Hebrews 11 has a list of names. This list of the faithful includes the names of those who put their faith in God and obeyed His call though they couldn’t see the end result. Faith requires action. These obedient ones acted out their faith even though they didn’t get to see the promise on earth or in their lifetime. But they believed and therefore acted; putting their faith and hope into the promise they would receive in heaven.
“As it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.”Hebrews 11:6
God was not ashamed to be called their God. Whoah. Does that mean God can be ashamed to be my God?
When I was married, my husband was not following after God – I knew this going into the marriage and made an exception in my rebellion because I wanted what I wanted (likely causing God to be ashamed to be my God at the time, yet not caring – Thank You, Lord for Your great grace and patience!). My husband was not a nice man. He was angry much of the time, terribly rude to others, and whenever we’d go out (especially when he didn’t want to) he would act in such a way that I was ashamed to be called his wife. [I pray in the name of Jesus that he comes to the Lord and has the joy unspeakable and full of glory that He provides, and grows into the man of God he is called to be. Do it, Lord.] So, if it is possible for us to be ashamed to be related or friends with or married to people, God can surely be ashamed to be our God.
Have we done things that would make Jesus turn away in His holiness from us? I have. I’m sure Jesus doesn’t blush – He’s seen it all, but are there things we’ve done which would make Him blush (metaphorically speaking)? Have we done things even as Christians that would make God ashamed to be our God? Yes. Is there a way to get back into His good graces and have Him be proud to be our God? Definitely, yes! How can we do that? SANCTIFICATION.
Sanctification means to set apart, consecrate, purify (James 4:8-9a):
- Draw close to God and He will draw close to us
- Cleanse our hands
- Purify our hearts
- Be afflicted and mourn and weep
- Let our laughter be turned to mourning and our joy to heaviness.
We are called to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. If we think for a second we’re “good,” we are in trouble. Even Jesus, who did no wrong, wouldn’t allow people to call Him good. “No one is good-except God alone.” (Mark 10:18b). If Jesus didn’t say He was good, we shouldn’t think of ourselves as good either.
Instead, we must repent continually. My pastor said it so well at last service, that someone would say, “I repent for who I AM!” That’s exactly it. We are not good; nor can we be on our own. Even with the help of God, with Christ as our salvation, we still stumble. We must repent for our actions and for our humanity. We must purify our hearts – purge ourselves of our daily sins and abide by the principles in the Good Book. *I just caught the connection: the Bible is the “Good” Book, as in the How to Be Good, Book. HA!*
We must fall on our knees with sincerity; we must acknowledge His Holiness and our unholiness, and turn from our wickedness and darkness to righteousness and the light. Will it be hard? Yes. Will it be uncomfortable? Yes.
“Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”Job 1:8
But, will it be worth it to have the Lord be unashamed to be our God? To call us His children and to “brag” about us the way He did about his servant Job?
Put your faith into action today and show God you mean business. Give up whatever it takes to be close to Him. Get help for your habitual sins – “Confess your sins to one another and pray for each other that you may be healed.” – there is just something about accountability that makes it easier to quit habits. Go to church consistently. Pray continually, repent daily, praise God for His faithfulness, and live well. In Jesus’s name.
“For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brothers.”Hebrews 2:11