Challenge Youth Conference 2019
The Fairlane Youth Ministry took a group of 44 adults and students to CYC this past weekend in Pigeon Forge and are traveling home today. Please continue praying over the weekend they just had, as it serves as a highlight for many in the group, year in and year out.
This year’s theme was “Unashamed.” Below is a thought provoking devotional article that the group considered together this weekend.
Unashamed of What?
by Dale Jenkins
The concept of not being ashamed is pretty directly referenced 10 times in the New Testament. Almost every one of them is referring to Christ and/or to the Gospel of Christ, the Good News (cf: Matthew 10:32-33; Romans 1:16; 10:9; 2 Timothy 1:8; 1:12; 2 Peter 4:16; 1 John 4:15). But of the several we could look at I want us to think about one that is significant to the health of Christianity.
I have a sermon I’ve preached a few times titled: What is an Onesiphorus? “It” is actually a “he.” He is only mentioned two times in your Bible but we can learn something valuable from him. His name reveals something of his character, Onesiphorus means useful.
In the short sentences of his life we find that he traveled the nearly 850 miles from Ephesus to Rome and upon arriving he scoured the numerous prisons and prison cells in Rome until he found Paul and he became a great source of encouragement to the aging, imprisoned Apostle.
There is a unique little phrase in 2 Timothy 1:16 that appears nowhere else that I have been able to find “Onesiphorus…was not ashamed of my chains.” One scholar rendered the phrase “he wasn’t embarrassed a bit that I was in jail.”
While we often talk about the need for standing for truth (and we should strongly emphasize that.) While we passionately pursue evangelism (and that must be at the forefront of all we do.) While we take a strong stand against the immoral slide of our country (again, rightly so.) Many of the problems in the church that I’ve seen in my 50 years as a Christian do not stem from false teaching, evangelistic malaise, or a laxness of morality in the Body. Most of the problems I have seen come from our own inabilities to interact with each other, to treat each other right, to love each other after a disagreement, to avoid wearing our own feelings on our shoulders, or to keep our spirit in the work after a disappointment in another. And over time that congregation that we found that felt so right we become ashamed of.
I want to challenge you to the hard work of not being ashamed of God’s People, His family, and His servants.
~ Michael Rector