What I Am Not Ashamed Of

I Am Not Ashamed Of JesusMy sermon for tomorrow is Gospel Power based on Rom 1:16. These are my rambling thoughts as to what I might preach extemporaneously tomorrow, which may change by tomorrow!

Paul says emphatically, “I am not ashamed of the gospel.” This is the explicit reason why he had Gospel Enthusiasm and excitement and energy and eagerness to preach the gospel to the Romans (Rom 1:15).

I wondered to myself, “What am I NOT ashamed of?”

Two things immediately come to mind: my wife and my cats! I simply love to talk about them at every opportunity. I can hardly get through any sermon, or Bible study, or a casual conversation, or even a UBFriends post or comment, without talking about either my wife or my cats or both!

I also love to talk about food, which seems to interest me more and more as I get older. That’s why I love the analogy of the kingdom of God being like a great banquet feast (Mt 22:2; Lk 14:15; Rev 19:9, 17), which I assume will have tons of gourmet food that I have not tasted this side of the eschaton! Last week I enjoyed my first Kobe Beef steak at Gibson’s Steakhouse. I am somewhat embarrassed that it cost $100. But I did share it with my wife… I also love movies and I can’t wait to take my wife to go watch Gone Girl, which is getting rave reviews. With my friends and relatives back home in Malaysia and Singapore I love talking about whisky, about how single malt whisky tastes so much more refined than blended whisky.

Basically, I love to talk about what I love and am not ashamed of.

The converse is also true. I do not like to talk about what I am ashamed of. After the Chicago Bear’s humiliating loss to the Green Bay Packers last week, I refused to talk about the Bears, being ashamed at how poorly the defense played and at how Jay Cutler still throws horrible errant picks at the worst times, despite getting paid $17.5 million per year.

Yes, I have tons of “worldly desires,” as some might characterize it. But I also love to talk about Jesus (who IS my life), the gospel, the Bible, theology, good books, life, who God is, who we (sinful and loved) human beings are, the church, the manifold and often shameful problems in the church. This is surely nothing but the grace of Jesus and the power of God working in me.

Perhaps, most people are ashamed to talk about their sins (as much as some might inadvertently love to brag about their achievements, deeds and works). Surprisingly, Paul was not ashamed to speak about his sins. He spoke candidly and explicitly about how he, the great apostle, was the worst of the apostles (1 Cor 15:9), the worst of all Christians (Eph 3:8), and close to his death even the worst of all men (1 Tim 1:15). Paul always connected all aspects of his life to Christ, including his sins. So when Paul spoke about his sins, he was in effect testifying to the marvelous and matchless grace of Jesus (1 Cor 15:10).

I know that I am not ashamed of the gospel and would love most to share Jesus with others. This does not mean that I should impose myself on others, or be intrusive and inconsiderate toward others, even if I often tend to be because of my doggedness. I do love most to speak about Jesus and the gospel, even if I might often talk too much, or listen too little, or be more heady and cerebral and theological than practical, or be more forceful than gentle, or am seemingly too distracted negatively by problems and injustice.

What are you not ashamed of? Feel free to critique my sermon write up in the above links, or my rambling reflection on not being ashamed.


  1. forestsfailyou

    I developed a mild allergy to my kitty in the last year of her life. But she was still loved! There is probably some message in that sentence somewhere. Maybe to love even when it causes you discomfort :)

  2. Ben, I continue to love your thoughts and sermons!

    I’ve been meaning to comment on this but have been heavily involved in some system work at my workplace.

    I remember this verse being quoted a LOT during my ubf fantasy. Romans 1:16 was repeated many times and I remember feeling ashamed each time I heard it. No I was not ashamed of Jesus or the gospel; I was ashamed of ubf. I always felt this nagging shame in the back of my soul. Why did my friends just disappear from the ministry so suddenly? Why won’t they talk to me any more? Many questions floated around in my mind.

    So now here is my new list of things I am not ashamed of:

    – I am NOT ashamed to love my family
    – I am NOT ashamed to be labeled as the “R-Group”
    – I am NOT ashamed to be family-centered
    – I am NOT ashamed to make my OWN decisions
    – I am NOT ashamed to REJECT shepherding theology
    – I am NOT ashamed to NOT be a KOPHAN
    – I am NOT ashamed to be the #1 vocal critic of ubf ministry
    – I am NOT ashamed to be AMERICAN
    – I am NOT ashamed to say I love all my LGBTQ friends and family
    – I am NOT ashamed to stay home from church so I can detox