Fear and persecution is real. Jesus warns that the world hates the Light (Jn 15:18-27). Jesus, The Light, came into the world but people loved darkness (Jn 3:19).
The early church pictured in Acts 4:23-31 watched their friends and leaders Peter and John be put in prison and threatened never to speak the name of Jesus again. Their response to this was a prayer for boldness. “And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness while you stretch out your hand and heal (29-30).”
I’ve been told to shut up and mocked before for talking about Jesus, but I haven’t been thrown in prison and given threats. This account in Acts encourages me because these people respond to persecution with prayer and as a result shine all the brighter, and are embolden to continue to speak the name of Jesus. Not in their own strength, but in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit of God is alive and is actively shining the Light of Jesus Christ through those who yield to HIM. I am not a “bold” person. I like to go with the flow and not challenge the status quo. But God has made me a new creation, and I can’t go back nor do I want to. I must yield to His Spirit’s boldness in me and trust HIM.
I want to challenge you (and me) to do two things:
- Every time you get in a car to go somewhere, or you walk into a new place PRAY. In that moment acknowledge God’s presence and power. This may include the need to seek forgiveness.
- Memorize the scripture verses you all have written on the cards I hand out each week. This is going to help give you an outline from scripture that will practically help you share the complete gospel with people.
- Romans 1:16 = Not ashamed of the Gospel
- Romans 3:10 = None righteous!
- Romans 3:23 = All fall short
- Romans 5:8 = While sinners, GRACE
- Romans 10:9 = Confession and belief lead to Jesus