What is “to be bold” How to understand: This word – boldness.
Whenever we speak of Boldness, it is Something to do with Action. The dictionary gives the meaning of it as “showing a willingness to take risks; confident and courageous”
Notice here it is, a willingness “to take risks”. Now why this risk – it is because there are consequences of your actions. The opposite of Bold is: timid, fearful, inadventurous, shy, bashful, retiring.
Today many are being timid and afraid. They are not speaking boldly because they are fearful of their life, they are fearful of their career, their profession. If they are bold they will be taken away……….so they are preaching in a compromise situation.
We have to Believe what we claim to! “I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12 NASB)
We all know the denial of Peter where he was afraid to witness Christ – denied three times. But later, the same Peter was seen witnessing Christ boldly. Acts 4:13 says, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus”.
Friends today wherever we are in whatever professions we are we need to witness Christ. Hence we need not to be afraid rather be bold in speaking the truth. We do need to take the risks. Today, People don’t want to “take risks”.
The Bible is full of the story of Bold servants of God who took risks – who stood “in the gap” for God’s people. One such person was – John the Baptist who was always willing to take risks.
Yes, John called people to repent: to take stock of their lives, realize they were sinners, and turn to God. He eventually was thrown into jail and executed, but Jesus said, “Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.…”
The medical missionaries who risked their lives to treat Ebola patients in Africa provide a wonderful example of this risk-taking. Today many Doctors are risking their lives – while standing boldly to fight against this pandemic Covid-19 to which many of them have died treating the patients.
Now here Jesus is teaching us “To be bold in God’s Service”. We have to show our boldness in these situations.
The context – In God’s service
What is this God’s service?
Is Jesus telling only to His Disciples, Bishops, Pastors or those who are working in the missions or Gospel services? If so then what about those other professionals in secular ministry like doctors, nurses teachers, mechanics, engineers etc
Traditionally the authentic ministry or service is perceived to be the preaching, teaching, prophesying (or apostleship) exercised by pastors and other such church leaders. Conversely, those in other professional callings are perceived to be in ordinary secular service which is not necessarily Christian service.
Related to this dichotomy is another one that draws a distinction between contexts of ministry or service. This makes some people think that Christian service is what is done primarily in certain spheres of ‘spiritual influence’ such as in Church, in Christian meetings etc. but not what is done in the public arena such as government departments.
This mindset further tends to suggest that people like pastors, evangelists, prophets, worship leaders, missionaries have a calling but mechanics, doctors, economists, engineers etc. may not necessarily have a calling.
Friends, it is wrong to think ministry only happens only in Church, Christian conferences or realms of ‘spiritual service’.
Institute for Christian Impact through the article entitled “Serving God through your Profession” suggests three reasons, among many, why it is so important to serve God through our professional sphere of life.
I would like to draw your notice to only two of them
First, this is God’s world and he is concerned with how it is managed. Just as God gave Adam the responsibility to tend the garden of Eden, we are called to be stewards of all of creation through our professions. “As (Col 3:17). Says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Therefore, all professional work is to be done to the glory of God.
Secondly, our professional space of work is a unique place to bear witness to others. We not only do this by sharing tracts with them or praying for them. More importantly, we should do so by our commitment, due diligence, hard work and efficiency in our profession. Our work is to be done as unto God and not merely as serving human beings.
There are several examples of people in the Scriptures who served God’s purposes through their professions. Joseph did this as an economic manager of Egypt under Pharaoh in a time of famine, David as a shepherd boy and King in Israel, Nehemiah as cupbearer to a King, Daniel as Administrator while in Exile as well as others like Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. (Acts 16:14). Their work as ministry was a witness to God’s saving plan.
Finally, it is through the faithfulness of Christians serving God through their professions that the Lordship of Christ is brought to bear on all spheres of life. Thus friends, always remember your service to God is exemplified by your actions in your family, community, and place of work. Serving God shouldn’t be done for recognition or praise; it shouldn’t be self-seeking.
Today we need to stand for God’s Glory – to witness Christ boldly without any fear. For God is always with His people.
I’ll conclude with the words of Jesus as he says in Matt Chap 10: 28 “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell”.
Rev. Dr. Joel Patrick is currently working as the Associate Professor in Communication at Bishop’s College, Kolkata.
Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash
For Other Articles by Rev Dr Joel Patrick
Common Sense as well as Devotion are Needed for the Service of God