2 Corinthians 3:12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.
Any time I read more than a verse or two of one of Paul’s letters – or any of a number of other places in the Bible, for that matter – I am in a quandary as to what to settle on, because it is so rich. I am reminded of a verse I read just last night, in an online Bible study with a friend: “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” (Psalm 36:9) God’s illumination enables us to see so much more than we ever could on our own. That fits perfectly with the “veil” imagery Paul uses in the verses immediately after this. The thing is, when God shows us stuff we need to act on it. When we know that God has spoken to us, nothing should hold us back. What Paul has just been talking about is what he described to the Colossians as “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27) When we have that hope, we are indeed bold! We aren’t to be needlessly offensive, but “timid” should be the last word to describe us. As Paul wrote to Timothy, “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7) Much of the current ills of society have come because believers have failed to speak out and speak up. We are to be active in proclaiming the kingdom of God, His rule and reign, not as a human “theocracy” but in His will being done in every facet of society. Any thoughtful person can see that would be a far better world than what we face today. We need to recognize the hope that we have and act on it in all boldness, speaking the truth in love but not failing to speak the truth because of a misunderstanding of what love looks like.
Of course I’m preaching to myself here. I have held back from proclaiming the rule and reign of God more times than I care to think about. I have feared people’s reactions, since Biblical views are seldom “politically correct.” I don’t think of myself as timid, but too often I hold back for reasons that are not of God. I too need to focus on my Lord and the hope I have in Him. As the chorus says, “The things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” As a pastor, that’s how I want everyone in my flock to live, but I need to set the example!
Father, thank You for this powerful Word. Thank You that this coming Sunday is Pentecost, and for the message You’ve been incubating in me. I pray that I would indeed proclaim it in all boldness, not holding back in any way, so that Your will may be done fully in and through me and this congregation, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!