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Beautifully Bold Proclamations

Read: Acts 4:29-31; Acts 17:22-31

 

This week, I have been thinking about the word ‘bold’ and how ‘boldness’ was a prayer request for God's servants in Acts 4. After they were told to no longer speak in Jesus' Name, and when they had come together, they prayed that they might speak God's truth with boldness. What a good request, and reading it made me wonder what boldness would look like; so, I sought a definition of the word that is found in Acts 4:29. It means daring or lucid or to tell all. When I think of something being daring, I think of it being revealing. Lucid makes me think of clarity. So perhaps to think of boldness as clearly revealing and telling what we know about something is helpful. At least to me. In this case, God's truth.

 

Let's look, if we may, at two examples of boldness that came to mind this week.

First, the bold words of Jaden Ivy who is a point guard for the Detroit Pistons. Back in March, he was speaking at a press conference, and after having thanked his Lord Jesus Christ, he spoke about the game. Then, he hesitated just a bit and made his bold proclamation. Out came those beautiful words that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, John 14:6. Ivy also spoke to everyone in the world who might be listening and their need of repenting of their sins and having faith in Jesus. He said Jesus would be coming back. When least expected and that people needed to wake up. What I loved about his words, besides the unabashed truth of them is that though he sounded a bit nervous, he continued to speak anyway. I can't imagine a platform like the one he had, but I'm sure my hands would have been shaking.

 

The second example is very different in how it came about, but it is just as beautifully bold in its truth telling. It is a story shared by Anabel Gilham who is now with her Savior. Later, more about a special friend and church member, who also loves this story. Anabel Gilham was a speaker and author. She struggled to understand God's love for her for a long time. Like all of us, she was very much aware of her short-comings and sins. Anabel and her husband Bill had a special needs son. His name was Mason, and there came a time when the Gilhams found it necessary for their son to live at a special school where he could receive extra care; however, they loved bringing Mason home for weekends. Mason couldn't talk or respond to Anabel's love, but when he was home, his mother longed for him to be able to know her love and tell her he loved her. She frequently would come close to him and love on him. One day, after a brokenhearted Anabel had, once again, not been able to discern any loving response from Mason, the Lord nudged her heart. He impressed questions into her thinking. Did she love Mason less because his clothing was soiled with food that had fallen out of his mouth?  Did she love him less because he could not speak or respond to her? The answers, of course, to each of these queries was no. This was her son. All she desired was that he would know how much she loved him and be able to tell her the same thing. Mason could do nothing to earn his mother's love. Why did Anabel think that her God would not also love her just because she belonged to Him? Talk about discovering, from a most unlikely source, the truth of unconditional and unearned love. Anabel spoke about it clearly each time she told Mason's story.

 

In Acts 17:22-31, we watch as Paul spoke to those in the marketplace of his day. With clarity, he testified about the Only God. The Creator. The One Who rose from the dead. The judge Who would at the appointed time judge all men. This was the unknown God Whom he boldly proclaimed to those who were listening. His beautiful bold words were given to Him by God, and he didn't hesitate to tell with clarity what he knew. We see the same thing in the words of Jaden Ivy and the testimony of Anabel Gilham concerning Mason. Although their marketplaces differ, their messages point boldly and clearly to the same God.

 

Back to the friend who loves Mason's story. Her name is Barb, and she is now with the Savior Whose love is highlighted each time Mason's story is told. Barb loved that picture of God's unconditional love, and she is now experiencing it in ways we cannot even imagine, Psalm 16:11; 1 Corinthians 2:9. It was refreshing for both of us when we reminded one another of that sweet truth. God's love for us because we are His daughters! Sharing God's love. What a sweet part of Christian family/friendship. Boldly sharing God's truth is a blessing in any marketplace God provides. It is beautiful whether it is a reminder to someone who already loves Jesus or when it goes around the world to the masses.

 

Father, please comfort and meet each member of Barb's family at his or her point of need. Thank You that each one who belongs to You, John 1:11-12, will see her again.

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