Lucia's Blog: FOR I AM NOT ASHAMED OF PRACTICING MY FAITH
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Thursday, March 13, 2014

FOR I AM NOT ASHAMED OF PRACTICING MY FAITH


"Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker." 
 Psalm 95:6


PRAYING

If we are indeed children of God who delight in His ways, then we must never be ashamed of praying anywhere and everywhere.  Prayer is vital to our daily walk with God.  Therefore, we must purpose in our hearts to pray everywhere and at all times if the occasion calls for it.  We can pray silently as in the case of Nehemiah when he was in the presence of King Artaxerxes and was asked why he looked sad.  Nehemiah was very disturbed by the sufferings of his people.  His city was desolate, consumed by fire.  When the king heard of this, he immediately asked Nehemiah "What would you request?"  Nehemiah 2:2-4. Notice that Nehemiah did not hesitate to go to God in prayer right there before the king.  He knew only God could intervene in helping his people.

The apostle Paul says, 
"When our days there were ended, we left and started on our journey, while they all, with wives and children, escorted us until we were out of the city. After kneeling down on the beach and praying, we said farewell to one another." Acts 21:5.  
"When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all." Acts 20:36. 

None of these prayers where done during worship services, but in public because the occasion demanded it. The brethren at Tyre prayed together with Paul.  They not only prayed together, but kneeled down and prayed.  It is easy to pray in your heart quietly in public when no one knows or notices that you are praying, but to kneel down and pray in public is a different story.  I am not trying to show off when praying, but I know there are many times when the occasion calls for urgent prayers where kneeling is the most appropriate thing to do.

In Jeremiah 29:7 we read, 


"Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare."  

Here we see that Jeremiah is encouraging the Jews who were living as exiles in Babylon to pray for the well-being of the city.  This way of praying should motivate us to pray for those who live within our reach; for those souls who are still living in darkness who need to come to repentance and freedom from sin, even if we think they are not worthy.  Remember that Daniel was among those who were living in exile, but obeyed kneeling three times a day to pray, 
"Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God. Then they approached and spoke before the king about the king’s injunction, ‘Did you not sign an injunction that any man who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, is to be cast into the lions’ den?’ The king replied, ‘The statement is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked.’  Then they answered and spoke before the king, ‘Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the injunction which you signed, but keeps making his petition three times a day."  Daniel; 6:11-13.  

Yet, he continued to pray even when there was a law against it putting his life in danger.  Can we stand up like Daniel?  Would you be the one to take the first step?  Will I?


CHILDREN

We must never be ashamed of having children:  
"Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.  How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they WILL NOT BE ASHAMED, when they speak with their enemies in the gate."  Psalm 127:4-5.  

It appears to me that our culture tries to shame those who have children, especially those families who choose to have more than the typical standard one or two children.  Honestly, who is the unusual one?  It is the one who intentionally chooses to limit his family!  Don't get me wrong here! I am not talking about those that because of health problems are physically unable to have children.  I am speaking about those who intentionally don't want to get married and have children or those who deliberately stop having children.  This is contrary to what it is written in God's Word.  God says, that those who decide to have many children are blessed rather than cursed, responsible rather than irresponsible, mature rather than childish.

Imagine how much blessing it would be for the kingdom, the church:  to raise children as mighty warriors who know the Truth, speak the Truth and give a defense of the Truth.  These are the arrows that will attack the enemy of the kingdom, the church.  They are molding children for eternity.  No, they don't need ever to be ashamed!  They can surely lift their heads up for they are walking in righteousness doing their Father's will. It is shameful that we have raised two or three generations that are too materialistic and self-absorbed to have and raise many children.  It is a shame that our churches and our culture are dying for lack of children to carry on our beliefs and convictions (our faith).  When we lack the faith, we will be ashamed in the gate.


WE MUST NOT BE ASHAMED OF TRUSTING THE LORD

"You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; then My people will never be put to shame.  Thus you will know that I  am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other; and My people  will never be put to shame."  Joel 2:26-27.

What do you do when you don't seem to find a solution to your problems?  What do you do when you cannot see any way out, and your circumstances seem impossible?  There is ONLY one way out of your problems, and that is to trust in the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.  This is the best and only wise thing to do, because when you trust the Lord, you will never be ashamed. For God is faithful.  He can never go against His promises; it is not in His nature to do so.  It is impossible for God to lie!

God keeps us waiting. His answers and His ways are very different from our expectations.  We become impatient.  We are overwhelmed.  We start wondering why we are not getting our answers immediately.  But don't forget that God is teaching us patience.  He is also perfecting our faith. Likewise, God is working in our hearts.  He is also teaching us to trust Him more and more.  He is working for our good, even when we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel.


"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28.

David confesses, 
"O my God, in You I trust, do not let me be ashamed; do not let my enemies exult over me.  Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed."  Psalm 25:2-3.  
"In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be ashamed; in Your righteousness deliver me."  Psalm 31:1.  
"May those who wait for You not be ashamed through me, O Lord God of hosts; may those who seek You not be dishonored through me, O God of Israel."  Psalm 69:6.

David also stated in Psalm 34:5, 
"They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed." 
God promises to Isaiah, 
"Kings will be your guardians, and their princesses your nurses.  They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth and lick the dust of your feet; and you will know that I am the Lord; those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame." Isaiah 49:23.

So with all this about learning to trust God and not be ashamed,

  • Let us trust Him during our toughest storms. 
  • Let us trust Him when dark days assail us.  
  • Let us trust Him when our faith seems to be small.  
  • Let us trust Him when the best and simplest thing to do is to trust Him.  
  • Indeed, these are the hardest things to do for us, His children!

WE MUST NEVER BE ASHAMED OF OUR HOPE

The word HOPE means to expect what we desire:  to believe that God is going to do something good. Sadly, it is when we do not hope that we do not understand who God is, for He is a good and loving God.  Everything He does is good!  He is a wise God.  His ways and thoughts are not the same as ours.

"And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."  Romans 5:3-5.   

So my question is:   What teaches us HOPE?  Simply our hardships and tribulations.  It is in these that our God is working out everything for our good.  Each trial and experience gives us more and more hope. It is in our hardship that God is working everything out for our good.   We cannot help but become overwhelmed without HOPE.  We will certainly know that we will not be ashamed, even when others think we are crazy for hoping in Him, just as it is written,


“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”  Romans 9:33.  
For the Scripture says, 
“Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”  Romans 10:11.  "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" Romans 15:13.  
"According to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death."   Philippians 1:20.

Let us remember when God promised Abraham, he was going to receive a son in his old age, 


"In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, 'So shall your descendants be.”'   Romans 4:18.

WE MUST NOT BE ASHAMED OF SUFFERING FOR CHRIST

Paul states in 2 Timothy 1:12


"For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day."  
The Apostle Peter says, 
"but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name."  I Peter 4:16.

WE MUST NEVER BE ASHAMED OF THE SAINTS WHO ARE SUFFERING FOR CHRIST AND HIS GOSPEL

"Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God."  2 Timothy 1:8  
"The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains."  2 Timothy 1:16.

WE MUST NEVER BE ASHAMED OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST

Lest we forget, there is no OTHER WAY to obtain salvation except through the precious blood of Christ.  Lest we forget, we could have never been reconciled to the Father if it were not for His cruel death on the cross.  Lest we forget, it is through His death and His blood that we have access to His Father's promises.  Lest we forget that had it not been for His death and His victory over death and the ENEMY, we could not have overcome the ENEMY.  REMEMBER, let us never be ashamed of His precious, pure and powerful blood that was shed on the cross for our sins.

"And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death." Revelation 12:11

WE MUST NEVER BE ASHAMED IN HARD TIMES


"The Lord knows the days of the blameless,  and their inheritance will be forever.  They will not be ashamed in the time of evil, and in the days of famine they will have abundance."  Psalm 37:18-19

What wonderful promises!  Even though we do not know what is lying ahead of us in the future, we certainly have His promise.  His promise to us is that if we walk free from blemishes and spots, faultless and blameless, He will never have to be ashamed of us.

May our Lord help us always to trust in Him and never be ashamed.  May we find the strength in Him, the Rock on which we can lean all of our heavy weight.

Luci