When you hear the word Boldness what come to your mind? Is it standing up for something you are convicted about, is it standing up against a bully, is it speaking out against someone hurting animals, is it speaking out against someone in your office for wrong doing? What does this term mean to you, being Bold? I want to share with you something I would like you to consider this week in your work, your leisure, in your study, no matter where you find yourself this week. I hope this brings you into a thought provoking conversation with someone, even if it is yourself, where ever you find yourself, I hope you can be encouraged!
As you know, we just celebrated Easter. For me, Easter isn’t just a one day a year event, rather Easter is an event we should have celebrate each and every day! Easter, for those who live for Christ, symbolizes a daily freedom that should never be forgotten. It should live on the shelf of our hearts and minds daily, being shared with any and all. Easter is, for me, a personal and public celebration with the Creator of the stars. Having said that, I want to share with you a passage that has really resonated with me on how we, as Christians, should be bold about God. Not just the thought, rather how we live our lives for Him who died for us, keeping all His promises and paying a price we could never repay!
If you have a Bible, please reference Acts 5:12-42. If you do not I will include this passage for you to read, if you have a Bible please skip down to the narration.
12 At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico. 13 But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem. 14 And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number, 15 to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. 16 Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed. 17 But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy. 18 They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said, 20 “Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple athe whole message of this Life.” 21 Upon hearing this, they entered into the temple about daybreak and began to teach.Now when the high priest and his associates came, they called the Council together, even all the Senate of the sons of Israel, and sent orders to the prison house for them to be brought. 22 But the officers who came did not find them in the prison; and they returned and reported back, 23 saying, “We found the prison house locked quite securely and the guards standing at the doors; but when we had opened up, we found no one inside.” 24 Now when the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them as to what would come of this. 25 But someone came and reported to them, “The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!” 26 Then the captain went along with the officers and proceeded to bring them back without violence (for they were afraid of the people, that they might be stoned). 27 When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. 31 “He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a bPrince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32 “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” 33 But when they heard this, they were cut to the quick and intended to kill them. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time. 35 And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men. 36 “For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 “After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered. 38 “So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.” 40 They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. 41 So they went on their way from the presence of the aCouncil, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
This is a(n) historical narrative of the events that the Apostles endured in the name of Christ. Just one of many to be exact. The point of this passage is for us to see the world in the eyes of Christ. By doing this we must see this in scripture with a few bullet points:
- The Disciples were never without persecution in this world. Many people think that following Christ is, or can be, the end to our suffering here on earth. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Christ never expected us to live without suffering. Christ the King of kings, and the Lord of lords even stated in John 15:18 that the world will not offer you peace, nor will it offer you refuge. John 15:18
- There are many who claim to live religious lives yet the evidence of their actions tells quite a different story. Perhaps you know some of these people in your own life. Living our lives Boldly for Christ means we live for Him, dying to self daily so that He might live through us. Our example, our lives must not be absent of the Father, or we become just like the Religious leaders from the above passage. Galatians 5:24-25
- Living Boldly for Christ means that we cannot live without Him. Our lives without Christ are nothing more than an empty vessel looking, seeking, searching for our value, meaning, or purpose and doing so by any means possible. This is evident when people turn to drugs, alcohol, sex, money, possessions, etc. II Corinthians 3:12
- Living Boldly for Christ means we must see that when (not if) percussion happens to us, it must be seen as a joyous moment. The Disciples after being beaten, and threatened multiple times found themselves rejoicing for suffering in the name of Christ (see highlighted passage above). Romans 5:3-5, James 1:2-4
I hope that this passage brought you hope and encouragement for living a life Bold for Christ. After all, once we meet our maker face to face we will not have a chance to ask for any redo’s. At that point we will see just how short life is in the face of eternity and seeing that we have opportunities each and everyday to live life a little more Boldly than we did the day before.
My prayer for each of us is that we would see how much matter to our Lord, and how much our lives can show His love for all of His creation. Be Bold today to someone and do it in the name of the Lord.