Romans 1:16 – I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes …
Paul was a citizen of Rome and, now that he was a believer, longed to visit that city again one day. He wanted to share the gospel with them. Once he’d have come to persecute people of The Way, as Christians were called, but now he wants to share his experiences with them. He’s walked with His Lord. He knows, from firsthand experience, that Jesus has the power to save anyone who opens their heart to believe that He is who He says He is and that God can do what He says He can do.
Zane sat quietly on the bench. The park was full of people: boys, girls and adults all enjoying the newness of a warm spring day. Smiles resided on the faces around him. He wondered if that was just a façade or if these people truly were happy today.
Zane knew how it felt to live in constant fear, to carry around that deep feeling of depression, blackness in the soul that never seemed to lift or float away. For more years than he cared to count, he’d put on his happy face when he partied with the boys, but afterwards…his soul wept in defeat, his hangover a reminder of the night before.
He stood, lifted his face to the bluest sky he’d seen in a long time, and then strolled down the pathway. Barking dogs greeted him, little children smiled toward him while keeping their distance, and birds floated overhead waving toward the place where God resided.
Zane knew now what he didn’t know before. He’d discovered, in just the last two weeks, that there really was a God. Oh, not the God his friends spoke about as they cursed one another. Those guys didn’t know He existed or at least they pretended not to know. Anyway, Zane did and had decided that He’d follow His Lord no matter what.
He’d read what the apostle Paul talked about when he used the word ashamed and Zane did not intend to fall into that category. The empty pit of despair was gone and no one could have taken that away except a God who loved him…just as he was. It had been two weeks since he’d seen the guys. Today he planned on letting them see the changes in him…the real person this time…not just the person he’d allowed them to see.
His friends were heading toward a pit of eternal depression and despair. Zane had already been there and didn’t want any of them going in that direction…not anymore. His stride quickened, purpose written on every step. Oh…he wouldn’t get preachy. God only asked that he live what he believed. And he believed that God is who he says He is. He’d read all about Him in the Bible he’d purchased.
Zane couldn’t wait for the guys to see that God loved them, that he cared about everything in their lives, and wanted to save them from eternal damnation and despair. He carried a little New TestAmen.t in his vest pocket. If anyone asked, he was ready to share what Jesus did for them on the cross. If his motorcycle boots would have allowed it, he’d have skipped over to the curb.
Zane had discovered that an all-powerful God could change his world. He had chosen to believe, although, once he recognized the truth of the gospel, believing was a simple choice. The same is true for any one of us. Pick up the Gospel of John and discover for yourself who Jesus is and believe that He is that person. Then search for what God…Jesus…says He can do, and you’ll discover that He can do that too.
Father, I love You. The choice I made years ago has not been a hard choice for I know that with You all things are possible. Help me be a witness to those I come in contact with. Help me show them that You are interested in the small things in their lives. Let them see that Your word is alive and active in me by the way I act, not just my words. Amen.