Boldly Go

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Philippians 1:12-14 (New Living Translation)
And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.
For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.

Paul of Tarsus is writing this letter to the church in Philippi from the not-so-comfortable environs of a prison. It’s not a place you would naturally expect to find inspiration or illumination. And yet Paul has seen that God is able to use even his time of confinement to produce amazing results. He has shared God’s message of love and grace with his fellow inmates and his jailers, and, in turn, now those who believe are enthusiastically sharing their faith. They are boldly speaking God’s message without fear.

There are two Greek words that I find interesting in that last line: tolmaó and aphobós.

First, the verb tolmaó. It means to be bold in the face of danger, and in spite of your very understandable fear. Couple that with the adverb aphobós and things get interesting. The prefix a- negates what comes after it, and the Greek word phobos means fear. Aphobós means “not-fear,” and can be translated as fearlessly or boldly.

And because of my imprisonment,
most of the believers here have gained confidence
and boldly speak God’s message without fear.

Because of his imprisonment. Because of his example. Because of his willingness to be used by God even in difficult circumstances.

It could have been different.

Seriously, would we blame Paul for taking a bit of time off? If I were in his situation, I’d probably be feeling pretty miserable. Stuck in a prison, away from the people and the work that I love, I can see myself sulking in the corner, arms crossed around my knees, lamenting my position and the events that brought me there. I’d be praying to be released… so that I could get back to the ministry to which I’m called.

But the truth that Paul knew is this:

God wants us all to bring God’s love to the world.

Wherever you are. Whatever your job is. Whatever you perceive your abilities to be. Whatever your personality. Whatever you have. Whatever you don’t have. However busy you are, or how young you are, or how old you are, or how eloquent or tongue-tied, or how educated or inexperienced. No matter our circumstances…

God wants us all to bring God’s love to the world.

With every person you meet. No matter who they are. No matter how like you they are. No matter how different from you they are.

God wants us all to bring God’s love to the world.
Boldly speaking God’s message without fear.

Questions:
How could God use your current circumstances to bring you closer to God? How can you share God’s love with the people you encounter today? How can God work through you today?

This entry was posted in Pondering Scripture and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Boldly Go

  1. Dick and JoAnn Builta says:

    Dick and JoAnn Builta welcome all suggestions for introducing a new piece of religious art into our home, to show our faith to all who enter our home. God bless us all.

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