Saturday, March 19, 2011

Be Fearless!

I was meditating this morning on a passage from Ephesians chapter 6. Ephesians 6 is the chapter Christians recognize as the place where Paul talks about the armor of God. But what caught my attention was what Paul says after his description of the armor. He states,"Pray also for me that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Ephesians 6:19-20) Notice how Paul uses the word fearlessly twice in those two verses. That prompted me to ask the question, how many times do I get tripped up by fear in declaring the gospel? What do I really have to be afraid of? Then I was reminded of the Lord's words to Joshua as the Israelites were about to enter the promised land. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9) The Lord gave Joshua a command followed by a promise. Likewise when Jesus sent His disciples out to minister in His name, giving them His authority, He warned them that they would be questioned by governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. However, Jesus reassured them,"But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." (Matthew 10:19-20) italics mine. In the passage in Joshua and Matthew, God has declared that we don't need to be fearful but fearless because He is the power that enables us to declare His glory, to proclaim His gospel. I think Paul sums it up best in Romans, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile." (Romans 1:16) italics mine. May the desire of Paul's heart be the prayer of my heart and of yours also, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel. For I am Christ's ambassador. (2 Corinthians 5:20) Pray, therefore that I may declare the gospel fearlessly as I should.
In His grace,
Pastor Sheree

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