Freedom for #2: Boldness

 


Freedom for #2:  Boldness

Jesus has set you free from Satan, egoism, the lessor voices, and fear.  Jesus has set you free for service, boldness,  righteousness, and eternal life.  This is session two of freedom for teachings, we’ll consider boldness. 

 Everybody wants to be free.  Here in the United States, we want to be able to pursue freedom, life, liberty, and make our happiness.  Freedom is precious and we are now living in a culture that is slowly taking our freedoms away. You can’t let that happen.  You are going to have to be bold.

 A quick look at the dictionary defines boldness as a “willingness to take risks and act innovatively.”  Boldness is the result of inner confidence, of courage, of being capable.  In the art world, boldness speaks of vividness, clarity of appearance.  To be bold is to be daring, to be bold is to demonstrate fearlessness. Dauntless, determined, brave, chutzpah, all describe what is meant by the world bold. 

The original meaning of bold in the New Testament is prudent, sensible, behavior that “fits” a situation.  Bold means you aptly carry out God’s will by doing what He calls you to do with sound reasoning. [Strong's Greek: 4995. σωφρονισμός (sóphronismos) -- self-control (biblehub.com)]

The Message paraphrase reads—

2 Tim 1:7 (MSG)

God doesn't want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving, and sensible.

Jesus has set you free to be bold. Bold to enjoy and use the gifts God has given.

 The gifts that God gives are eternal life, living your life to the full here and now, the privilege of joining Him in His work, the gift of being a channel of His love and comfort to others.  Jesus sets you free when you receive the work that He has accomplished for you.  Jesus offered Himself up as a sacrificial lamb for the forgiveness of sin, for reconciliation with the One He called Father.  The scripture reveals that all have sinned; all have missed the mark when it comes to living the way God created every human being to live.  Because of sin, Satan, egoism, lessor voices, and fear create prisons of misery for every one of us.  Estranged from God there is no escape (Romans 6:23).  But when you acknowledge your predicament, seeing your sin as your slave master, when you believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, the life (John 14:6), the way out of your dark prison cell (Ephesians 4:8), when you commit to following Jesus, acclaiming Him Lord, CEO, Boss, Ruler, willingly bending your knee to sovereignty (Philippians 2:10), when you ask God to set you free (Romans 10:13), Jesus’ work is applied to you and you are free (1 John 4:10).

John 8:36 (NLT)

So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

 God forgives your sins, reconciles you to himself, adopts you as His very own, making you his child, joint-heirs with Jesus to the Kingdom.  The Kingdom is one of equality (Romans 8:16-17).  The Kingdom is one of righteousness.  Righteousness is all about thriving in fellowship with God, with yourself, and with others.  The Kingdom is one of peace, a peace inside, calm quiet confidence that everything, everything no matter what will be redeemed by Jesus who even conquered death. The Kingdom is one of joy, a joy that has its foundations on the great and precious promises of God like this one:

 Hebrews 13:5 (NLT)

 “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”

 An unshakable joy founded on promises like:

John 6:40 (NLT)

For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”

 Tell me that you don’t want to be set free, and I will move on.  But if you do, let me know and I will help you

 

God gives His children gifts. 

1 Corinthians 12:7 (NLT)

A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.  [see Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:6-10, Ephesians 4:11, 2Timothy 1:6, and 1 Peter 4:11)

 God gives you gifts so that you can help to do His work.  Jesus set you free and the Holy Spirit gave you abilities, don’t be shy with them. When you’re shy you don’t want to bring any attention to yourself so you play it safe.  When you’re shy, you hide, you don’t want a lot of people knowing that you are a Christ-follower.  When you’re shy there are no confrontations, no rocking the boat over differing opinions, you’re silent at best, agreeable at worse. When you‘re shy you don’t stand up for what is right, you just walk on by.  When you’re shy you avoid shining a light on stupidity resigning yourself to saying under your breath “stupid is as stupid does.”  When you’re shy you don’t exercise your right to free speech by telling someone what you think.  When you’re shy as long as whatever it has no direct bearing on you, you let bygones be bygones. When you’re shy you see so many that are more capable than yourself so you shield yourself from the action.  When you’re shy you let fools do what they want as long as they leave you alone.  Got bad news for you, the fools are no longer leaving people alone. 

 Luke 12:52-53 (MSG)

From now on, when you find five in a house, it will be— Three against two, and two against three; Father against son, and son against father; Mother against daughter, and daughter against mother; Mother-in-law against bride, and bride against mother-in-law."

 John 16:2 (MSG)

They are going to throw you out of the meeting places. There will even come a time when anyone who kills you will think he's doing God a favor.

Matthew 5:11-12 (MSG)

Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

 Our culture does everything it can to mock Christians, to discredit Christians, to stereotype Christians, to make Christians look superstitious, foolish, ignorant, hypocritical, and arrogant.  That’s not saying that such accusations are inaccurate when it comes to religious Christians, or huckster Christians, or cultish Christians, or non-discerning, prideful, hateful Christians.  Does God count them as His children at all?   The world does, lumping the religious and the relational together, not perceiving that there is a far as the east from the west difference.

 An undercover cop pretends to be one of the bad guys.  The covert operative hides his or her real agenda behind some legitimate appearing cover story.  The secret agent is a secret agent because no one knows he or she is an agent. Unless God has specifically called you to infiltrate the enemy to subvert them, there are no undercover, covert, secret jobs in the Kingdom.  You are the bringer of the Kingdom, God works His mighty transforming power through you, you are not to be shy, you are not to hide in the shadows, you are to be bold.

 Bold is not brash.  Bold is not obnoxious.  Bold is not contentious. Bold never leaves loving and sensible behind. God wants you to be bold in using the gifts that He has given you that enable you for service, to join Him in his work. 

 Matthew 5:14-16 (MSG)

You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

 Boldness enables you to shine.  Boldness enables you to be generous with your life, to open your life up to others. Boldness doesn’t come easy.  Boldness is the result of being full of the Spirit of God. 

 Acts 4:31 (MSG)

While they were praying, the place where they were meeting trembled and shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God's Word with fearless confidence.

 Fearless confidence is boldness.  Fearless confidence is the boldness to speak, to make a stand, to shine your light.  Fearless confidence is the boldness to be open, to stretch out your hand to help. Fearless confidence is stepping got of the shadows.

 To live boldly you must possess a “continual consciousness of the presence of Christ” (Barclay's Daily Study Bible (NT). To live boldly you must know that Jesus is with you, in you, standing next to you, and guarding your six (Psalm 139:5).  You cultivate this conscious awareness of the presence of God through your daily practice of the 7 habits of a disciple.  Prayer is one of the 7.  Prayer is powerful.  There are many ways to pray but one way is the breath prayer.  Technology has allowed me to set alarms to remind me to pray throughout the day; a little ping, every hour, and one at 3:20 every day (Ephesians 3:20).  Here’s a breath pray: “Jesus you are with me.”  All it takes is a breath:  “Lord by your grace I serve.”  It is a whisper of the heart:  “Empower me now Lord.” 

 It’s by cultivating a continual conscious presence of Jesus that you will find the power to discern, the “power to cope, the power to shoulder the back-breaking task, the power to stand erect in face of the shattering situation, the furious opposition, the power to retain faith in face of the soul-searing sorrow and the wounding disappointment; power to pass the breaking point and not break.” (Barclay's Daily Study Bible (NT). It is by cultivating a constant sense of Jesus being with you that you will have the power to be bold.

 It’s no longer a matter of wanting to be bold.  The culture is moving quickly in freedom stifling direction. If the trends continue the liberty you have known to peacefully assemble, to worship, to speak your mind will suddenly disappear “for the good of the people.”  You need to be bold now.  The Kingdom will not advance without your boldness.  You are the light, you are the voice, yours are the hands that manifest the glory of God to others.  Your boldness is desperately needed to bring freedom to the prisoners of spiritual ignorance.  Your boldness liberates.  You need to be bold now, not later, not waiting on God to give you some sort of supernatural zap that will change your personality.  No, right now ask the Holy Spirit to assure of Jesus in you, Jesus before you, Jesus beside you, Jesus behind you, and in faith go for it.  Take that step into boldness and bold you will be.

 

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