Last Sunday during our Easter celebration, we had people present testimony cards depicting a past filled with sin, and because of the saving grace of Jesus, we have a hope and a future. The cards said something like this: Divorced/Marriage Restored, Remarried 24 yrs; Smoker for 35 yrs/Delivered 6 yrs; Drug Addiction/Drug Free 9 yrs, Wife & Mother. And you can imagine what took place in all of our hearts.
Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Sunday morning. witnesses testified and told their stories. And they did it with boldness!
Being Transformed and Bold
The United States is the last great Depository of Christianity, but is now overrun and overwhelmed by secularism, atheism, and religion that is far from the truth. Christianity is under a “no holds barred” assault. We are no longer treated with respect by the culture. Name calling and innuendo’s have become lawsuits and arrests.
- Florida ministry told to choose between Jesus & helping the poor
- California Christians found “not guilty” of reading Bible near government offices
- Colorado baker faces year in jail for refusing to make cake for gay wedding.
Listen to me:
- God saves you because He love you with an everlasting love
- You are hidden in the shadow of His wings
- He rejoices over you with singing
- God saves you with a purpose for your life
But He also called you for a mission…
And that mission doesn’t take a degree or years of preparation.
What it takes is the one thing that the church lacks today…
- A boldness and courage to speak of the transforming power of God.
If we are to fulfill our mission, we need the very thing Jesus promised.
II Corinthians 1:20 “For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.It was certainly to point God’s people toward the Messiah that was to come.”
And when that day came…
- God the Father kept His promise.
- The power of the Holy Spirit fell on the church.
- Boldness arrived that changed a nice little prayer meeting in Jerusalem into a bold presence that would stand throughout the world till Jesus comes.
Peter ends His preaching with these words:
Acts 2:33 “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.”
- Power – transforming people so the world could both see and hear the change
- Boldness – the kind that captures the heart and attention of a lost world was given
And that same promise, to be a bold, free, unashamed, vibrant witnesses to God’s power to change lives, is for you and I as well.
Acts 2:39 “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
The word itself is important
Boldness – parrhesia – outspokenness, freedom of speech, candor, cheerful courage
We need boldness today. More than anything else, the church in these latter days needs a boldness to proclaim in word, deed, lifestyle, service, commitment and lifestyle that there is no other name by which you can be saved, transformed, forgiven and filled with the power – but Jesus!
II Corinthians 1:20
I John 5:14
You can bet that the times are changing. And ridicule, slander, and harassment will turn to persecution.
What the church needs is not deliverance but boldness to speak and do the will of God.
Acts 4:29-31 “ And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, 30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.”
Are you afraid of the times to come?
Have you wondered why others can speak and you cannot?
Today, come and ask Him for what the Father promises…
the Holy Spirit who makes us bold witnesses for Jesus.