Friday, June 24, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Acts 4:31 - EMBOLDEN

When they had prayed ...
they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and spoke the word of God with boldness.
Acts 4:31
Today represents a simple pattern: Prayed > Filled > Emboldened.
You may remember the context ...
  • Peter and John heal a lame begger ("We don't have money to give you, but we'll give you what we do have. In the name of Jesus, rise up and walk."-- Acts 3:1-10)
  • The healed man leaps and dances and praises God.
  • This raises questions throughout the city.
  • Peter and John testify to the city.
  • Peter and John are arrested and brought before the Council.
  • Peter and John testify again.
One of my favorite verses in the midst of this is: "they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men ..." (Acts 4:13).
Ordinary, yet bold.
Uneducated, yet speaking with power.
How? Why? The story continues to unfold ...
  • Peter and John testify before the Council
  • The authories are amazed. And it's in a worried kind of way. These uneducated men have more power than they do.
  • The authorities threaten them ... but they also release them.
  • The believers give thanks ... and they pray for the same boldness.
We asked a moment ago how and why these ordinary, uneducated men spoke with such power. The answer is found in 4:31 when the same boldness comes upon the rest of the believers: After they "24 raised their voices together to God" praising him for the safety of Peter and John, and "when they had prayed, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness."
The pattern was this: Praised > Filled > Emboldened.
If you want to be emboldened in your faith and witness and hope and courage, praise may just be a powerful starting point.
In Christ's Love,
a guy who doesn't want to wait to be healed
to go leaping and dancing and praising God

Makes sense to me. Praise God. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Boldly proclaim his word. 
I know I don't praise God often enough and in every situation. I know I am not filled with the Holy Spirit like I can be. And I definitely do not proclaim his word ... timidly or boldly. 

Maybe just taking the small step of praising him more, the rest will come. Instead of looking at the entire process in one overwhelming picture, focusing on the first and easiest step is enough. 

baby steps. baby steps. baby steps. 

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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