Again, I can’t say thank you enough to the Jackson FCA for inviting me to speak Thursday night. I had a few people ask if I’d share my message notes. It’s always funny when I look back over my notes after speaking and see how much I didn’t get to or actually the Spirit moved in a different direction. The big thought we talked about on Thursday night was Boldness. What is boldness? What is being bold? I’ve heard many times that boldness is behavior born out of belief. This means that our convictions determine our boldness. Whatever we believe in strongly, will influence our walk. If I believe the sky is falling, I will FREAK OUT. If I believe my God is the creator of the sky, I will know that the sky is under His control even if it begins to fall. What we believe in the deepest part of our hearts determines our path. In Acts chapter 4, we see the disciples putting on display who it is they believe in strongly. They put their lives completely on the line and do not flinch. This reeks of boldness. In fact, it’s one of the most amazing stories of bold speaking in the history of time. It is an exciting story to read for believers, but let us not forget who we are in this story. We are to be like Peter. Speaking boldly. Even in the face of potential death, we speak boldly about our Savior who we believe in strongly. Practically speaking, how do we do this?
I suggest 4 ways we should speak boldly:
- Be in the Word. In other words, study scripture. Why? Because if you desire to speak boldly about Jesus, you have to know His book. You have to read it, study it, and meditate on it day and night. This is how we get God’s Word in our hearts. Once we get it in our hearts, we can pull it out and preach to ourselves. We all know there are times when we need to be able to preach to ourselves!! To speak the word of God boldly, we must be in it.
- Encourage Others. A second way to speak boldly is to speak life into people. And not just our close friends and family. There are many people that are around us every day that simply need a word of encouragement. I can tell so many stories about when someone has taken a couple minutes to lift me up when I really needed it. I’m fortunate to say God has put people in my path for me to return the favor. We simply need to open our eyes and pray boldly that God would provide opportunities for us to encourage others.
- Lovingly Correct. The emphasis is on the “lovingly”. It’s not a license to walk around pointing out everyone’s flaws. Sometimes people who are close to you need you to speak boldly to them when they are needing correction. This is only fruitful if you have a strong relationship with the other person. It should be noted that these types of conversations are not easy and sometimes not fun, but are necessary. Do not be afraid to confront a brother or sister who needs you to speak boldly. God will give you the words to speak. Trust Him.
- Disciple. I mean this in verb form. You must seek out people to disciple to become followers of Jesus. Every Paul needs a Timothy and every Timothy needs a Paul. You need to always have someone you are mentoring and pouring into. And in the same way, you need someone who is at a higher level of spiritual maturity mentoring and pouring into you. Do not be afraid to seek out spiritual mentors and people to pour into. Pray that God would send you both and keep your eyes open.
The disciples spoke boldly about Christ because of what the saw and experienced. I speak boldly about Christ because of what I have seen and experienced in my own life and also in others. Christ is alive today. He is moving today. He is pursuing us today. He desires for us to have life, and have it abundantly. God has a purpose and a plan for each of us that is better than we could draw up. And when we surrender our plan to Him and experience His grace, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, and love we can’t help but speak boldly about what we have seen and experienced. If you want to speak boldly about Christ, you must believe and experience Him deeply.