Bold as Lions
In Colossians 4, Paul instructs us to "Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity", making our conversation both "gracious and attractive" so we will have the "right response for everyone". (NLT)
In a world as confused and twisted as ours, this instruction from Apostle Paul seems easier said than done. With so many ideas floating around that directly contest the truth of Christ, having the "right response for everyone" feels like a pretty lofty commission . . . and sometimes it seems easier--and safer--to just stay quiet.
But the Bible is filled with shining examples of people who couldn't stay quiet. People who were so zealous with the Spirit and on fire for Christ that they didn't care what was easy or safe--they just wanted to spread the Good News.
Peter and John, uneducated commoners, were brought before a prestigious council and spoke out so boldly, so passionately for Christ that all those priests could see that they had spent time with Jesus.
Paul spent years in foreign countries, preaching the gospel fearlessly while risking his life left, right, and centre. Nothing could stop him--not torture, not stoning, not angry mobs, and definitely not fear of the future.
Stephen spoke the truth in the face of death. Jeremiah proclaimed God's message even when no one was listening. Prophets and preachers and princes and shepherd boys from Genesis to Revelation did not let the fear of a wrong response keep them from declaring what was right.
Jesus tells us in Mark 13:11 not to be afraid of speaking out because we don't know what to say. He says, "Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit." The apostles of Christ preached the word with BOLDNESS, and tell us to do the same--to stand for what is right and proclaim the truth, with love for everyone who needs to hear it. If we draw upon the Spirit's guiding, stand upon the Word of God, and fill ourselves with the goodness of Christ, God will show us the right response for whatever we may meet.
We don't need to fear opportunities, or hide from the issues of today. The righteous are bold as lions, after all, and if God is for us, who can be against us?