KEYS FOR THE KINGDOM
Good morning everyone! I hope you are well today and able to sense the presence of God and His many blessings in your daily lives. It’s surely hard to miss God this time of the year given the greening up and blooming all around us. The miracle of the resurrection is the power God provides us with so that we can do His will, and cultivate an eternal and intimate relationship with Him.
I think we all have been encouraged and strengthened as we’ve experienced a return to normalcy in our lives and especially at church. Even though some still may not be able to attend church in person, the increased number of “gathering saints” has truly been sanctifying. Many of those who have not returned to the sanctuary in person are faithful to worship with us via the internet or phone media. I thank God for each of you and I am honored to be a small part of your walk with Jesus on Earth. Thank you for your prayers for me and my family and for one another. May God continue to use SPBC as a witness of truth with a spirit of compassion for others throughout the community and the world.
“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. Proverbs 28: 1
Boldness is a key key for the kingdom of God on Earth because it is
a good litmus test of our relationship and fellowship with our Heavenly Father. If we are living right and trusting God in all we do, we will be able to face our fears with confidence and courage. This doesn’t mean we won’t have fears or even doubts, but it does mean that when we do, we’ll trust God more than we trust our feelings.
Boldness is a direct result of God’s grace and mercy in our lives. On April 17th 2022, we will celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The resurrection is the foundation of the Christian faith. The resurrection also is the platform for boldness in the lives of those for whom Christ died. This is so because not only did Jesus die for our sins, thereby paying in full our sin debt, He also gave us, by imputation, His righteousness. And this righteousness is where the believer’s boldness comes from. When a born again believer puts his or her working britches on, boldness is in style. As we endeavor to work out the salvation that God gives to us, what will rise to the top is boldness. Boldness manifests how valuable the gospel is to us and energizes us so that we can rise to any occasion which may present an opportunity to glorify God. When the going gets tough (and it surely does), the bold don’t bend, but face contrary winds with the confidence of God’s presence and everlasting, unchanging love.
On the other hand the wicked run scared because they have a guilty conscious and have not found the peace of having no condemnation as a result of Christ’s shed blood and justification by faith. Sin makes cowards of us all. The mood of America today and of a lot of Christians is fear. America’s problem is not racism. America’s problem is righteousness! And when the truth comes out, righteousness is our biggest problem as well. If we harbor sin in our lives or depend on our own righteousness, we can’t serve God because we’re scared of everything. Really, if we wait for all the conditions to be just right, and all the obstacles to be removed before we do anything for God, we probably won’t do anything.
A guilty conscious leaks all the boldness out of our hearts and will leave us worried and worn out. How do you respond when you see a police car when you are driving somewhere? Do you try to justify yourself in a conversation even if nothing is being said to criticize you? Do you feel confidence or peace or do you feel fear and avoidance? Most likely there are enough stored up bad things we’ve done, that a voice inside tells us someone is after us even when they are not. Our conscious creates the pursuer that ought to be there even when he is not there.
One biblical example of the wicked fleeing when no one pursues is Adam and Eve in the garden after they sinned against God.
“And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.” Genesis 3:8
Notice, God was not pursuing nor was He stalking them. He was only walking in His routine of daily fellowship with them, yet Adam and Eve assumed He was after them and wanted to harm them. God was still the same, but they were not, for they had sinned. We don’t have to guess who moved! We all have a conscious given to us by God and our conscious is committed to getting our accounts settled with God—to make things right when we’ve done wrong. A guilty conscious will make up, even create pursuers out of nothing and then try to numb the pain with alcohol, drugs, or forbidden pleasures only to create more guilt and the pursuit of more pursuers.
If we are going to enjoy God, and we surely ought to, we must be bold. Boldness will unlock many closed doors that when opened, will lead to opportunities to serve and glorify Him. Here are three ways we can have boldness in Christ Jesus:
1. Focus on righteousness.
The righteousness that brings boldness is Christ’s righteousness, not our righteousness (We have none!) When your conscious convicts you of sin, go quickly to God and confess your sins. When we do that, God promises to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
2. Find a place to pray.
Prayer is how we commune with God Almighty. Prayer breeds boldness because we are praying in Jesus’ name and for His sake. Hebrews 4:16 says we are to come boldly to His throne of grace to find help in time of need. Recognizing our need and having confidence that God can and will meet that need is the purpose of prayer and the exhibition of boldness.
3. Face your foes with trust in God.
David displayed great boldness when he fought the giant Goliath because of his confidence and trust in God. The three Hebrews faced the fiery furnace and Daniel faced the lions because they knew God was with them. God’s assurance gives us boldness. Boldness may cause us to bleed, but it will be righteous blood, like the righteous blood of Christ which was shed for us. If Christ was bold enough to die for us, shouldn’t we to be bold enough to live for Him?
Bound for Boldness
As travelers in a foreign land,
we Christians should behold
our faithful Lord and Savior whose great hand
The scars are there to prove His love and worth
because of this we do not need to be afraid
as we walk on Earth.
As sinners stained with crimson crud
a Holy God we surely could not know
until Jesus shed His precious blood
and washed us white as snow.
Now we can serve the Lord gladly
doing what we’re told
And best of all His righteousness will surely
make us bold.