Not Ashamed! (Romans 1:16)
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Paul was not ashamed or embarrassed of the “gospel of Christ.” It is the greatest blessing known to man. Romans 1:16 became key in the life of the 27-year-old evangelist, George Whitfield. In 1742, Whitfield was invited to preach at the fair at Marylebone Field, west of London with the condition that they would build him a platform. When the evangelist and his wife arrived at the fair-grounds, the sun was already down and the crowds were wild and rowdy. Muscular prizefighters challenged all comers to bare-fisted fights in the boxing ring.
Whitfield seldom displayed fear, but on that night, he was obviously nervous as he mounted the rickety little platform prepared for him. As George raised his powerful voice, people began to gather around him. The crowds at the gambling booths began to thin out toward Whitfield as he preached louder. Shortly into the sermon, George saw a group of bare-chested fighters strutting straight toward him. George's voice began to falter, but he suddenly felt a tug on his trousers. It was his wife Elizabeth who said to him, "George, play the man of God!"
Boldness shot through the veins of God's man as he firmly proclaimed without hesitation, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ! It is the power of Christ to everyone that believes!" He threw out his arms in a dramatic gesture and the platform nearly collapsed upon him. The fighters noticed the wobbly platform and tried to bring it down, but a group of Christians huddled around George. He continued to preach like a man trying to stand on the deck of a tossing ship. The people began to throw things at Whitfield. He was hit by a rock, a rotten egg, and manure, yet, he continued to preach on. When the evangelist finished his message, he was escorted to his wagon. A man lunged at George with a sword, but it was deflected by the cane of a friend. In spite of the pressure and harassment, Whitfield was a man of God that was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.
Not to the same degree of harassment as Whitefield endured that I can relate to, but 13 years of street preaching on Beale Street in Memphis, TN comes very close. May we learn from his courage and his example to not be ashamed of the Lord and His Word.
PRAYER: Lord, knowing that only in You is there love, hope, and life; help me to boldly proclaim the gospel of Christ to whomever I encounter. In Jesus name, Amen.
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