“For I am Not Ashamed of the Gospel”
I would like to give a special “Shout Out” to the Western Michigan University Football Team. Word has come to me that sometimes some of the players read and share my prayers and meditations. Football is a team sport. The team where each player is aware of their individual role and understands how their role impacts the success of each moment or play on the field is the team that will have the greatest opportunity for victory. Individual players who only play for themselves, their stats, their personal achievement without thought of how they will impact the entire team, are players who often left to the rubbish heap of those who could have been so much more. To the Western Michigan University Football team and any other athletes who read my prayers and devotions, I hope the Lord will bless you with a great season, but more than that, I pray that the Lord will bless you with a rich and abundant college experience, great coaches, that the Lord will protect you individually and collectively from injury, and that the Lord will grant you a set of wonderful friendships that will endure your entire lives.
The meditation for today is a tremendous statement from the Apostle Paul about what the gospel of Jesus Christ means to him. In the previous verses he talks about how he is a “Debtor to the Greeks and the barbarians.” In other words, Paul is learning from the intellectual and the depraved, but also he looks forward to interacting with all kinds of persons because it is the power of God that empowers you and me when we read and share the gospel of Jesus to all whom we might meet.
The power of God gives us salvation and it is available to all who believe. Never be ashamed of the love of God. Never be ashamed to let others know that your strength, your power, your success is in large measure due to the grace of God which is extended to you through Jesus Christ.
Romans 1: 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 
Questions for Reflection:
- What does it mean to be, “Not ashamed of the gospel…”?
- Why might someone be ashamed to proclaim Jesus as Lord?
- Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt it was not “Cool” to acknowledge that you believe in God?
Lord, I am proud of you. I am proud of your history, proud of your grace, proud of your mercy and salvation and most of all, I am proud of your love. Your history is a history of justice for the poor and the oppressed. Your grace and mercy is extended to the sinner and the saint. Your love is the ultimate sacrifice of life so each of us might have life. Lord, I thank you for the power you have placed in my legs, arms and chest. You have made me strong, but I confess that any strength I have has first come from you. Lord, you have given me something to believe in that is bigger than myself. Your hope is bigger than my hope. Your power is bigger than my power, yet because of your power you have made me strong. Teach me today to work with one another, support one another, protect one another, and achieve our personal and collective goals, one to another. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Additional Prayers, Photos and Meditations from Rev. Hood at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/
Learn more about the mission of Nicholas Hood III Ministries and his new book, “The Test, The Strength, the Endurance and the Way Out”, by going to www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Ro 1:16). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.