Proud to Be a Christian

Theme: Don't be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. (4th of July)
Object: A recording of "God Bless the USA" and a small U. S. flag.
Scripture: So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. 2 Timothy 1:8,12 (NIV)

There is a song we hear played a lot on the radio and television. The name of the song is "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood. It isn't a new song, but you hear it quite often around patriotic holidays such as the 4th of July. Let's listen to just a little bit of it. (Play the first verse and refrain, if possible. If not, just read it.)

On the 4th of July, a lot of people in the United States will be showing that they are "proud to be an American." You see a lot of people wearing flag pins or red, white and blue ribbons on their shirts. As you drive around town, you see the U.S. flag flying everywhere. How about you? Do you gladly stand up and say that you are "proud to be an American?"

It is easy for us to stand and say, "I'm proud to be an American." I wonder if it is just as easy to stand up and say, "I'm proud to be a Christian?"

• If we stand up and say that we love Jesus, someone might be offended.

• If we stand up and speak out for Jesus in our schools, we might be breaking the law.

• If we stand up for Jesus and say a prayer before a football game, we might violate someone's civil rights.

It seems as if it is okay to stand up and speak out for almost anything these days -- except Jesus. In a letter to a young man named Timothy, the apostle Paul said, "Don't be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. I am not ashamed because I believe in him and trust in him." In other words, Paul was telling Timothy, (sung to the tune of God Bless the USA)

"I'm proud to be a Christian, because in Christ I'm free.
And I won't forget the One who died on the cross of Calvary,
So I'll gladly stand up next to you and praise his name today.
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love my Lord who took my sins away!"

We are standing proudly today as Americans, but are we standing proudly as Christians?

Dear Jesus, we pray that we would never be ashamed to stand up and tell others about what you have done for us and what you want to do for them. Help us to have the courage to stand and say, "I'm proud to be a Christian." Amen.

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