A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Daily Encouragement on
Monday, June 10, 2019
Message summary: Today in the power of the Holy Spirit let us live boldly for Christ in our generation.
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"Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak Your word with great boldness" (Acts 4:29). "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" (Acts 4:31).
I saw a newer friend at church yesterday who uses a rather interesting means of remembering my name, addressing me as "Stephen, who was stoned". His name happens to be Paul and I address him as "Paul, who consented to my stoning". Of course at that time Paul was known as Saul and had not yet been converted to Christ. Both Stephen and Paul were Spirit-filled, bold witnesses in the early church and examples for all of us.
Yesterday was "Pentecost Sunday" when we commemorate the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the disciples on the Day of Pentecost.* Peter, who just 53 days earlier, had cowered in fear and denied the Lord, now stood up and boldly proclaimed the living Lord, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified" (Acts 2:36). This demonstrates the power of the Holy Spirit promised in Acts 1:8 when Jesus said, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you".
The daily text is from a portion of Scripture when the disciples first faced persecution following the Day of Pentecost. Their petition was not, as we might expect, for a removal of the threat or a ceasing of opposition and certainly not an appeal for an easy life. Jesus had made it very clear they would face opposition, "in this world you will have tribulation" (John 16:33) and they seemed to have accepted this. The heart of their prayer was, "Enable Your servants to speak Your word with great boldness".
That prayer was answered as the Spirit-empowered disciples went forth and "began to speak the Word of God with boldness". The next chapter records continued and increasing persecution and ends with this summary: "Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ".
Then the focus turns to Stephen who, even as he faced his brutal stoning, boldly proclaimed Christ and is recorded as being "full of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 7:55). Later Paul wrote "Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold" (2 Corinthians 3:12).
And the list goes on and on through the remainder of the New Testament and all throughout the church age; men and women boldly declaring their faith in Christ. Today let us follow that example and in the power of the Holy Spirit live boldly for Christ in our generation.
Who dares to go against the grain and works without applause;
A man who'll raise the shield of faith, protecting what is pure;
Whose love is tough and gentle; a man whose word is sure.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
* Last Monday I mistakenly wrote that the previous day was Pentecost Sunday! (I suppose I was thinking of the association of Ascension Day which was the previous Thursday.)
Brooksyne has taught children since she committed her life to Christ in Junior High School. That's now been almost 50 years and she's stored up many funny memories. Once she was teaching on Elijah and she described Elijah as a bold man. Making sure that she was not talking over their heads, she asked her preschoolers, "Who can tell me what the word, 'bold' means?" Little three-year old Mandy quickly raised her hand and with a self-assured smile answered, "It means he didn't have no hair."
Actually it was Elisha who at one time was mocked for being bald (2 Kings 2:23). But both he and Elijah also demonstrated living boldly for God, as have millions down through the ages.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"A Few Good Men" Video Gaither Vocal Band This older song came to mind during preparation of this message. The words used to conclude the message especially grip my heart and is a great challenge for all men of God as we consider Father's Day next Sunday. Of course the call to being bold is to both men and women and is demonstrated in the Bible by women like Deborah.
"A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" (different than traditional hymn with same title) Video Calvary Church worship team. Our worship leader, David Ross, does a nice job of introducing the song.
We had dinner with Mark and Carolyn Pulliam at the Red Robin yesterday. We wondered if the restaurant is aware they are quoting a Scripture verse on their salt shakers!
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