I recently visited a local Starbucks establishment to talk with a friend, as I waited around for my drink order this advertisement caught my attention. “It’s easy to get lost in the moment over a robust cup of your favorite dark-roasted coffee. Fuller-bodied and bold, these coffees feature robust flavors and a lush mouthfeel. Each cup is full of enough body and intrigue to entrance the senses until the last drop.” This well written script makes a good attempt at “selling” me the experience of a great cup of coffee, the play to our senses and the use of powerful descriptive words is very effective.
Luke uses some powerful descriptive language in the book of Acts to help us understand our function and role as a called people, particularly those who preach and teach in the church. “Speak your word with great boldness” (4:39), “Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly” (13:46), “Paul spoke boldly, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God”. (19:8). The boldness that is described in each of these verses is a call to preach and teach fearlessly and freely, with courage and without any hindrance. After Saul’s encounter with God he began to preach with such boldness that some of the people tried to kill him (9:29). There are many more examples of God’s people speaking with boldness throughout the Gospels and the book of Acts, the key to understanding their capacity to preach boldly is found in Acts chapter 4:31. “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly”. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit (the presence of God) in each of their lives that gave them the ability to speak in a way that made an impact for the Kingdom of God.
Consider for a minute the impact that speaking boldly had on the people. Acts chapter 13 describes the influence that follows Paul’s teaching in the synagogue. Verse 44 says “On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.” Do we have the same boldness today? Did the message this past Sunday make an impact so big on the lives of the people that our churches will be overflowing on the next Sunday? Are we giving everything over to God and praying diligently like the apostles for the work of the Holy Spirit to come and move among us? It is my hope and prayer that we speak God’s word with boldness, to preach and teach fearlessly so that we can make an impact for the His Kingdom.