Let’s face it, as the KJV says, we are a “peculiar people” (1st Peter 2:9). This reality seems to become more evident as time passes. The world around us is becoming bolder, voicing with confidence their claim to a truth that evolves with time. What was once unheard of and startling to our moral fabric, is now being heralded as right and just. You know, times have not changed much, for Isaiah wrote these words long ago, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil: Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness” (Isaiah 5:20). My point is simple, we live in a world where sin is prevalent. The question is, what are we going to say while it is happening?
Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants
that with all boldness they may speak Your word.
Right out of the gate, as the early church was starting to grow, believers were confronted with apprehension. They were in need of boldness. The word boldness here simply means freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech. It’s not “speaking your mind” nor is it “giving someone a piece of it.” Instead, it is the willingness to speak up for God…to talk of Him and His ways. Yet, the world around us seems to suppress that willingness to speak, leaving many of us seemingly powerless to say a word. I battle this myself. Fears lurk in my mind, that at times speak louder than the word I hold so dear. This week, while preparing for mid-week class, I came across a verse that will be familiar to many of us that speaks to this very problem.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power
and of love and of a sound mind.
2nd Timothy 1:7
Paul was seeking to encourage the young evangelist Timothy who faced many challenges: Things that would seek to intimidate him from talking about God and His truths. But he was reminded that the gift of the spirit, which all believers have, is not one of fear, or as your translation might say, timidity. Timid simply means showing a lack of courage or confidence. Does that describe you? It does me…yes me! Ever wonder where fear comes from? Often times, it reflects a lack of faith (Matthew 8:26). Notice, I didn’t say absence of. Sometimes, our faith needs to be nurtured or increased for that matter (Luke 17:5), so we can be bold for Christ. As God reminds Timothy through the apostle Paul, I am also reminded as well; that the gift of the spirit is empowering! God can and wants to do so much through us, we simply need to trust Him to do so. That same spirit can help us grow in love and a sound mind, as we battle for the hearts and minds of the lost around us.
May God grant us…me…boldness to be Christ to a lost and dying world. So, as I close this article today, I leave you with these words, “Be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant.” May God be glorified through His church.