June 14, 1998 |Sermon |by John Piper | Scripture: Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
How does Paul avoid being ashamed? I love how he is teaching me to take a thought all the way through to a conclusion, to me that is what the Bible means when it says to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2Cor 10:5) It’s a practice that as a woman, I struggle with. My emotions betray me, my hormones make me crazy and can guide my thoughts down very wrong paths, and I am just the bystander of this raging river, instead of being the dam that only allows certain amounts of water through, exactly as needed. Taking every thought captive, what does it mean to be shamed and how does a person avoid it? Run and hide under a rock so we cant possibly do anything that someone could mock or ridicule? Or be so self focused and calculating that my life revolves around pleasing people?
What is my reaction to people who would shame Christianity or mock my Jesus? John Piper questions to the heart of the matter today! Usually my reaction is to be so upset about it that I don’t have the reaction that Paul mentions in the previous verses about being a debter. Did you listen to that sermon? Is my reaction WRONG? Yes! it is!! My focus should be so much on the debt I have to all people who don’t believe that love should overflow to them and concern and a deep desire to see them saved.
So I ask myself, What SHOULD my reaction be?
Well, lets look at Jesus response to shame. and the WORST possible kinds of shame. We are horrified to see the shame put on kids in school by bullies, do we feel the same horror at what happened to Jesus? The HUMILIATION, the shame. The mockery, while slapping Our Savior across the face, the crown of thorns, the nakedness while hanging on the cross… Can you IMAGINE anything worse? no, I can’t. and his response? “FATHER FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING.” There was no defending of Himself, even though HE of all people ever born deserved to defend Himself, forget calling down fire and brimstone right there on all their heads.
Jesus response. THAT is what my response should be, such DEEP love and concern that all I can think about is a prayer that the Lord would forgive them, draw them to Himself and save them. it’s NOT ABOUT ME.
God Did That!!! For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the Shame. Heb 2:12
This sermon has left me so convicted.
Time for YOU to share, what have you been learning from the Lord? are you seeing His convicting, loving hand in your life today? I want to hear about it! Share so that others can be encouraged too <3 Bless you today <3
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