Monday, March 5, 2018

How Bold Is Bold Enough?

Paul, in my opinion is one of the most dynamic characters in Scripture. From requesting letters to arrest Christians to becoming one of Jesus' greatest advocates, Paul was never known for being the shy and reserved type. Paul stood before rioting mobs and defended both himself and the Gospel. He publicly called Peter on the carpet when he was in the wrong. He endured beatings, stonings, shipwrecks, and prison and he never seemed to waver from his calling to preach the Gospel. He seemed unstoppable. Which is why Ephesians 6:19-20 stands out for me.

Paul writes, "Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel. For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should" (HSCB).

I don't know all of the reasons why Paul felt the need to pray for boldness. Maybe he didn't feel bold. Maybe Paul was anticipating some of the trials he was about to face and was worried about losing his nerve. Maybe he was worried that he would succumb to the temptation to water down the message for his own safety (Paul was shipped out of town on, at least, four different occasions by other believers trying to keep him alive).   Maybe Paul didn't take his boldness for granted. Maybe Paul was constantly aware of all of the places he could have been bolder.  Or maybe Paul knew that his boldness for Christ came from the Holy Spirit in response to prayer.

What I do know is that, if Paul could request prayers for boldness to preach the message effectively, that we should as well. Maybe if we prayed to be effective and bold we actually would be. Maybe if we prayed with Paul for boldness and a clear message we could stand with him, pressing on toward the prize, rather than just wishing we were like him. 

So, I ask you to pray with me that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel, that I may live as an ambassador for Christ, being bold enough in Him to speak as I should. And if you want, I'll pray the same with you. 


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