Scripture Reading — Acts 4:1-20
"Lord ... enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness." Acts 4:29 —
Luke, the writer of Acts, often mentions the boldness of believers. The world of the early church was filled with persecution and difficulty, but the believers were filled with boldness.
Today's Scripture relates an event that occurred very early in the life of the New Testament church. Some rulers tried to intimidate Peter and John. They responded by becoming fearless. This astounded those who were in power. When they saw the disciples' boldness and realized these were ordinary, uneducated men, the rulers were amazed. The believers had a deep sense that their life was in God's hands. And it made them bold.
Witnessing for Christ still depends on Spirit-inspired boldness. No new church planter would dare begin a new congregation without boldness. Some move thousands of miles from home. Some enter metropolitan areas where they don't know anyone. Some move their families to areas threatened by crime. All ask folks they've barely met to join them in this new work.
Every congregation would die without boldness. Is the Holy Spirit prompting you to share a story about Jesus, despite the fear welling inside? Is the Spirit prompting you to have a difficult but needed conversation, a graceful confrontation? Is God is calling you to give boldly or to start a new ministry? Pray for boldness.
Father, through the power of your Holy Spirit fill us with the boldness you gave the believers of the early church. Help us to follow your leading each day. In Jesus, Amen.