The difference 50 days make.
It wasn’t a “Grow your Boldness in 40 days” book. It wasn’t a “How to Be Your Best after You’ve Been at your worst” podcast. It wasn’t a 40 day mentoring program by the best public speaker of the first century. It was a gift of God.
Boldness from the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Jesus had left 10 days earlier and told his followers to stay in Jerusalem and wait for this promise: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Boldness turned into courage. Cowardice turned into conviction.
Peter who denied Jesus three times just 50 days earlier when the pressure was on by the opposition to Jesus boldly confessed he was a follower of Christ. The group that deserted Jesus in the Garden stood confidently in front of people from all over the Mediterranean world proclaiming the wonders of God. Those that yelled “Crucify him” Peter confronted with clarity with their sin of rejecting Jesus as the Messiah.
The Spirit turned the focus from fear of what is going to happen to me to a conviction of knowing that without faith in Jesus what was going to happen to them was eternal destruction.
This power of the Spirit did not end on Pentecost, but is still active and working in and among us today. The purpose of the power of the Spirit is to do what the Church was designed to do: Preach the Gospel and Make Disciples.
Will we have skeptics and opposition? Yep. It’s Ok – carry a concern for their soul to and speak the truth in love.
Will we have to confront sin? Absolutely, but we don’t do it with a judgmental “I’m better than you” spirit, but rather with a compassionate, “I’m concerned for you” and let the Spirit go to work with a conviction of sin.
But then we get the fun of sharing Jesus as Savior. This is the goal of the Gospel – that all would see the solution for sin is in the very one they sinned against.
Peter said it this way: “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).
Are you timid? Cowardly at times to engage in a spiritual conversation? I am too. But we are not alone in this work. The Spirit of God loves to give power to the weak and courage to the cowards.
Apply: Simply pray for the Holy Spirit to give boldness to your witness. Don’t be surprised when he gives you an opportunity to be bold!
Prayer: Spirit of God give boldness to the cowards, give confidence to the timid. As you came to the disciples with power, come on all who pray this with that same power to be your Church…proclaiming the Gospel and making disciples. AMEN.