Sunday, July 3, 2016

Bold. Are you?

BOLD.
Adjective.
1. (of a person, action or idea) showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous.
          Synonyms: daring, intrepid, brave, courageous, valiant, valorous, fearless, dauntless.

Would you consider yourself daring? brave? courageous? fearless? BOLD? And if you do, what kind of BOLD are you? Are you a bright, fluorescent, neon BOLD? Or maybe a light lavender BOLD?


And what could make you consider yourself BOLD? Maybe you are someone who likes to take risks. Maybe you like to wear palm tree capris with a bright coral shirt. Maybe you are the first one to speak up when a situation arises with your friends or family. Maybe you have taken a stand and fought for a cause. 


Whatever your reason, I have the ultimate BOLD move for you. Do you think you are ready? Picture this: 

It is Friday night. You have had a long week with the ups and downs of life. You came home, threw off your clothes and put on your PJs. Pizza has been ordered. You are now ready to plop down on the couch and catch up on all your shows you DVR'd through the busy week. As you are about halfway through the latest episode of The Big Bang Theory, you hear something. You aren't sure that you really heard what you heard. It was faint, but you think to yourself...Did I really just hear God tell me to get up now and follow him? What do you do? How BOLD are you in that moment? Do you get up or shake your head and turn your focus back to your TV, brushing it off as delirium from a crazy week? 

Ok, ok. I know... that's not how it really works. Though, we have read in the Bible that Jesus told his disciples something similar. In Luke 9:23 (NKJV), Jesus says... "...If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." But what does that really mean? 

I'm sure we have all heard the phrase, "well that's the cross I have to bear," when referring to hardships in life. But, I have read that the cross, in Biblical times, symbolizes death. I know what you are thinking ... "So Shell, we are supposed to pick up 'death' daily?" No. its symbolic. See, we were made by God. We were made with a purpose. God has a plan for each and everyone of us. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that -- "For I know the plans," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 

Knowing that, what do we still do? Right... we make plans. We decide our career path in life, we decide who we want to marry, how we want to spend our free time, etc. Do we always seek God in the things that we do? Unlikely. 

By picking up the cross (death), we are being told to put our plans to death and follow HIS will. HIS way. HIS purpose for our life. With that in mind, lets read the verse again:

 "...If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."

So ... if you want to give your life to Christ, you will follow Him by denying yourself and taking up the cross (killing the plans that you selfishly made for yourself and follow His plans for you). And -- don't leave out the word daily.

Every single day, when you wake, you are to thank God for your new day and then give your life over to him -- let him guide you and use you for HIS purpose. Live each day for HIM. Let him shine a light so bright in you that all of your friends will need to wear sunglasses!

That, my friends, is the true definition of the word BOLD. It is taking a risk, giving up your life, being brave and courageous -- for Jesus. It is not being stuck in the worldly ways, but doing all things through Him. 

Let me ask you again... Are you BOLD?

Remember... "And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple." - Luke 14:27 (NKJV)

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