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I have had both dogs and cats as pets over the years. Dogs will obey their owners out of fear; but cats must first be loved. Those who appreciate cats recognize that within every kitten is the boldness of the lion. There is a freedom, an inner confidence, a courage. They might jump up in the air in apparent fright, but they will then cautiously approach the object of their fear, or crouch and pounce, claws in control. Men have their stories about rat encounters, about how hard it is to catch a rat or how the rat got away, but the cat? Cats can stop the plague!
Proverbs 28.1 says: The wicked flee when no one pursues; but the righteous are bold as a lion. (cf Prov. 30.30; Lev. 26.36) The day after the first Passover, the children of Israel went out with boldness in the sight of all the Egyptians. (Exodus 14.8, Numbers 33.3) Where does this boldness (that is neither brash nor unteachable), this confidence, this inner strength, this freedom, this lack of shame come from?
Psalm 138.3 says: In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul. God is the Source of this boldness, and it bears fruit. It begins with being a believer in God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. Walking with Jesus takes boldness, a confidence that gives us a little spirit of adventure as we live each day.
Jesus spoke freely, or boldly (John 7.26). When people observed the boldness of Peter and John, they marveled and took knowledge of them that the apostles had been with Jesus. (Acts 4.13) It was the apostles' prayer to speak the Word with boldness that signs and wonders might be done in the Name of the holy Child Jesus (Acts 4.29). Filled with the Holy Spirit, they did indeed speak the Word of God freely, boldly. (Acts 4.31)
What is the purpose of this boldness? Believers are granted boldness from the Lord to ask, to speak freely, to be open, to preach, to dispute. Believers speak in the name of the Lord Jesus. One time Paul and Barnabas went into the synagogue in Iconium and spoke. A great multitude of both Jews and Greeks believed, but unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles with evil intent against the apostles. The apostles continued to speak boldly in the Lord. The Lord gave testimony unto the word of His grace and granted signs and wonders to be done by the hands of the apostles. With this though, came an assault against them and intent to stone them. The apostles fled and kept on preaching the gospel. (Acts 14.1-7) "Gospel truth seeks no corners, because it fears no trials." Matthew Henry
This boldness, this freedom to preach and teach, to dispute and persuade concerning the kingdom of God, comes from God's grace. It is a gift. God gives believers confidence to speak freely, no one forbidding, with plainness of speech, even to command what is fitting. (e.g. Acts 28.31; Romans 15.5; 2 Corinthians 3.12; 10.1, 2; Philemon 1.8) Paul prays that utterance would be given to him, that he might open his mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel. (Ephesians 6.19) There is a purpose to it. Even when suffering and shamefully entreated, the apostles were bold in God to speak the gospel of God in much conflict. (1 Thess. 2.2)
This boldness that God grants, what is its basis? It comes because of the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross on behalf of the elect. Believers have boldness to enter into the holy of holies by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10.19). Believers are cleansed by the blood of Jesus, their consciences purged of dead works to serve the Living God (1 John 1.9; Hebrews 9.14). Believers are to come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need, in a timely way (Hebrews 4.16). Believers are to hold fast to this confidence, rejoicing. (Hebrews 3.6) This says to us that we can know we have eternal life; we can have confidence that He who began a good work in us will take it to the day of completion. Our confidence comes from Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12.2; Romans 3.22-24; Phil. 1.6)
What are the benefits of this boldness? We have access to the Father. We can come to a throne of grace in Christ. We can speak freely when we pray and when we intercede.
not away therefore your boldness [confidence],
Which has great recompense of reward,
For you have need of patience, that, after you
Have done the will of God, you might receive the promise.
For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come,
And will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith. (Hebrews 10.35-38a)
This boldness overcomes fear and shame. (Hebrews 13.6, Phil. 1.14; Phil 1.20) It is a confidence that enables believers to face people with other opinions, to minister well. It has ramifications not only for this life, but also in the day of judgment. In this life we may boldly say, the LORD is my helper; I will not fear what man shall do to me, but also, if we abide in Christ, when He shall appear, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming (Hebrews 13.6; 1 John 2.28).
this is the boldness that we have toward Him,
That if we ask anything according to His will,
He hears us.
1 John 5.14
In God's eternal plan, He purposed to reveal the mystery of the gospel and that Jew and Gentile alike could partake of the promise in Christ. It is in Christ Jesus the Lord that believers have boldness and access with confidence by [or through] the faith of Him. Believers believe because they belong to Christ and live in Christ. His faith carries them and gives this boldness, this confidence, this freedom to speak, unashamed of Christ, of the gospel, of the Word of God. As believers abide in Christ, their love is made perfect.
if our heart condemn us not, then we have boldness toward God.
(1 John 3.21)
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness
In the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.
1 John 4.17
Do you have this boldness? Take a look in the mirror. You may be a kitten; but the One you see may just be the Lion of Judah. The boldness of the righteous can be yours!
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As God grants grace,
P.S. Go to www.marycraig.org. Order books from our Catalog section using PayPal. Worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays. Grow and flourish in small group ministry at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. McNab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Log on to www.craighouse.org for a map and more events and Bible studies. Reach MCM at 954-491-7270. Send in your prayer requests.
And now, Lord, behold their threatenings:
And grant unto Your servants,
That with all boldness they may speak Your Word,
By stretching forth Your hand to heal;
And that signs and wonders may be done by the Name
Of Your Holy Child Jesus.
Hebrews 4.29, 30
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