Thursday, March 24, 2016

Be Bold!

Are you bold? It takes a lot of confidence to pull off bold. It helps to know who you are and to have embraced your purpose and direction. As we examine the Cross this week we should take note that Jesus did not just give himself over to death on the cross; he embraced it with boldness and determination. He knew this was the will of Father and it was his purpose to carry out his will. So he stepped forward in the confidence of the relationship.

People with experience are bold. People who believe what they are saying are bold. People who trust the authority they represent are bold. We see it in all kinds of people throughout our day from teachers to police officers, from doctors to parents. But their boldness is limited to the limited boldness of this world system. For Jesus to step out in such boldness he had to believe in something beyond this limited world; he had to believe in the plan of Father and that belief came from his relationship of trust.

Let's shift from the Cross for a minute and consider Joshua. Joshua was Moses' assistant and had been trained under him for over forty years. That's longer than the working career of most people. He got to see first hand the incredible relationship between Yahweh and Moses, got to experience the miracles, saw Moses intercede countless time on behalf of the unfaithful Jews, and became the general of the national army under the guidance of Moses.  So when Joshua was appointed by Yahweh to take over from Moses as leader, entering the promised land, he had a great relationship of trust with the Lord.

Joshua was able to step out in boldness because he knew his calling and purpose, and he personally knew the one who called him:

"Be brave and strong, because you are the one who will help this people take possession of the land, which I pledged to give to their ancestors." (Joshua 1:6)

It should be no different for us. We have been called by Jesus to more than just our personal salvation. That salvation allows us to enter into a greater relationship with Yahweh than either Moses or Joshua had with him. They were not one with God by the Holy Spirit and we are. Our boldness should be even greater because our calling is specific and directly from the Lord:

“All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me." (Matthew 16:24)

"Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you." (Matthew 28:19-20)

“It isn’t for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. Rather, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:7-8)

Boldness. That is what we have because of our intimate relationship with Jesus, knowing and understanding our purpose. It doesn't matter what anyone else in this world says, we know what we must do. Jesus had to face the cross without the support of his disciples because even they tried to turn him from it. They did not understand, but they understood after the Resurrection. Jesus had to face the cross alone, simply knowing it was Father's will. It is the same reason we can face what we must, alone if need be, with people against us. We know who we are in Jesus. We know who he is in us. And we know our purpose.

"Be brave and strong, because you are the one who will help this people take possession of the land."

"God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled." (2 Timothy 1:7)

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