This summer I taught Sunday school for a quarter; the lessons were from the book of Acts. The theme was ‘Boldness’, and the lessons were all about the early church and the first missionaries.
When the gospel started to spread, it was not well accepted; the apostles and Jesus’ followers were persecuted, thrown in prison, beaten and some even died. Through it all, the apostles and Jesus’ followers were continually bold in their faith.
And that got me thinking, how bold are we in our Christian walk? The followers of Jesus were bold in their faith, and they did not care where they were or who they were around, they constantly were displaying their faith boldly.
As Christians, we should live boldly for God, it is not all that easy sometimes, but it is worth it. We have a light inside us, and we need to boldly share it with the world.
Matthew 5:14-16 says
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
I have traveled a great deal growing up, and a good portion of our traveling was driving. With mom from Maine and dad from Oregon, but we are now in the middle living in Wisconsin. So, we have driven to Oregon and Maine a few times. Those travels were adventurous, to say the least. But I remember traveling on the outskirts of Chicago at night, and the lights were very hard to miss. There was a glow in the sky from the Chicago skyline, and it lit up the night.
Light can have power over darkness because light stands out. We have a light inside us, and our job is to boldly let it shine and share it in a very dark world.
When I say “sharing” it can mean telling others about Jesus and the gospel, but I mean incorporating our faith into everything. Talking and speaking about our Christian life and Jesus as openly as we would talk about the weather.
Too often we hold back on our “spiritual talk” in our daily conversations and interactions, but why hold back? We should hold nothing back when it comes to boldly displaying our faith. In our conversations we can say “I’m praying for you” “I had an answer to prayer” “God kept me safe today” “The sermon at church yesterday…” “God gave us good weather.”
We have dozens of opportunities to talk about our Christian life and to show God’s love, but often we don’t. And we should, boldly.
The definition of bold is
Not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring
A confidant and courageous way
The apostles were not fearful sharing of the gospel, and they faced actual danger. But yet they were bold.
Acts 4:31 says
And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
Again in Acts 14:3
Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
When I think of the word ‘bold’ I think of someone who is not afraid to do something, they march ahead not caring what other people think. While that can border on a rebellious side and can come across as extreme, there is a good way to be bold. And we should not be ashamed to be bold for Christ.
Romans 1:16 says
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Not ashamed; Paul was bold in his speech for Christ. We can follow his example by living boldly for Christ. And pointing all of our actions and words back to Him. We can do that by shining brightly for Christ.
Imagine a forest; a forest so dark and thick, you can’t see the sun, no light can get through the trees.
As you wander through the forest, a light suddenly appears in the distance, it is faint at first, but as you keep walking , it gets brighter and brighter. And soon a very small part of the forest is full of light. The sun comes down into the darkness and it’s almost blinding.
In dark places, light always stands out.
We, Christians, are that blinding light that stands out. And we need to stand out from the crowd boldly.
I have a small rebel streak inside me, if the crowd is doing one thing, I am going to do the complete opposite. Going with the crowd and doing what everyone else is doing is not always the best option, especially when it might go against our beliefs.
Daniel 3 tells the incredible story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego who refused to bow down to the idol of gold King Nebuchadnezzar built. Everyone else was bowing down, but they refused.
Daniel 3:16-18 says
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.
17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.
18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were living their Christian life boldly before others. They didn’t give in to the “peer pressure” or simply follow the crowd. They stayed true and faithful to God.
That is the type of boldness I’m talking about. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego stood out of the crowd because they refused to bow to the idol. We should stand out from the crowd in a world of lost people.
Now, I am not talking about standing in a street corner and yelling “I AM A CHRISTIAN!!” Though if you want to go ahead, but there are little ways we can stand out.
If you are talking to someone who is not saved, incorporate God into the conversation. Maybe mention an answered prayer, or tell them you are praying for them, or even just say “God gave us a beautiful day today”
Every other post on social media right now is either political or pandemic memes, share a Bible verse graphic or part of the sermon you heard at church.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden…
Where we live, we have miles and miles of country roads, no street lights. When we drive at night, our headlights shine and illuminate a very narrow and small area. Light can have power over darkness because light stands out.
Be the light of Jesus. Let it shine boldly.
…and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel…
Last Weeks Posts:
Monday Devotional: The God of the Impossible
Wednesday’s Post: Just Live – Life is a Journey
Spotlight Blogpost: Learning to Dance in the Rain