David, a shepherd boy, felt indignation as he heard the giant Goliath mocking the name of His God. He asked; Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God? (1 Samuel 17:26b) David wasn't trying to make a name for himself when he fought Goliath. He wasn't after fame and fortune. He was outraged that this Philistine would blaspheme the name of God.
It's that same kind of passion that God longs for us to have. When we consider the kind of life God rewards, standing strong in His name is a character quality that pleases Him. When you really think about it, if the first disciples of Christ did not have that kind of passion, we may never have heard of God's love for us.
God has not chosen to save the world through a worldwide announcement. Whether you like football or not, you probably do have some interest in watching the commercials during the Superbowl. The commercials receive more attention by some people than the game itself. Businesses who have a message to get out value the fact that commercials aired during the Superbowl will be viewed by more people than at any other time. At any point in history, God could make the sky a giant movie screen and share His message of love for mankind that way. He could choose any means of getting the word out. The means He uses is the lives of believers influencing others. This is why God is so delighted when we open our mouths to share His truth even if it means it could cost us our lives, our reputations, or our comfort.
When Jesus taught His disciples in the sermon on the mount, He told them to have a different response to the insults and ridicule they might face as followers of His. He told them to consider the curses and insults of others as a blessing that they were living their life well. (Matthew 5:11-12, Luke 6:22-23) Jesus promised that they would be rewarded in heaven, even though they may suffer like the prophets did on earth. Don't think for a moment that God does not suffer when those He loves are mistreated on earth. Think of how his heart endured the anguish of watching His own Son be ridiculed and brutally murdered. It's not that He is insensitive to our pain. It's that He knows that someone may be drawn to Him as they witness our response to suffering and insult. He has the big picture in mind. If we were sovereign, we wouldn't have any problem at all with this principle. Since we aren't, we need to trust Him.
How was it that you received the message of the gospel? It was through the spread of the gospel from one person to another. It is because the news of God's love is so great that even at the threat of death individuals have risked everything to spread the word of freedom.
Our lives are witnesses to the world around us. God is pleased with every Christian who is a faithful witness through good circumstances and bad. He is saving special rewards for those of us who are so convinced of His love for us and our love for Him that we would share it no matter the cost. That's the kind of devotion those early Christians had. It is because of their faithfulness that we received the gospel message. Now it is our turn. Will we be found faithful?
When you stand up for your faith, God takes special notice both on earth and in heaven. (James 1:12, Revelation 2:10) How do you stand up for your faith? Are you ashamed of the gospel? Does your life witness for Christ?