READ : Philippians 1:12-18
. . . and most of the brothers and sisters . . . dare to speak the word with greater boldness . . . (v. 14)
In the book Help, Garret Keizer tells of a friendly debate he and his wife have about missionary work. His wife, he writes, can see no good in going abroad to seek conversions—“the nerve of it,” she says—while he supposes he still can.
To go into all the world and make disciples for Christ—the nerve of it! It’s a common enough response, and who can deny that we believers have grown timid under its judgment?
For Paul missionary work is not a debatable issue. He is overjoyed that his imprisonment has helped spread the gospel, and that his example has given believers the nerve—or boldness—to speak the word.
To share Paul’s boldness as witnesses we need to be seized, from head to toe, by the magnificence of the gospel.
The hymn The Love of God gives wonderful expression to this magnificence.
Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made;
were ev’ry stalk on earth a quill, and ev’ry man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry;
nor could the scroll contain the whole tho’ stretched from sky to sky. (Frederick M. Lehman)
To be silent about such love would be a dereliction of duty.
Dear God, inspire in us a holy boldness. Amen.