READ: Acts 28
THINK: We speak boldly about what we believe deeply. We do this all the time. There are like 800 people in my life who believe that Frozen is a good movie. And they keep telling me that. And they’re wrong. I believe deeply that just because it’s a kid’s movie doesn’t mean the writers can be lazy and decide to skip the whole part about a movie having a coherent plot. Oh, she’s in love with a guy…how? Oh now a snowman talks? Oh she’s really in love with a different guy? And he was raised by rock trolls? And now they’re singing? Stupid! And I tell people that and then I get boldly told to shut up by all the people who don’t want to admit that I’m right. But the point is: if we see a movie or show we think is great then we tell people. If we fall in love and we think our boyfriend or girlfriend is the most wonderful person alive, we tell people. If we eat some delicious food, or take a class with a really great teacher, or get a job at a really fun place, or discover an amazing new band on Spotify then we tell people about it because something inside of us feels like their lives would be more complete if they knew, if they had that same experience that we did. We speak boldly about what we believe deeply. What if we spoke that frequently, and that excitedly, and that openly, and that boldly to everyone around us about Jesus? Like Paul did in Acts 28 – boldly and without hindrance?
I think we don’t cause we’re afraid of the consequences. Our words are powerful. The effect that words spoken by others has on every one of our lives cannot be overestimated. Words can connect us. They can be used to encourage and build others up and spread love and truth. Stupid words spoken carelessly can be hurtful and offensive to others and can have serious consequences for us if we speak them. Our words are powerful. They are, in fact, so powerful, that we are often encouraged not to speak them at all. We are invited not to speak at all because something we say might possibly offend somebody else. Because someone might not agree with what we say. And so we face this intense cultural pressure to keep our mouths shut.
And I think this pressure is felt by everyone in our culture, but it is most intensely felt by and applied to Christians. Sometimes that’s frustrating but it shouldn’t be surprising. People who hold other viewpoints can say things and people from other religions – any other religion – can say things in areas where culturally Christians are pushed to stay silent. Why? Because all words are powerful, but true words are more powerful. Because all ideologies are compelling in some way, but nothing in this world has been more compelling, more earth-shaking, more life-changing over the course of the last 2 millennia than the name and the love of Jesus Christ. A world that does not want to change and does not to be powerfully transformed cannot possibly be too careful about making sure that Jesus is pushed to the margins.
It’s time for us, despite the cultural pressure which incidentally is nothing close to death that Paul was facing, to stand up and speak boldly about Jesus. Jesus came and he died on a cross so that we could be forgiven for our sins and set free from our brokenness and healed from our pain, and reconciled to God and to the life we were created to live. And when we fully understand that he did that for us – gave his life – even though nothing in us deserved it because he loves us passionately and he deeply desires to set all things right and make all things new…we have to share it! No more making excuses about “just letting our lives do the talking” because we’re scared and afraid. Paul was in Rome knowing he faced with inevitable death at every moment of every single day for speaking the name of Jesus. And he was eventually killed. But he faced that persecution gladly with joy and love in his hearts because he knew Jesus. He saw what he had done! And he absolutely could not contain it! Will you do the same?
ASK: We speak boldly about what we believe deeply. If you don’t speak boldly maybe it’s because you don’t believe deeply. Ask yourself: Do I speak boldly about Jesus? If not, why not? If I really believe he died for me, how does that compel me to speak?
PRAY: Ask God to give you the courage and the bold words necessary to speak the gospel message of Jesus to your world today. Then go do it. Ask him for an opportunity to speak boldly about Jesus TODAY, and then go speak Christ into somebody’s life.