And now, Lord, look upon their threats,
and grant to thy servants to speak thy
word with all boldness, while thou
stretchest out thy hand to heal, and signs
and wonders are performed through the name
of thy holy servant Jesus. And when they
had prayed, the place in which they were
gathered together was shaken; and they were
all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke
the word of God with boldness.


For all our talk about getting out with the gospel,

for all the logical reasons we give for lingering within
the safe cover of our church walls, we know that the

real reason for the hesitancy that rules our ministries

is that we're afraid.


So were the apostles.  In the description of Pentecost
in Acts 2, the believers were gathered together in a
house - and that house was safe.


There came a sound from heaven like the

rush of a mighty wind and it filled all

the house where they were sitting.


They were still in that house when split tongues of
fire appeared and burned over their heads. But when
they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to
speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them
utterance, they were moved to go outside that house.


We are told that a multitude came together - that
Peter stood up with the eleven and lifted up his voice.
That didn't happen in the house. The move from the
house to the street was a sign that these men and
women were no longer afraid - suddenly they had be-­
come bold. The direction was no longer in upon
themselves, but out to the world.


When the Holy Spirit entered them, the Word of God
broke out of their mouths - they spoke as the Spirit
gave them utterance. Suddenly words that gave accurate
witness to the glory of the living God came pouring

There was no hesitancy,
no fear,

no self-consciousness.
Words of life just tumbled out.


When this happened, they couldn't stay in the house
any more. They couldn't just sit there saying these
wonderful things to each other. They had to leave the
privacy of their fellowship, go out into the street,
and tell Jerusalem.


Nobody said to them,

''You must preach God's word!

You must get out there in the street!''


They were compelled from within to do these things.
This liberty to speak, this compulsion to come out of
hiding and tell the world, is the very thing which we
lack.  If there's anything that we need in order to
get the job done, it's boldness.


Certainly we have to exhort each other to get out there
and preach the word.


Of course we have to shake ourselves when our fellow-­
ships start getting in-grown and self-centered. We have
to hear the command again and again to go out and preach
the word - in season and out-of-season,

 - when people respond and when they don't. But
we'll never do these things until we have that boldness.


As long as the Word of the living God sticks in our
throats, as long as the only witness that comes out of
our mouths is a feeble trickle of Bible quotes, or a
bluster of Christian platitudes that we picked up second­
hand, then we might as well play it safe and stay in

our buildings and whimper to each other. We have nothing
to say to the world out there.


But when the boldness comes, then the Word of God will
begin to stir in our hearts and to burst across our

lips and we will not only speak to one another in psalms
and hymns and spiritual songs, we will break forth
through the doors of our meeting places and speak to
the world the wonderful works of God.


When the boldness comes, you have to preach the word.
You are compelled from within.


"Woe to me if I preach not the gospel."


It's not the boldness of flesh,

not the boldness of our over-active ego,

not the boldness of ambition, but the boldness
of God.


What has to happen in order for that boldness to come
to us today?


- so that we're delivered from our self-­
consciousness, our critical spirits,
                      our reserve,    

                          our timidity,
                      our fear,
                      our doubt,


- so that these mouths begin to speak as
the Spirit gives them utterance not
only "in the house", but out there,


- so that we're not ashamed to tell the
world about Jesus Christ, crucified,

Some of us seem to think we have to tarry a little longer.
Some of us feel it's entirely up to the Lord. "When

the Lord is ready, He'll give us a Pentecost."


We seem to think we're doing the waiting. Whereas,
in fact, it's God who's doing the waiting. God has
already given us His Spirit. The Spirit of God is now
present with all the power of Heaven breathing over us,
                                                     brooding over us,
                                                     waiting for us, to
bring our lives in line with His purpose so that He can
indeed fill us with the boldness of God.


1.  The boldness of God comes to those who are dead to self.


In the dimension of the holy, the opposite of boldness
is self-consciousness. When I'm self-conscious, I'm
filled with self not with God. I can't be filled with
God until self is dead.


While the boldness of this world may come from a big
ego, the boldness of God comes from a dead ego. So we
have to take our station at the cross once more and see
ourselves up there with our King and die with Him.


"I have been crucified with Christ. It is
no longer I who live......"


"You are dead, your life is hid with Christ
in God."


2. The boldness of God comes to those who are really
walking with God's Son.


Those believers were gathered together on Pentecost,


- not to pursue "the deeper life",

- not to develop themselves spiritually,


but because Jesus told them to tarry in Jerusalem. They
were being obedient to Jesus. They were there because
that's where their walk with Jesus brought them.


God does not pour out His Spirit upon those who make a
hobby out of the Holy Spirit, but upon those who walk
with His Son. Follow Jesus, friend, and you will have
the Holy Spirit and all the boldness that He brings.


If you love me, keep my commandments and
I will pray the Father and he will give
you another Comforter to be with you forever,

even the Spirit of Truth.


Now when they saw the boldness of Peter
and John and perceived that they were

uneducated, common men, they wondered
and they recognized that they had been
with Jesus!


"Keep my commandments. Walk with me, and I will con-
stantly anoint you with power from on high."


3. The boldness of God comes to those who look to
God for it.


Those Pentecost saints did not just receive boldness
and then run off on their way. They continued to look to
God for boldness again and again.


"And now, Lord, look upon their threats

and grant to thy servants to speak thy

word with all boldness."


How come they had to ask again? Didn't they get bold-­
ness on Pentecost? They had to ask again and again.


"And when they had prayed, the place in
which they were gathered together was
shaken and they were all filled with the
Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God
with boldness."


Weren't they already filled? How come they had to be
filled again?


The boldness of God is never something we have as a
possession. It's a river of life in the Spirit that
flows from the throne. So we keep our eyes on the
throne - constantly. We open our mouths and He fills
them with His word.


4.    Finally, boldness comes to those who carry a cross -
to people who accept persecution and rejection for
the name of Jesus as a way of life.


Persecution didn't make Paul bitter - it made him more
bold. Impending death for the name of Jesus didn't

make Stephen turn and run - it made him more bold,
because these men were carrying a cross - that's what
they were here for: to die for the name of Jesus.


We're hardly carrying a cross,


- when fear of losing some friends,

- fear of spoiling our big, bad reputation,
- fear of ridicule,

- fear of rejection,


keeps us from speaking what God has put on our hearts
to speak, or going where God has clearly sent us.


At the root of every excuse we dream up from our cowardice
is the simple fact that we have much to learn about
denying ourselves, taking up our cross daily, and follow­ing

Jesus to Calvary.


"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and lowly of heart."


What is that yoke of Jesus but a cross?


"My yoke is easy and my burden is light",


because it delivers us from fear and timidity.


Of course we're going to be persecuted.
Of course we're going to be despised.
Of course we're going to be slandered.
Of course we're going to be rejected.


Those believers didn't pray, "And now, Lord, look upon
their threats and send down fire from heaven to consume


They prayed, "Look upon their threats and send down

fire from heaven on us that we might speak thy word

with boldness."


The day of the Casper Milktoast Christian is over.


There will be plenty of room for Casper Milktoast in
the church of the anti-christ. But in the Kingdom of
God on earth at this hour, regardless of how shy or
timid we may be by nature, the Lord is calling for
saints who are strong in His might, to proclaim His
word in tongue and life.


He will give us boldness, if we want it badly enough 
to pick up our cross and follow Him.