Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Mid-Week Message - Be Bold in Faith and Your Relationship with God

We have a little dog named after a very dear friend of ours, Jack Graham. Jack is a little bichon frise. If you have seen one you already know that they are little white puffy-haired dogs that are more inclined to be lap dogs. Jack, or as we like to call him, “Jack-Jack”, is anything but a furry pushover. Although he is small in stature, he makes up for it in spirit. He is not a timid dog that hides. Jack-Jack will defend his yard and his space. If you are looking for a dog that will bond with a family and will do what it takes to defend that family, a bichon frise would be a wonderful choice.

You are asking yourself, “Why is he talking about a bichon?” As I had mentioned, Jack-Jack, like his namesake Jack Graham, has a spirit of boldness. Jack was soft-spoken, but a man of integrity and determination. I can safely say that my wife and I love Jack. I often referred to him as the Chairman of the Board. I have had and continue to have great respect and admiration for Jack Graham. Although he passed away a couple of years ago, his spirit of Christian boldness lives on in his beautiful family and certainly in my own heart.

God does not gift us with timid spirits. We are to be bold and ready to defend our faith. Just like Jack-Jack and Jack Graham, we are called from time to time to act with conviction and stand firmly in our faith. When I think about Jack and his wife Dorothy, I think of all of the times both encouraged and supported me during the early days of my ministry at Lakeline Oaks Retirement Community. Both were strong in their faith and both acted with confidence and boldness. They were and continue to be an inspiration to me.

In Acts 4:31, we are given an insight into Peter and John. When filled with the spirit, they both preached with boldness. In our daily lives, we need to have that spirit and be ready to preach the Word to all with boldness and conviction.

Many of us feel that we should not be bold or pushy when it comes to sharing our faith. We are not being pushy if we do things in a loving way. For example, some pastors in Georgia still believe the best way to reach people is through “hellfire and damnation” sermons. Yes, there is a consequence to sin; however, we should also tell people of God’s love for them and why Christ Jesus died for their sins. We can preach the Gospel without being pushy.

Paul, in his second letter to Timothy, tells us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT)

Paul goes on in the next verses and reminds us, “So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord.”

There is another aspect of being bold when it comes to our faith. We can boldly go to the throne of God to seek His mercy and grace. Hebrews 4:16 assures us that we can come boldly to God’s throne and find grace when we need it most. We can, with certainty, go before Him because of Christ and our faith in Him.

So, in the coming days of this brand new year, be bold when talking about your faith and, when you need that wonderful amazing grace to get you through your problems, boldly go to the Father and rest assured that He will provide all that you need and more.

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