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Great Boldness

Great Boldness

14 October 2011

Today’s Reading: Nehemiah 13; Malachi1-2; Acts 4

Scripture:

29 And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. 30 Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:29-31 NLT)

Just a couple of months after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, soon after the Holy Spirit was given at a prayer meeting on Pentecost, the pressure begins! The Jewish Sadducee party reacted to their message that Jesus was alive after death. The rest of the ruling council was concerned that this new and powerful message would upset the fragile relationship between the Jewish society and the Roman government. Peter and John were arrested, brought before the Sanhedrin, the same body that had condemned Jesus to die a few weeks earlier, and threatened for their healing and their preaching.

When they were released, they quickly found a gathering of other Christ-followers, and initiated a prayer meeting. The thing that caught my attention is the tone and topic of their prayer.
• They worshipped.
• They interpreted current events in light of scripture.
• They affirmed God’s plan in what was happening.
• They asked for great boldness to be faithful rather than for protection from danger.
• God answered with his power and his presence.
• They were bold and confident in the face of opposition and persecution!

What about me? Facing opposition, threatened with beating and imprisonment, right on the heels of the murder of my leader, what would I pray for? I’m afraid I would pray for safety for me and my family or for judgment on my persecutors. I want to be a Christ-follower who would pray for boldness to be faithful to my calling.

Prayer:

Father, I want to be more concerned about the Kingdom than about my own comfort and safety. I often get bogged down in detail. I need a fresh vision of the Kingdom of God. Please help me to be confident and bold as I face challenges, obstacles, and opposition. By your grace! Amen.

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