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Thursday, October 06, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT THURSDAY - BOLDNESS.

"Alas! What stirs ordinary men's blood and turns them into heroes, makes most Christians run like a flock of frightened sheep." - C. T. Studd.

And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. - Act 4:31.

There is no doubt, according to Scripture, that the these believers when they prayed, were all filled with the Holy Spirit, or as we would say, Baptised in The Holy Spirit. But the evidence here was not tongues, but witnessing with BOLDNESS!

"One of the special marks of the Holy Ghost in the Apostolic Church was the spirit of boldness. One of the most essential qualities of faith that is to attempt great things for God and expect great things from God, is holy audacity. Where we are dealing with a supernatural Being, and taking from Him things that are humanly impossible, it is easier to take much than little; it is easier to stand in a place of audacious trust than in a place of cautious, timid clinging to the shore. Likewise, seamen in the life of faith, let us launch out into the deep, and find that all things are possible with God, and all things are possible unto him that believeth." - A. B. Simpson.

There is always controversy when someone writes about Holy Spirit Baptism, but that is not my intention today. I want to share about what happened after they prayed, they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and continued to speak the word with boldness! I believe that this is what’s missing in so many Christians today… BOLDNESS!

In all my years as a Pastor, I have never encountered so many timid followers of Christ. We need to reverse that weakness, and one of the ways of doing that, is asking the Lord for
BOLDNESS… And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus." - Act 4:29-30.

Hugh Lattimer once preached before King Henry VIII. Henry was greatly displeased by the boldness in the sermon and ordered Lattimer to preach again on the following Sunday and apologize for the offence he had given. The next Sunday, after reading his text, he thus began his sermon:

"Hugh Lattimer, dost thou know before whom thou are this day to speak? To the high and mighty monarch, the king's most excellent majesty, who can take away thy life, if thou offendest. Therefore, take heed that thou speakest not a word that may displease. But then consider well, Hugh, dost thou not know from whence thou comest--upon Whose message thou are sent? Even by the great and mighty God, Who is all-present and Who beholdeth all thy ways and Who is able to cast thy soul into hell! Therefore, take care that thou deliverest thy message faithfully."

He then preached the same sermon he had preached the preceding Sunday--and with considerably more energy. - M. Cocoris.

We are easy intimidated, when someone speaks against us for witnessing for Christ. There are always going to be people who will intimidate us, there are always going to be people who are against Jesus, but this needs to be confronted, and we need to apply God’s word to our lives, so that we can pray and ask the Lord for BOLDNESS!

What makes people hesitate to share their faith? Here are some of the fears that have been mentioned to me: "I am afraid I might do more harm than good." "I don't know what to say." "I may not be able to give snappy answers to tricky questions." "I may seem bigoted." "I may invade someone's privacy." "I am afraid I might fail." "I am afraid I might be a hypocrite."

Perhaps the most common fear, however, is that of being rejected. A survey was given to those attending training sessions for the Billy Graham crusade in Detroit. One question asked, "What is your greatest hindrance in witnessing?" 9% said they were too busy to remember to do it. 28% felt the lack of real information to share. None said they didn't really care. 12% said their own lives were not speaking as they should. But by far the largest group were the 51% whose biggest problem was the fear of how the other person would react! - Leighton Ford.


He is ready to perform the miracles, the healings, and that will be a sign to the unbeliever of a living God! The only way that we are going to speak God’s word with BOLDNESS, is to believe that the Lord will answer our prayer, as He did for other followers of Jesus!

Loving Father, I ask you right now from the bottom of my heart; fill me with your Holy Spirit, that I may speak the word of God, with boldness. I ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus, amen!

GBYAY

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