Matthew 10:26-33 (click to view Scripture below)
Our reading today overflows with the kind of boldness that comes with the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not a boldness that springs naturally from a someone’s personality. This is a courage that arises as we become convinced that the Holy Spirit’s power truly can go beyond all challenges to our Lord’s authority.
Early in ChildHope’s work in Nicaragua that country experienced a tragic civil war. Many ChildHope schools were established in the middle of the most violent settings. I remember visiting a small rural school and church that had certainly been tested by fire. This project was literally at the end of the road. I was told an incredible story of what happens when the boldness of the Holy Spirit becomes a reality.
The pastor of the church was preaching one Sunday when soldiers burst in. They threatened the members with death if they did not leave the church and allow it to become a battle headquarters. The pastor was a tiny man but stood boldly facing the shouting officer who was leading the soldiers. He looked the officer in the eye (he had to look up to do so) and declared, “Thus says the Lord, we will not leave this house of God. If you (the soldiers )will not leave now, be prepared for our Lord to strike you dead.” Tension filled the church as members and soldiers wondered what would happen. But the pastor would not back down and repeated his courageous declaration despite the gun pointed at his head. The officer who had made his threats suddenly turned around and ordered his soldiers to leave and never returned. This church and school were spared further violence.
The kind of boldness in this story is not a personality trait. It is clearly a gift from God. This decades old story is powerful, but the civil strife of the past is, sadly, again a current reality in Nicaragua.
Vice President, ChildHope
Prayer: Lord, would you empower our teachers and pastors in these violent regions. Give them boldness that comes from heaven itself. Let them acknowledge Jesus publicly so that you will speak their names and empower them and acknowledge them to your Father!
26 “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And 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. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.