April 8, Sunday

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Love Overrides Shame”

Mark 8:38

For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

In my college years, I was incredibly anxious about the idea of marriage. Even though I knew I wanted to get married, eventually, so many things about marriage scared me. Perhaps the scariest thing for me was the proposal. For some reason, whether through movies or people telling me grandiose stories about the proposal of a friend of a friend, I had gotten it in my mind that my proposal had to be this epic, historic event… otherwise my fiancée wouldn’t be happy. In college, I wasn’t even dating yet, but the thought of having to put together such a monumental feat made my palms sweat just thinking about it. There’s something about making a public declaration that makes most people at least a little bit nervous.

Perhaps that’s why many Christians are ashamed, or scared, about being public in their walk with Jesus. For me, the thought of evangelism evokes many of the same anxieties I had when I was thinking about proposals in college; it’s the fear of standing out for something you believe in. Even Jesus’ disciples went through this. When Jesus was arrested, just before He was crucified, Peter was asked multiple times if he was a follower of Jesus; and Peter, out of fear, denied even knowing Him. Yet when Jesus encounters Peter alone again, He restores him by asking him three times, “Do you love me?”

In a profound way, love overrides shame. When it came time for me to propose to Grace, now my wife, I was still a bit scared and nervous. But my love for her overcame whatever fear existed within. Also, I came to the realization that what she actually wanted wasn’t the most exuberant proposal in all of human history, but rather, a sincere confession of my love for her.

In a similar way, when it comes to living out our faith in the public arena, we shouldn’t just willpower our way into being witnesses. Instead, we have to remember our love for Jesus, because our love for Him can override any shame that exist within. And I believe that what Jesus is asking us to do isn’t necessarily to put on the largest spectacle, but rather, demonstrate a sincere confession of our love for Him. The main question then becomes, “Do I love Him?” Let’s spend some time today renewing and reminding our hearts in our love for Jesus.

Prayer: Jesus, we love You. We sing about it all the time, but it’s also a reality in our hearts. Help us to love You more. Out of our love for You, we also want to be unashamed. Help us to overcome any fears that reside within our hearts. You know us better than anyone and so we have nothing to hide from You. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Joel 3

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