Sometimes I’m Not Bold In My Conversations

Sometimes I’m Not Bold In My Conversations

We have been talking about being bold

Doing so through the book of Acts in the New Testament – chapters 4 and 5

The story of the early Church and the first believers in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead

We have seen:

Boldness is behaviour born out of belief

How you pray reflects what you believe about God (bold prayers)

Today – let’s talk about boldness in the way we speak and what we speak about

There is a problem today in the Church:

We don’t want to offend anyone and so we are careful to be politically correct and thus we don’t speak boldly about what we believe

As a result: we decide that we are just going to let our life – the way we live – be a witness to others

It sounds good and is a good place to start

I mean – we do want our life to be a good witness and point people to what we believe and the truths we live by:

• There is more to life than just this life 

• There is a Heaven and a Hell

• Jesus is the King of Heaven and He already has established His Kingdom here on earth

  • Unless you have a personal relationship with the King you don’t enter either His Kingdom NOW or Heaven LATER
  • He has a powerful plan for your life right now

There are times, however, when we should not just let our lives be a witness – we need to let our words speak loudly and boldly about Jesus

There are times when we need to speak boldly to help people understand the plan and purpose that God has for every human being

More than having an assurance that a person is going to heaven when they die

Key thought again for this series:

Boldness is a behaviour born out of a belief

Key thought for today:

We speak boldly about what we believe deeply … Video game, fishing, sports team

In the book of Acts there are so many verses about the early Christians who acted boldly because they believed that Jesus had died and paid the price / penalty for our sin 

That on the third day (Easter) He was resurrected from the dead and that He was (and is) alive

Because they believed in the resurrection of Christ they spoke boldly over and over again

Three references (verses) out of an almost countless number in the New Testament

Acts 9:28b about Saul who use to persecute Christians and even have them killed

And then He met the resurrected Jesus and his whole life was totally transformed (Paul)

“…he was constantly with the disciples of the Lord and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord”

Acts 14:3a – Paul and Barnabas spoke boldly…

The apostles stayed in Jerusalem into the Church was well established

What were they doing? 

More than letting their lives be a witness

“(They were) preaching boldly about the grace of the Lord.”

 

Acts 4:31b – The early followers of Jesus were under extraordinary pressure and persecution because they had been bold and healed a man in public 

They were physically beaten by the religious leaders of their day

Then they found a house church meeting and prayed for even more boldness

“…and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And they preached God’s message with boldness”

My point:

We speak boldly about what we believe deeply

Here is the story:

• Peter and John – leaders in the early Church 

• They were walking by the door to the temple and passed a man who had not walked in over 40 years

• Everyone knew him – he was a beggar who always sat right beside the door to the church asking for money

• “Silver and gold we don’t have but what we do have we give to you – in the Name of Jesus walk” (Acts 3:6)

• And he did – walk, run, leap, dance … everyone saw it and it was the buzz of the community

  • The religious leaders did not like what had happened and that it was giving Peter and John an opportunity to talk about the resurrection … to speak about Jesus 
  • The religious leaders did not believe in the resurrection and yet this man’s healing seemed to point to the truth that Jesus was raised from the dead and is alive

• Peter and John are put on trial and the religious rulers really wanted to either kill or permanently jail them

  • The problem is – there was a man who could not walk and now he can walk and everyone knew it had happened because of Peter and John  – because of Jesus
  • So the religious leaders could not come down too hard on them

Acts 4:15-31 “But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.

When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’— for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

In verses 15-16 – we see the leaders’ inner dialogue as they try to sort this mess out…

Acts 4:15-16 They sent them out of the room so they could work out a plan. They talked it over: “What can we do with these men? By now it’s known all over town that an outstanding miracle has occurred, and that they are behind it. There is no way we can deny it.”

I love this part of the story – They are saying, 

• “We don’t really believe Jesus did this but we can’t deny that this man now walks”

• “We don’t understand it, but we can’t deny it”

I love when God does something and it is so obvious that the world looks and says:

• We don’t believe it and we don’t understand it BUT we cannot deny it

● Little 5 year old girl in Village of Arna who had never spoken

• Don’t believe it – but can’t deny it

● Pastor’s wife in city of Dnepopitros  (terminal cancer)

• Don’t believe it – but can’t deny it

The religious people said: We don’t believe it – but we can’t deny it

He could not walk for 40 years and now he is playing hopscotch 

That is the context in Acts 4:17… “But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”  

“This thing” = The Christian faith

• Belief in the resurrection of Jesus

  • Believing that Jesus was (is) alive
  • Believing that God is truly involved in people’s daily lives
  • Believing that supernatural things – impossible things – are possible

We will warn them to no longer speak about Jesus

Remember: we are talking about speaking boldly

Acts 4:18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.  

● “Commanded them” – with a command there is a threat … flogging, imprisonment, even death

• Commanded them not to speak or teach ever in the Name of Jesus

Acts 4:19-20 But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God.  For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”  

They believed deeply and so they spoke boldly

  • They deeply believed Jesus was resurrected from the dead and was alive
  • They deeply believed that He has given them authority (Matthew 28:18) and power (Acts 1:8 and 2:1-4) to tell the world that He was alive
  • They deeply believed that they were ambassadors of the Kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:20)
  • They deeply believed they were ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18)
  • So they spoke up boldly

If we today believe deeply then we should speak boldly…

In Acts 4:20 — Greek: “Cannot help” = It is not possible

They are saying:

• You can threaten us – we will still speak

• You can beat us – we will speak even louder

• You can put us to death – the last word we will speak will be the Name of Jesus

BECAUSE if you have seen what we have seen and heard what we have heard – you have just got to tell others about it – it is just that good

• If you saw the people we were and the people we are now

• If you saw the sins He has forgiven you would have to talk about it

• If you saw the miracles we have seen – you just can’t keep it to yourself

We are called – commanded – to tell others what Jesus has done and that Jesus is Lord

This is not a foreign idea … We all talk about what we are excited about

• You saw a new movie and it was great

• A chick flick and you are talking to the other chicklets – you have just got to see it

• A new video game and you think it is terrific because it blows everything and everyone up

• A new restaurant with incredible service and great food so you tell your friends about it

• Excited about your new cell phone…..

We speak boldly about what we believe deeply

There are some things you cannot help but tell others about

● And when you have seen what we have seen – the early followers said

● AND you have heard what we have heard

● AND you realize that Jesus was dead and He is alive

That changes everything – And, that SHOULD change everything

 

• And we simply cannot stop talking about what we have seen and heard

• We are not just going to let our lives be a witness to what we believe – there are times when we just have to speak because we believe deep inside us….

We speak boldly about what we believe deeply

FOUR AREAS GOD WANTS US TO SPEAK BOLDLY ABOUT BECAUSE WE BELIEVE DEEPLY

1> Speak boldly to myself

BECAUSE I believe deeply there are times when I just need to speak boldly to myself 

1 Samuel 30:6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him…But David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.  

At times we, as believers, can become “somewhat distressed” (disappointed, discouraged, emotionally or even spiritually down)

It is then that we need to speak boldly to ourselves

David encouraged himself – He spoke boldly to himself

He preached himself a sermon

• I remember when I survived that bear attack

• I remember when God helped me to kill Goliath

A believer – a brother – who is having trouble with lust for decades…could not seemingly overcome it

• Every day he encouraged himself

Job: “I made a covenant with my eyes not to lustfully at a woman” (Job 31:1)

He preached that sermon to himself…

He encouraged himself… 

• He spoke boldly to himself and God’s Word transformed his mind and set him free

You can do the same thing…

• Some of the best sermons I preach you never hear – I preach them to myself

I preach so good sometimes that I give myself an offering – the sermons are just that good

Next time you are overwhelmed with life – preach to yourself

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”  (Philippians 4:13)

Overwhelmed with the day you are facing – preach to yourself

“When I am weak – He is strong” (1 Corinthians 4:10)

“It is not by my power or my might but by My Spirit says the Lord” 

When you are afraid – preach to yourself

“God has not given to me a spirit of fear but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind…” (2 Timothy 1:7)

When you are worried – preach to yourself

“I will not be anxious in anything but in everything by prayer and thanksgiving…I will submit my request to God and I will let the peace of God which supersedes all my understand guard my heart and my soul in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6)

Sometimes you have just got to preach to yourself

Because I believe so deeply I need to encourage myself in the Lord

We speak boldly about what we believe deeply

2> Speak boldly to encourage others (Christians)

BECAUSE I believe so deeply I can’t help but encourage you by telling you how good God really is

Jeremy in Manitoba: “And I love how you are willing to invest so much effort and time in my life. I have experienced that very little, especially from someone (a leader) like you. Makes me feel like I’m worth something because you are investing your time. Really means a lot. Thanks. 

I believe that Christians should be the most encouraging people on the planet

Hebrews 3:13a But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today

Every day we should be encouraging each other as believers – “daily”

We should be encouraging them and telling them who they are in Christ…

• That they were made in God’s image

• That God has a wonderful plan for their life

• That God is deeply in love with them

• That God believes in them

People will rise to their potential if we will just encourage them

We need to be speaking encouragingly to each other every day

With the young men I work with:

• I believe in you

• I appreciate you

• You are important to me

• Thank you for being you

You will never know how your encouragement may change someone’s life

I want to encourage you

 

• Don’t give up – Keep on going

• God will bring you through

• Things will improve because “all things work together for those who love God” (Romans 8:28)

• “Don’t grow weary in doing good – you will reap a harvest” (Galatians 6:9)

● Don’t give up on your dream

● Don’t give up on your ministry

● Don’t give up on God because God will never give up on you

Sometimes we just need to boldly speak encouraging words to other believers – they need to be encouraged

Because when you believe deeply you have to speak boldly

I pray that this church will become bold in our encouragement – the boldest thing on planet Earth

3> Speak boldly in love to correct others (believers and non-believers)

BECAUSE I believe so deeply I can’t help but lovingly correct you

• Not as much fun – but very, very important

There are times when I believe so much in what God is saying is right and what God is saying is wrong that I just have to lovingly correct you

Don’t you go out and be a jerk for Jesus

Don’t be overbearing, controlling, manipulative

Don’t go hold up a sign that says “Repent or go to hell”

May be true but not loving (Winkler, MB., August 2021)

Biblical correction is when you speak lovingly to someone who has stepped outside the boundaries of His Word and are hurting themselves…

Ephesians 4:15 …speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.  

You know someone who is addicted

• to drugs

• to alcohol

• to pornography

• to gambling

Go to them and speak the truth to them – in love

You love them too much to let them harm themselves in this way

You speak boldly – not because you have it all together and are better than they are BUT because you believe deeply in what God says is right and what God says is wrong

And when you believe deeply you speak boldly

The 4th one – my favourite…

4> Speak boldly about Jesus to those who don’t know Him (witness – evangelize)

BECAUSE I believe so deeply I can’t help but lead people towards or closer to Christ

This is what the disciples said:

• You can beat us

• You can lock us up

• You can kill us

Acts 4:20 But we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard

We are just going to do it

You can’t talk us out of it

It is never, ever going away

You may ask – some do – do you actually try every day to tell people that they need to turn from their sins, repent, and come to personally know Jesus?

• Absolutely – every day

But why would you do that?

BECAUSE I believe Jesus is “the (only) way, the (only) truth, and the (source of all) life” (John 14:6)

 BECAUSE I believe so deeply I can’t help but talk to others about Jesus in the hope of seeing them come to faith in Christ and salvation

CONCLUSION:

If you don’t speak boldly – then maybe you don’t believe deeply

Let me say it again…

When you believe deeply:

• You can’t live like this world

• You can’t sell your soul for material things

• You can’t just go with the flow/run with the herd

When you believe deeply:

There is something in you – deep in you – that says: “I am going to speak up and speak out and make a difference”

You are simply not able to keep it to yourself and you must tell others who He is and what He has done and is doing in your life

You cannot stop talking about what you have seen and heard

BECAUSE we speak boldly about what we believe deeply

Speak boldly because believe deeply

● Speak boldly to yourself

● Speak boldly to encourage other believers

● Speak boldly in love to correct others (believers and non-believers)

● Speak boldly to lead others closer to Christ