The Gift of Boldness and Confident Access
Think back to elementary school. Did you ever get called up to the teacher’s desk for a one-on-one meeting? Not a disciplinary confrontation, mind you, just a “please come here I want to talk with you” meeting. Generally, there were two opposite responses from the room full of pupils. One student would sheepishly approach the front of the classroom, head hanging low, feet shuffling along, fearful. Another student would stride confidently, chin up, eyes fixed on the teacher’s eyes. The first lacked confidence, the second acted boldly.
Our next Advent gift is found in Ephesians 3:12, the gift of boldness!
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. (Ephesians 3:12 NIV). The word “confidence” can be translated “boldness” or even “cheerful courage.”
Someone once asked the question “What was the difference between the disciple Peter at Passover and Peter at Pentecost?” It was 50 days… and there was a 180 degree change in Peter. Recall at Passover, Peter was afraid, he acted cowardly, even lying to a young girl about his connection with Jesus. At Pentecost, in Acts 2, he boldly proclaimed the Gospel on the steps of the Temple for all in Jerusalem to hear. And over 3,000 responded to his sermon and were baptized that day! What was the difference? He was filled with the Holy Spirit!
Jesus, through His Holy Spirit, gives us boldness to proclaim the Gospel… and also to approach the Father in Heaven to ask Him for whatever we need.
Why can we do that? In the old days, man needed a mediator to go between him and Holy God. No longer, thanks to the grace of Jesus! You may recall that the moment Jesus died, the Holy of Holies in the Temple became accessible to everyone. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Matthew 27:51 (NIV). We now have access to the throne of God, and today’s scripture says we can have “confident access” (Ephesians 3:12 NASB).
So, ask. Receive. And boldly proclaim, with confidence. And we have such confidence, because, as the writer of Hebrews notes in Hebrews 10:23, “He who promised is faithful.”
Be encouraged to use this great gift this Advent, the gift of being able to go directly to the LORD of Lords, the King of kings.
Father God, we are grateful for this gift of being able to pray directly to you. Thank you, Jesus, for tearing the veil away from the Holy of Holies. Holy Spirit, give us the boldness to proclaim the love of the Gospel. For your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
(c) 2011. Rich Ronald