and we just stay on the fringes and give a token commitment. God desires and deserves our all, our best. After all, think of what He has done and is doing for each one of us.  “How can we do less than give Him our best and live for Him completely.”  It should be the desire of each of us to one day hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master” (Mt. 25:21). Is it your goal to be able to say—with the Apostle Paul—at the end of your life: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing” (II Tim. 4:7,8)?
     Are you living such that you are loving his appearing?  If not, today would be the day to start, to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Mt. 6:33).
                        Forever His,
                                   Pastor Dave
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About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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