be bold

It’s clear throughout the Bible that as children of God we are also His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) and we are commissioned to share the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to proclaim the truths of the Bible.  We can do so boldly with confidence and courage knowing that He is with us always (Joshua 1:9, Matthew 2:20, Hebrews 13:5).

In recent years, one of the best examples of courage and boldness in proclaiming God’s Word has been Franklin Graham.  He has made public statements on abortion and gay marriage, the growing influence of false religions, apostasy in the church, and much more.  In every case he has spoken the truths of God as revealed in the Bible, and has shared the gospel of saving grace in Jesus Christ. His boldness should be a witness and an encouragement to all of us.  He is doing as Paul spoke of in Ephesians chapter six. 

Ephesians 6:19-20 …that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Are we doing the same?  Speaking boldly as we ought to speak?  If not, why not?  In most cases, I contend, it is because we don’t believe we are equipped to do so.  Interestingly, Paul made this comment about boldly proclaiming the gospel after writing about all that we have been given to equip us.

The Whole Armor of God

Ephesians 6:11-20  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.    And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of Godpraying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints; 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, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. 

We are all familiar with this passage about the “armor of God.” The Word tells us that it will protect us against the enemy, but that’s not the only purpose of this armor.  All too often when reading this passage, we stop at verse 18 and neglect the verse in which Paul tells that he prays to be empowered to speak boldly “to make known the mystery of the gospel.” 

Reading this passage with verses 19-20 in mind, we are reminded that we are very well equipped to be ambassadors for Christ with six pieces of armor:  1) the belt of truth,  2) the breastplate of righteousness, 3) the shoes of the gospel of peace, 4) the shield of faith, 5) the helmet of salvation and 6) the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.  Add to this the power of prayer and we are equipped to be victorious in all that we do.  All of these are gifts from God, as well as the utterances that He gives us from the Holy Spirit.

We are able to overcome any fear or doubt about our ability to speak boldly the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ when we truly believe that we have this armor and the power of the Holy Spirit.

It is only by believing better that we are emboldened to fulfill our commission to go out and preach the gospel.  Paul was so clearly commissioned by the Lord Himself, and the same is true for us:

Acts 26:17b-18 I [Jesus] send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. 

be_boldWe know that: “The Lord is…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9)  and, just like Paul, we are to share the truth of His saving grace so eyes might be opened and the lost might turn from darkness to light, from Satan to God.

Paul understood this was his duty, for he said:“Unto me … is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8). To us also is this grace given, a grace that empowers and emboldens us to preach the “unsearchable riches of Christ.” Don’t waste your grace…use it…always remembering:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: 

for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one t

hat believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16 

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Do not be anxious about anything.  (Phil 4:6)

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control.  Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19.  As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.” 

Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it:  Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”  The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live:  Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.

God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble.  When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.  

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19

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Be Ready Always...

to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15).  When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.

When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.  

By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.

SHARE THE GOSPEL!

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