They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority. (Luke 4:32 NIV)
In the last post, part 1 of the Speak Boldly posts series, We discussed that how we say something is often as important as what we say. We determined that one of the significant way that Jesus shows us how to Speak Boldy is for correction and accountability. For full post, “Speak Boldly (1): Call ’em Out.” Today, as we continue to dive into our acts of bold speech lets look at the most prevalent way that Jesus demonstrates boldness. He challenges.
As influencers, we have a responsibility to leverage our influence and speak boldly into the lives of those within our sphere. Challenging those around us is one way that God loves to operate through us that have devoted our voices to Him. I have even noticed often that God’s challenges to me often come through people who are not His servants. There are countless instances where someone not in the faith has pointed out an inconsistency between my words and my actions. Those challenges spur me forward so fiercely. Mainly due to my evangelistic mindset. I know that if non-Christians look at me and they see an “off-Gospel” lifestyle. They receive from me an “off-Gospel” message, despite how biblical my speech.
Even though God uses the ungodly to challenge, the most appropriate source of challenge is Jesus Christ himself. All throughout the scriptures, Jesus challenges what the Jews know to be true about a godly lifestyle. He challenges their interpretation of the law in word and deed. He challenges their strict obedience to the law, but lack of love. He challenges their evangelism, with the great commission. He challenges their giving, forgiveness level, and their grace all together.
In short, the life of Jesus, essentially, was one big challenge. He represented a challenge to the day’s authority, to tradition, to darkness. He was determined to not allow God’s people to sit comfortably. He said, Go…Follow…Come… He was determined to shake things up with bold words and actions. He would not allow their faith to sit and congeal. He came and stretched. A big part of His mission was to push ’em forward.
“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” Mark 16:15
Here we are today. We have a society that is getting comfortable, including in many ways, each of us. We have our routines, our traditions. Just as Jesus spoke countless challenges to the Jews of His day, he wrote them in His word as a challenge to us and our world today. As someone who has been granted people that listen to your voice, you are now being challenged to use it. Please challenge with your lifestyle, as well as with words, or you, in effect, silence your own voice. But Speak Boldy, Speak Now. Challenge those that settle for less. Challenge those that are set in their ways. Challenge your team to step up and step out. Challenge not for the sake of challenge, but for the sake of the Gospel. A God as loving and almost as equally maligned, deserves to have voices stirred up to challenge the darkness.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-15
Your team depends on YOU. Many of them will never move until you challenge them.
They need YOU to “Push ’em Forward.”
In the next Blog Post we will discuss a third way that we are shown by Jesus to – – – Speak Boldly: Lift ’em Up