Tag Archives: Boldness

Philippians 1:28

without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved–and that by God.

The transition to Christianity would not be easy for the Philippians.  Their neighbors, family and friends would ridicule them, threaten them and mock them if they were not taking the journey with them.  These new converts would have to be strong and faithful, and hopefully Paul left behind good men and women to work with them in the church.  Paul tells them here not to be afraid of them.  This was a message to them that they would be destroyed in the end, but you will be saved by God.  They might not believe that, but it’s the truth anyway!

My Christian witness is identified by the way I live, and by the words I speak.  So I must conduct myself with the utmost regard for how it reflects on my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  At my workplace, do II give my all, as if I’m working for the Lord? Colossians 3:23 tells me “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,”  Do I accept the assignments given to me, and carry them out?  Colossians 3:22 tells me ”Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God”:

Several years ago, I had a great position with a company I had been with for 20 years.  They implicitly trusted me with keys to all their locations, and I floated between these locations, plus worked on the road with my sales staff.  I thought I was above the law.  But I abused my position and did things that I knew could get anyone else fired on the spot if it was found out.  One day, I was called into the office by my supervisor, and was told about a situation in one of the stores.  Not wanting to put any of the employees in jeopardy I confessed my transgression, and was immediately terminated.  This brought great dishonor to God, and caused me to take a deep look inside.  It ended up with me taking an 8-month sabbatical to a place in the hills of Kentucky to reevaluate where I was with God.  It was a life changing that I look back on and thank God for.

My Christian witness must be lived out everywhere, every day, in my actions and in my words.  I must not dishonor Him in anything.  This is my calling and my duty.  I have failed several times, and God has had mercy on me.  He is a wonderful God.  How is your conversation today?

 

Lord, you know how many times I have failed you, yet you continue to love me and have mercy on me.  I am so humbled by your awesome mercy.  Help me to move forward and walk as Christ would have walked.  Help me have His compassion, His boldness, His humility, and His desire to serve.  Help me to do the things in all areas that honor you, because that is the desire of my heart.

Philippians 1:26

” That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ

for me by my coming to you again.”

The last 7 verses have all been about Paul’s desire to see the gospel of Jesus Christ preached, no matter what happens to him.  He was ready for anything.  But as he closes this portion, we see him talking about going free and coming to see them.  What dedication!

Even as he was thinking this, he wanted to make sure that all his readers and the churches did not get into a position of lifting him up, but he wanted them to rejoice in Christ for the blessing of sending him.  I love the humility of this man!  He did not want to receive any glory – to Christ be all the glory.

I get invitations to revivals all the time from various ministries.  Many of them I love to receive because I recognize the preachers that are going to be present there, and know they truly have a love for the Lord, and are humble servants.  Two of those people are Bob Newton with Powerhouse Ministries and Sean Strong of Standing Strong ministries.  Both take their tent crusades all over the country, and are full Pentecostal revival preachers.  And both are humble men of God.  I know when they put on a revival, Jesus Christ will be glorified.

But sometimes it seems the speakers at these conventions and revivals just want to be heard, and they want to be lifted up.  It’s just the way the poster or invitation is worded or pictured that gives this impression.  If I ever sense that when looking at these things, no matter who the speaker is, I would never attend.

Our goal as Christians or as preachers is to lift Jesus Christ up.  He said if He is lifted up, He will draw men to himself (John 12:32).  Our place is to lift Him up, not to save them.  He will call them, and they will hear His voice in their hearts.  Just lift Jesus up!

 

I need to do a better job at lifting up your name, Jesus.  I like to teach the word, and I put together my messages very methodically and thoughtfully.  But I don’t always lift you up in every message, and that has to change.  You must be the centerpiece of every message.  Help me never to neglect that altar call at the end, allowing people to make a choice to accept you as lord and Savior of their lives.  Help me to always lift you up!

Philippians 1:20c

                “but that with all boldness, as always,

so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body”

We have looked at the boldness of Paul when it comes to his witness of the gospel.  Now he turns to a different kind of boldness.  He says with boldness Christ shall be magnified in his body.  How can he make this statement?  I mean, after all, he is in prison, awaiting trial before Caesar.   And he is writing to the Philippians, where he was in prison earlier in his travels.  How can Christ be magnified in his body?

 

First, Paul writes in Corinthians that the body is the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor.  6:19).  He beseeches us in verse 20 to glorify God in our bodies.  To me, that means doing my best to take care of this body the way God intended me to.  Good exercise, wise diet, abstain from things that would harm this body, and only take this body places that are good for it.  That covers a lot of ground.   We can get ourselves in a lot of trouble by not doing these simple things.

 

II am currently going through cancer treatment, and have a lot of medicine I have to take.  These pills help everything to work properly and keep away any infections that might try to come in.  I am also on a strict diet.  Believe me, I follow my doctors’ orders, because he knows better than I do what will make me well again.  I hate taking all the meds, but I will do it since he says that’s the road to recovery.  When all is said and done, and I have recovered and the cancer is gone, I will bring glory to the doctor because he prescribed the cure.

 

God will also receive the glory, because I have put my life in His hands.  Following doctors’ orders are part of that plan.  If I go out from under that covering that He put in my life, I am at risk to not only relapse, but rob God of the glory.  This is glorifying God in my body.

 

Secondly, our body consists of body language, volume and tone.  The words come from God – how we deliver them comes from us.  And that tone can make a huge difference in how the word is received.  To bring God glory, we must always have that loving tone that tells people we really do care about them and what they are going through.  We really do want to see them through this trial and help them get victory.  If we handle this right, we bring glory to God as well.

 

 

 

Lord, help us be cognoscente of our bodies and how we present ourselves when witnessing to others.  Help us be bold, but not anxious or obnoxious.  Help us be bold, only to bring glory to you, not ourselves!

Philippians 1:20b

“that in nothing I shall be ashamed”

Paul was never ashamed of the Gospel.  He preached in the worst of conditions to the toughest of crowds and never backed down from anyone, even Peter.  He knew the message God had given him to deliver, and he knew it had to get done.  So nothing was going to stand in his way.  He travelled all over the area we now know as Turkey and Greece delivering the powerful message of Jesus resurrection, and the atoning sacrifice of the cross.  It was a story that was very hard for anyone to believe.  And he usually went to the Jews in those villages first, hoping to show them through the prophecies about Christ how Jesus had fulfilled every one of them.  The Jews were his toughest crowd!

In Antioch, they first accepted Paul and Barnabas, but when the whole village showed up to hear the preaching the next day, including the Gentiles, the Jews turned against them (Acts 13).  In Iconium, many believed f both Jews and Gentiles, but the unbelieving Jews raised a stir against Paul (Acts 14).  The Jews from Antioch came over, and together with the Iconium unbelieving Jews, they stoned Paul (Acts 14:19-20).  In Thyatira, Paul and Barnabas were thrown in prison (Acts 16), in Thessalonica they were run out of own by night (Acts 17), and then Paul was sent out of Berea on a boat.  Everywhere he went, he faced opposition.  But he was never ashamed.

Now, I am not so bold.  I wish I was, believe me.  And I need to be!  I tend to stop witnessing once someone brings up a reasonable objection and I am not prepared enough to respond.  The problem often is that people get me off message.  I want to chare the atoning power of the blood, and they want to talk about some obscure bible passage about the last days, or they want to discuss the social issues of today and their context in scripture.  They want to get off the subject of their sin, and turn it to my lack of compassion for the sinners.  It’s not about that.

It’s about delivering the gospel message.  Not a social doctrine, not end times revelation, not bible history, not old testament vs. new testament, but Jesus Christ and him crucified and risen again.  It’s about the need everyone has to be saved from the sin that’s born into them through the seed of Adam.  It will never go away except by the grace of God.  If I could just learn to make the simple gospel message the one that I share, I might have more boldness too, and not be ashamed.  Now, believe me, I am not ashamed of Christ!  But I am ashamed that I do not do a better job of sharing His message with all those I have the opportunity to witness to.  I must do better!

 

Lord, help me keep the main thing the main thing.  When I have an opportunity to speak to someone about where they stand with Christ, help me to deliver the simple message, and not make it about anything but His atoning sacrifice.  Help me to keep it simple and to the point, and not be distracted by questions that might take me off topic.  I desire to be a more effective witness for you, and see souls saved into your kingdom.

Philippians 1:14b

“are much more bold to speak the word without fear.”

What is it that keeps me from witnessing to my family, my neighbors, and people I come across in everyday life?  For me, it’s not that I don’t have the ability to make intelligent conversation.  I have been in Toastmasters for almost 30 years, and have been in sales for over 25.  Talking is not a problem.  I make conversation every day on a number of different topics.   But rarely do I witness Christ in these conversations.  Why?

It’s not because I do not have knowledge.  I have read the bible through countless times.  I have attended Bible college courses.  I have taught adult Sunday school classes and have preached from many pulpits as an evangelist.  I know the gospel, I know how to share it, and I know how to ask people f they would like to have Christ in their life.  But rarely do I do that in everyday conversations.  Why?

It’s not because I do not know the benefits and how it will help people.  I have tasted of the grace and mercy of the Lord so many times I cannot begin to count them.  I have enjoyed His peace and joy for almost 40 years.  I have been led by His spirit out of more trouble than I can remember.  I have a rich testimony of the blessings of the Lord in every aspect of my life.  But I rarely share that testimony when with friends.  Why?

Fear – that’s why.  Fear of being rejected or ridiculed or of not having the right words to say.  But they are not rejecting me!  They are not ridiculing me!  It’s Christ they are rejecting and ridiculing, just as it was when He walked this earth.  Why should I keep from witnessing because of these two reasons?  And he third excuse?  Christ told us the Holy Spirit would give us the words to say – I just have to rely on Him, not on my own knowledge.  That’s always my problem!

I have no excuse not to witness without fear.  I need to be bold in my witness all the time, not just when It’s convenient for me.  People need the Lord – people around me, people that I love.

 

Lord, make me bold in my witness.  Let me not fall back on the excuses I have used in the past, but let me listen to your Holy Spirit to guide me through the conversation.  I know they need the Lord, and I come across a lot of people every day.  Help me to be the witness you deserve