Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from May 9-15 are provided by Pastor David Kwon of Journey Community Church (Raleigh). David, a graduate of Drexel University and Columbia International University (M.Div.) is married to Helen (“Pie”) and they have three beautiful daughters (Cara, Phoebe, and Ruth).
Devotional Thoughts for Today
And after five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and a spokesman, one Tertullus. They laid before the governor their case against Paul.
In the book of Acts, one of the major themes that we see is the boldness that the early believers had for the gospel. The Greek translation for the word “boldly” or “boldness” is “candor in the face of opposition.” Boldness isn’t being obnoxious, mean, or pushy; rather, it’s about speaking the truth of the gospel out of conviction of what Jesus has done for sinners, and out of a love for those who need it. Tim Keller puts it like this:
“When the gospel ‘comes home’-humbling and affirming you, it turns every believer into a natural evangelist…Evangelism happens because of the humility of the gospel. The gospel produces people who are not disdainful and contemptuous towards those who disagree with them. Also, it happens through the affirmation of the gospel. Because of the reality and joy of Christ’s love, we are not as concerned what others think. The gospel brings a gentle boldness.”
Paul is about to go before Felix, the Roman governor, because of his defense of the gospel. Tertullus had been hired by the Jews to present their case in Caesarea before the Roman governor, and it was apparent that he and the other Jewish rulers wanted to kill Paul. We see that Paul’s boldness had led him to defend his life and trust in the sovereignty of God.
As you think about your own life, do you have boldness for Christ? Are you willing to speak up about your faith to your friends, co-workers, family members, neighbors and others who are in your circle of influence? Is the fear of man preventing you from being a bold witness?
As we reflect and remember what Christ has done for us, ask the Lord that He would give you the boldness to proclaim Him in this dark and hostile world. Pray for opportunities to share His love to those who do not know Him.
Lord, thank You for examples of faith in Your Word that demonstrates great boldness even in the face of opposition. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me today to be bold for the truth in my words and witness. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 31
Lunch Break Study
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God.7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. 8 “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, 9 but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
Questions to Consider
- What is Jesus telling us not to fear?
- How does vv. 11-12 give you confidence when we acknowledge Christ to the world?
- How can you apply these verses today?
- We are called not to fear man because we have a Heavenly Father who knows us (v.7) and we are valued by Him. It should give us courage to display Christ in our lives even when we may fear what man thinks of us.
- When we acknowledge Christ before men (v.8), Jesus promises His followers that the Holy Spirit will teach us what to say. We ought not to be anxious about how we should defend ourselves, but rather trust in Him.
- Think about how you can acknowledge Christ to those who may not know Him. Be specific in praying for people and ask God that He would give you courage to acknowledge Him even when it seems difficult.
Take some time reflecting on the passage you read today. What challenged you? How can you be bold for the gospel? Ask the Lord to search your heart and show you how to make specific applications.