Gospel-Centered Pro-Life Podcast
Gospel-Centered Pro-Life Podcast

Episode 116 · 8 months ago

Reaching Out in Boldness

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The Scripture says "The righteous are as bold as a lion!" but we don't always feel bold. We all deal with fear and timidity or with pride and arrogance. In this episode, we talk about how to minister on the sidewalk with a humble confidence that the Bible calls boldness.

I Am Yours, I am yours, I am yours. S and me, Lord, I am yours, I am yours. I'm welcome to the Gospel Center Pray Life Podcast, a podcast designed to equip, encourage and challenge you in pray life ministry, and always with a focus on the Gospel. Stay tuned. I felt show passish, touch your heart, use me well. Welcome back to the Gospel Center pray life podcast. Appreciate you guys joining us and, as always, would appreciate if you guys would share this podcast episode with others who might be blessed, people that you know that are serving, maybe alongside of you on the sidewalk, or maybe you have connections with people in social media that also do sidewalk ministry or that are thinking about doing sidewalk ministry. We think this podcast would be a blessing to them and we hope that this episode will be a blessing to anybody who's listening, and we would like to just be an encouragement. That's that's the goal of these things. We have some experiences. We've been involved in sidewalk ministry for a good while and think we have something we can teach you, guys. May Be learning from our mistakes, and so you guys don't have to make your own mistakes. You can let us make mistakes for you. But we hope to encourage you and we hope this episode, where we're going to be focusing on the subject of boldness, will just in do you with boldness and with courage. So so we're going to jump into it pretty quick right. Yeah, I mean some, some counselors. I train counselors. That's what I do, is I train the sideblock counselors. Some of them come right from the beginning just bold. Yeah, you can tell you you got to hold them back almost from from speaking with authority and boldness, and then some are very, very timid and and will change over time, and then some never seem to quite get that. Yeah, but I do believe it can be developed and, as in all things, the best way to develop any quality or characteristic that's going to be necessary for ministry is through the Bible. Figure it out. What is the Bible? Tell us how how did because it, interestingly enough, the Bible gives great guidance in how to be bold. You know, how to develop that quality of boldness. Yeah, yeah, I think just to preface this. Above and beyond anything, our boldness comes through God's work in us. And there is, I mean, what we definitely do not want to embrace and what we definitely own this podcast do not want to push and encourage people in his pride and like this idea of mean, let's say, self confidence. We should be confident in ourselves as far as what God has done in us and what God is able to do through us. But self reliance, we want to just I mean a whore self reliance. Self reliance is not a Christian quality. We're supposed to rely on the Lord in his work through us, for sure. And so, Hey, we're not talking about pride, we're not talking about you doing everything in your strengths. Matter of fact, that's kind of where our boldness comes from, is doing things in the strength of the Lord. But we are talking about a confidence, a confidence, I mean I think like David. That's that's probably where my mind always goes when I think of boldness and confidence and just kind of that balance between humility and confidence and which the opposite of humility would be pride, right, and then self confidence. You See David, the young shepherd boy with a total boldness and confidence in that whole showdown with Goliath right and even before that, as he's talking to the you know, to the king, and he's talking to the other Army folks that are supposed to be doing something about this Goliath, about this giant, and he really speaks in some what you might perceive to be prideful ways, but you'll notice his language is not one of like self reliance and self confidence, but more of what the Lord like. The Lord delivered the lion in the bared to my hands and he's going to deliver this uncircumcised Philistine into my hands. So he's he's really this is he's putting the ball in the Lord's Court, so to speak, and he knows, he has confidence in what the Lord has done, knowing that God is the same and knowing what the Lord is going to do to this uncircumstance Philistine. So I think about David and that real balance between humility and confidence, and you know, as it translates into really a boldness that this young man shows up on a battlefield with a sling and ultimately takes the sword of that Goliath, that giant, and lops his head off...

...with his own sword. That's that's yeah, that's a story of boldness in action. And then there's a story that you pointed me to when we were talking about this podcast. That is in acts, for yeah, and I had I've certainly been familiar and red acts for many times, but I had never looked at it in you know, kind of broken it apart, looking for what gave Peter and John Their boldness and the fact that boldness is discussed throughout this this chapter of acts, and it was really an interesting exercise to go through and I just broke it apart step by step because I think it is a beautiful validation of what you just said, how we find our boldness in the Lord. But there were some very specific things that are pointed out in that chapter that were true of John and Peter that gave them the boldness that I think just are directly applicable to you if we're volunteering and we desire that boldness, because that that boldness is is an important equipping work of God for a ministry to go like ours, a sidewalk ministry, to go forth. So I mean, look at the look at did different point when make me for I well, you know, I would say the opposite of boldness would would be timidity, and we know that famous passages of scripture, or Paul Tells Timothy. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind, and that word fear could actually be translated timidity. God has not given us a spirit of timidity. Like we shouldn't be timid. Now there's meekness, and we know Jesus is meek, right, he says, learned from me, for I am meek and lowly of heart. Right, but Jesus was not timid. And so there's these words that we use like timid and meek, that that kind of could mean the same thing in some sense, but they don't mean the same thing and it really comes from a confidence and a reliance on the Lord. God has not given us a spirit of timidity. So when we're on the sidewalk in particular, we don't need to be timid, we need to be meek, we need to be humble, for sure, but we don't need to be timid. And listen, you guys that are on the sidewalk, you have to remember that. Of course we're dealing with life and death. We're dealing with people that are eternally lost, like they're separated from God through their sin. Right, and what you have in you, as far as Christ in you, the hope of glory, is what they need. And so, guys, you, what you have to say is important, right, you have no reason to be timid. What you have to communicate to these women, to these men, to the abortion workers, it's vitally important. Right. It's like you've got the cure to the worst sickness that that has ever came across humanity. Right, you've got the cure to it, and so you need to be bold in and really conveying the truth of that cure. WHO IS JESUS CHRIST? So you don't need to be self reliant. We're not talking about self confidence, but we're talking about you've got truth that people need and you need to be confident that that truth is is what God wants them to have. And you know, don't be timid, right, and and and so, to validate that scripturally acts for a so it's right at the beginning, you know, kind of maybe set this stage for what's happening in nacs. For so Peter and John have they've just healed a man who is crippled from birth. It's a miracle, clearly a miracle, and the people are just amazed and they're listening to Peter and John, who are then boldly proclaiming the truth of Jesus resurrection. And the religious leaders and a palace guard are watching this and they're seeing these throngs of people coming to listen to John and Paul and they are Peter and John and they don't like that at all. Yeah, and so they actually arrest them and and then they they arrest them and and and then they bring them to trial in front of the people and tell them that they will let them go but that they must be silent, they can no longer speak the name of Jesus. So that's kind of the backdrop of of what is happening in acts for and right away in acts and eight. Here's the first clue, I think, in why...

...we should have an attitude of boldness, or maybe how we have an attitude of boldness. Yeah, so that first says. Then Peter Filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, rulers and elders of the people, and then he goes on, but the keep the key phrase there. Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit. And that goes back to what you first said, Daniel, that it's not of us, it is not of us that any act of boldness, any words of boldness, proceed out of a heart that is filled with the Holy Spirit. And so I think as a believer will they're there are things you can do to be certain that you are walking in the spirit, and we've said them many, many times. Be In the word, be in church and and be in prayer. Yeah, and so kind of how I would characterize this first section of boldness where we see Peter and John speaking filled with the Holy Spirit. They abided in Jesus and listen to acts for thirteen because I think that that really points that out very explicitly. It says now is they observed. So the the rulers, the and the guards and as there as they're watching John and Peter Speak, they said as they observed the confidence of Peter and John, Um, they understood, they understood that they were uneducated and untrained men. They were amazed, and here's the key point, they began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. Yeah, that's key. Only abide in the Lord, when we abide in Jesus. In their case they were directly with him. We're not in the same way, I guess, physically with him, but we are in a very real sense with him because when we've submitted our lives to him, the Holy Spirit enters us. Yeah, and when we spend time with him in prayer, in and fellowship with other believers in the especially in the word, we're abiding with Jesus. And so significantly did Peter and John Abide in Jesus that these unbelievers knew that they spoke with authority and confidence. And they point out two things that don't give authority or that they perceived from a worldly point of view, does give authority. But they knew that wasn't true. Them Education. They they were uneducated and untrained. They were not trained speakers. Yeah, so I think again that goes back to your original point, that it's not of them or their skills or their talents, but it's of they were with Jesus. They had been with Jesus. Yeah, absolutely, and you notice the word is confidence. The word confidence is used in there now. They observed the confidence of Peter and John. Again, it was not a self confidence, but it was a confidence in their abiding in Christ. Now, the Pharisees, of course, wouldn't have you know, they wouldn't really have articulated in that way. There may be thinking along the terms of, you know, Jesus was this. I mean they have they viewed him as a great teacher. He obviously had a big following, right, and they wondered like how does he know all the stuff that he knows? But they they acknowledge that Jesus knew a lot of stuff. So their thoughts are not that like in a spiritual sense that somehow Jesus is working through them, but more in a practical sense, as Jesus taught them a bunch of stuff, you know. But of course we realize that this is Jesus actually working through them and we realize that this having been with Jesus is more than just Jesus taught them a bunch of stuff, but actually Jesus discipled them in how to walk with God. And that's really he right. They're walking with God. One of the phrases that we often use, and that often use as I'm encouraging people that are new to this ministry and if that are the been in this ministry for a long time, is that you can't give what you don't have. And the people that we encounter at the abortion centers, they don't have Jesus right. They don't know him, they don't have a relationship with him. If they do in some measure, they've obviously walked away from that right. They've turned away from that relationship and they need to be brought back into right relationship with Jesus. What they need is an encounter with Jesus. What they need is a confrontation with the truth of who he is. Right, and we have him in us. Right, he's he says, I will be with you and I will be in you by his Holy Spirit. Right, and so we have what they need. That's why...

...we can be confident again, not in ourselves, not that we have all of the answers, because we don't. Right, we don't got it all figured out. We can't give them every resource to meet every need. But spiritually speaking, if we have the spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead living in us, and according to the Bible we do, then we have ultimately in above and beyond anything else, we have what they need. Spiritually. They need Jesus, and so we need to be like it says in this passage, those who have been with Jesus. We need to be constantly in prayer, we need to be cultivating intimacy with Jesus ourself and we need to be in the word, constantly in the word, seeing what the Bible says about certain things, and the answers that we give, as far as you know, whatever the issue might be, ultimately need to come from the word of God. And the course there's practical stuff, there's resources. You guys know the three talking points right. But if we do all the practical stuff and give all the practical reasons why woman shouldn't have an abortion, you know through resources and through fetal development or whatever, and we leave out this fact that they need Jesus, then we're leaving out the most important thing. And so we've got to be with him. And I'm telling you, as you walk with Jesus, as you're in prayer before you go out to the sidewalk, and you need to be in prayer before you got to the sidewalk, God will give you things to say in the moment. God will help you to know, because we know always know how to respond, and that's why I've said so often on this podcast. If I could give you one key to being effective on the sidewalk, you'd be walk with Jesus, do with these disciples did right. That's right. I'm with Jesus Right, and that flows into the the second thing that kind of progresses in that book of acts about they knew that their authority was Jesus, not men, and so the leaders are kind of flummox they don't know, what are we going to do about about these these people that we can't control, and they've got all these followers and they're saying all this's crazy stuff that's turning them away from us and our beliefs. So they they're going to release them because they really can't hold them. They had not committed a crime. But but you know, they tell them you must not speak or teach in in the name of Jesus, and I that to me is like how many times have we heard that on the sidewalk that, in fact, we did a podcast about that. The people turning around and saying, shut up, stop talking to me, you're making me feel bad, don't talk about God, and we'll hear it all the time. I don't even believe in God. To stop talking about Jesus. But look at Peter and John's response, because it was a similar thing that they were told from the leaders. Will let you go, but stop talking about Jesus. Yeah, here's what x hundred nineteen says. But Peter and John answered and said to them whether it is right, in the sight of God, to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge. Yeah, they're saying, we follow God, we're going to heed God, not men. They understood what the proper authority that they needed to submit to was, and we, of course, are under that same authority. You're submitting to the Lord and he is clear, which we have talked about so many times, that we are called to speak for those babies. Yeah, absolutely, we are to rescue those being led away to death and we are to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. So if we're being told be silent, we we can't, because that would be heeding men rather than God when God has told us that we are to speak. Yeah, yeah, and you kind of touched on it from kind of like the individuals going into the abortion center telling us to shut up and not to talk or whatever, and of course pro aboords telling us to shut up, not talk, and I won't go on a rabbit trail with this, but certainly I think we realize more and more in this day and age that the government, the government, coming in city government's, state governments or whatever, trying to pass laws and trying to make it illegal for us to be on the sidewalk things like that, is something we need to consider. I mean, we dealt with that with the whole coronavirus back in early part of two thousand and twenty, when they basically told us we couldn't be at on the sidewalk or we couldn't be out in front of the abortion center's praying, and of course we defied that because we knew that we have a mandate to speak for those that can't speak for themselves, and if they're letting the abortion center be open and kill babies, then we need to be there. If...

...what they do inside of that abortion center is considered essential, then certainly what we do and what we're called to is essential. Right. And Yeah, we said that and we made that stance. Took that stance with confidence and really with this attitude. You, state of North Carolina, because that's who we're dealing with at the time or city of Charlotte. You you judge yourselves whether it's right that we obey you rather than God. We're going to play God, basically. Yeah, and for a new councilor I think most of the time, I think where someone struggling with boldness is the cint their new oftentimes they're new, you're young, or combination of the both. But what I would advise, that is something you can do is know the scripture. Scour the scripture, find the biblical commands that support you being out there on the sidewalk because, if you know it is your authority, Jesus is saying you need to be there. Now, he's not going to say the sidebox of abortion centers, but he's going to be clear that we're to speak for those who can't speak and to protect the vulnerable and hold back those being led away to death. So the principles are certainly there and if you know that, you know what scripture says, you can be more confident in then standing firm, yeah, for what God has called you to do. On the other hand, if you don't, if you don't know what scripture says, you're probably not going to be real confident or you're going to easily lose your confidence and believe what the world is telling you. Yeah, absolutely, and if our desire in our calling to be on the sidewalk at the abortion centers comes from anything other than the word of God, it's a shaky foundation. You know, we've talked about this before, the motivations of the heart. If you're if you're motivated by, you know, a political persuasion and that's why you're on the sidewalk, you're going to be shaken. You have to be able and you know, if we just dealt with something here in California recently, there was a law that was passed by governors, governor newsome here, and it look like initially there was some concerns that you couldn't hand out brochures within a hundred feet of the entrance of an abortion center. Now it's not actually what the language was, but it could could have been construed in some people and just reading it in a cursory way, it look like it could have been construed to say that, thank God it's not and it doesn't really affect what we're doing. But it is that. I was telling our people here locally, any of these laws that they pass that have anything to do with being at the abortion center really had to do with filming people and taking pictures of people that are going in, like taking pictures of abortion patients and posting those online or threatening to post those online and expose people for having abortions and stuff. We don't do that. It's not something we do. It's not something we see to be what God has called us to do, and so it's not a concern for us. But what I'm saying is, as they pass more and more of these like really freedom of speech laws and things like that, it is these are incremental steps from the pro abortion side because ultimately they want us off the sidewalk. They don't want us out there. They wanted to be like, I think in Canada they've got some laws where you can't be within a hundred feet of an abortion center. In Australia, I know we've got some connections with folks there. I think you have to be, I don't even know, three hundred meters away from an abortion center if you're going to be, quote, protesting. There's going to be a point, I believe, and less God brings US sends us revival in this nation where we're going to be told it's illegal to be out there on the sidewalk. And again, this is a little bit of a rab it true, but we need to have boldness and confidence, because if our confidence is just in you know, we've called ourselves into this ministry and we don't really have a solid foundation of the word of God like the disciples did. Hear they had a solid foundation with Jesus told them. So they could with confidence defy the governing authorities because they had someone's word who spoke more authoritatively than their word, like the Pharisees, the Sadducees, that sanhedrink council. They had authority for sure, but the disciples knew that the authority they were under was higher than the authority of these people. And we need to know what we're doing, and I think this is maybe a key to this thing, to boldness really, is to know that we're operating under an authority that's higher than any other authority. Right, operating under an authority, the Authority of Jesus Christ, that's higher than government authorities, that's higher than you planned parenthood or the abortion center with their authority is and of course, the authority of any other entity. Right, and so that's really, I think, where we get our boldness from is that we know with confidence whose authority were operating under. I go back to David as. He was a shepherd boy.

He knew whose authority he was operating under. Right, he was operating under the authority of the Living God, and he knew he would have victory because of that. Yeah, so the disciples not only knew who was their authority, they knew script and and they believed it and they knew that it pointed to Jesus. Yeah, but they also had a community of believers, and I think that's one of the next key point. That's that comes through in acts four of why they were so bold. They just been arrested. Jail was not a pleasant place back in those days. They didn't have televisions enough, you know, and and gourmet meals or windows with the sun streaming through. So right after their release, you know what they did and and I guess I never really noticed this, they they went to their companions, the the verse tells us, and we're meeting. Basically they did. But but don't get ahead of me in a prayer, because we've got that's actually different. me let me read the the verse first. It's in as four hundred and twenty three. When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported all that that the chief priests in the elders had said to them. So I think this is a very, very important point. Jesus always sends us out at least in groups of two for any kind of ministry. Right. Well, there's all kinds of reasons for that, but one reason is when we're going through trials or any kind of persecution, when you're all alone, it's a whole lot harder to endure. Absolutely. But if you have companions, people you can go to, you can you can tell them what happened, you can be encouraged and and edified and held up by them it, it makes it easier to stand firm have that group supporting you. So a supportive community is so critical and you can build that. You know, applying that to sidewalk ministry. We do it with we have a personal facebook group for our community of volunteers. We have a group email where we contact them, we have ongoing group training, we do get togethers and then we've got the actual team structure for each day, where there's a team lead that's staying in touch with every member so that there is always a community that we can go to to be maybe to complain a little sometimes and how to talk about what we've been through, where we know we're going to be with people who understand and who who will support us. Yeah, yeah, I would say we have technology in this day and age that lets us do things that these folks couldn't do. Yeah, they went because, you know, that's what they had at their disposal, to gather together in set a prayer meeting. Yeah, we've got social media and though facebook may be a horrible thing in a lot of ways it is and social media can be a horrible distraction, some of the things that we've found, one of the really, I think, important aspects of social media for us is that connection that we have. We have a secret group, like you mentioned, that is just in Charlotte, and each of our cities are have this or are forming this. There's some kind of way that only people that are on the sidewalk can really converse with each other and it kind of you know, it's exclusive, right, and it's exclusive on purpose because that context on the sidewalk is so unique and you could say some things in a public setting that people just wouldn't understand, like they just they they're not picking up what you're laying down. But you say it into a group of people that are minister on the sidewalks and like they know exactly what you're talking about and there's a certain encouragement that can come right. There's a certain way that we can encourage each other that maybe wouldn't be encouraging for other people in other ministerial settings, right. And so that secret facebook group just seeing on a regular basis what God is doing. So just so you guys know how we structure our teams. You know, we've got our sidewalk teams. That the latrobe abortion center in particular, because they're open six days a week. We have a Monday team, a Tuesday team, Wednesday team, so forth and so on. Then we have a as we're building this. So you guys pray for us on this. You want to build afternoon teams. So we'll have a Monday morning team and a Monday afternoon team. Each of those teams will have a team lead and so that person and has some responsibilities and all that stuff. But that team they converse with each other, they encourage each other for the stuff that happens on Monday. Right the Tuesday team, there's some unique things that happen on Tuesdays and so they they encourage each other. They're intentional. I think they've...

...have like text groups or whatever, and then we've got that group where all of the people that volunteer. The team leads and all the people that volunteer can just talk. But the Monday team will share on Monday, when they're done with ministry, just a quick little summary of what happened out there and that's a way for you know, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and the other teams to see what God's doing on Monday. It's just a way to build that camaraderie. It's a way to share our burdens. You know, maybe the Tuesday team experience some kind of, I don't know, explosive situation with one of the pro boards or some like something like that. I think a couple of weeks ago there was a situation with one of the police officers who's kind of a knucklehead that was causing some problems and in one of the teams put some videos out there. We're able to kind of talk around that, encourage each other all for some advice and things like that, and that's really it speaks to that community of believers. Now I will say, above and beyond anything, you need to be in church. You need to be in a community of believers within a local church, the church chair, you need to be in that. No doubt about it. You should be. I think if, especially if it's a huge church, you probably need to have a small group within that church or something, people that you can really connect with. You, as they say, do life with right. We need to have people that we can commune with on that on that level. Beyond that, though, if you're doing sidewalk ministry, you need to have some way to communicate on a regular basis with people that are also doing sidewalk ministry because, again, there's some particular things that some encouragements that can come from people that know that setting, that know that ministry, that other people just can't give to you. Some challenges that you face, questions that you ask that other people that are not involved in this ministry really just don't know anything about. So that community of believers is really important. It is really important, and they make that clear and act for but I think they it is doubly important when you're in ending kind of ministry where you're going to face persecution, and this is a ministry of persecution, constant persecution. You're going to be taunted, threatened, terrible language, things thrown at you, car swerving to hit you, whatever. It's daily, it's regular. You Are we calling the Ministry of rejection. Right, people aren't for these things that you're angry with it. Now, that doesn't happen all the time, that people throw things at you, but it can't happen from ten from from time to time. But one of the most potentially discouraging things is when people just playing ignore you. Right, that's the Ministry of rejection. You're being rejected, and so that that can be discouraging as well, which, again, we all experience that. If you're in the sidewalk and you can encourage each other in line of that, that's right. So, so it is a ministry of persecution and when there is persecution, people who are being similarly persecuted are the ones you're going to want to go to. That community of people who are going to understand. But, and now you can talk about what you were going to talk about. They also prayed. It became a prayer session. I'll read the verse and then you can talk about that, because it's also key, a key element of boldness, and I don't think I've ever seen a verse that points that out more clearly than this one. Acts and thirty one, so it said. And when they had prayed, so they meet together, they gathered, they basically complain, they tell him what happened when they were arrested and what they were told. And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. A key on back to our original question. How do you get filled with Holy Spirit? Will, apparently, prayer. They plays a big part in that. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. So isn't that interesting? It was persecution, gathering with the Community of believers and then prayer, and the result they were able to speak the word of God with boldness. Yeah, yeah, ultimately it's calling on the Lord right when you experience friction, rejection, persecution out there on the sidewalk whatever it might be, you need to be individually, certainly lifting up your prayer to the Lord, saying God, you know, like they did in this in this particular passage, or like Lord, you see their threats and and all of this and they kind of lay it out and then of course the Lord shows up. So maybe be doing that individually, certainly, but also have some times of corporate prayer together, and I would say again, you know it's not always easy to do that. I'm trying to do that here in southern California as we're meeting together on Sunday evenings, just kind of opening up our home here and just inviting everybody to come who's a part of love life here in southern California and let's just have a time to worship and pray together. And that's that's the point here, as I want. I want us to be praying for each other, wants to be encouraging each other. But maybe you don't have...

...that where you're at. Maybe it's just you serving on the sidewalk and there aren't a lot of other folks around you to be able to call a prayer meeting like that. Ask Your Pastor put it before your pastor and say hey, would you be willing to encourage the church, maybe put it in the bulletin or whatever, to be praying for the ministry and just get folks praying for you and God's going to God's going to move, God's going to give you boldness. Maybe he'll through that prayer and that request for a prayer in your congregation, maybe your small group that you meet with on a regular basis. They're not, maybe involved on the sidewalk or whatever. You're praying that they would. But put this out to them, put this out your struggles, you're the stuff you're facing, and just have them pray over you, lay hands when you and pray over you and you'd be surprised at how God feels you with boldness for the battle. Yeah, and then I think also reframing the idea of persecution as being a bad thing. It's actually, in many ways, a very good thing. You're not going to be persecuted if you're of no threat to Satan. Specifically, if you're not a threat, he'll let you go your married way. Yeah, so if not only are you being persecuted because you are a threat to what Satan is trying to make happen, the death of a baby and the destruction of these people's souls. But persecution can also lead you to be ultimately strengthened as you go to that community of believers, as you engage in prayer, as you go back to scripture to help shore you up. Yeah, you're ultimately bolder and strengthened in your faith, and so persecution is, in many ways kind of a almost a good thing. Yeah, yeah, I mean it's not fun. No go through no, nobody. I was talking to a lady here in California who's experiencing some, actually some, some rejection in her family for her stand and for her being involved, even on the sidewalk, and I was just encouraging her. You know, when you when you surrendered your life to Jesus, you made a commitment to him, Lord, I will serve you all the days of my life, and he made a commitment to you, and his commitment to you was not just to take you to heaven. That's sort of a brought by product. God's commitment to you, and you became a Christian, was to make you more like Jesus, and you are never more like Jesus than when you are being rejected. You look at the Ministry of Jesus and I'll certainly he walked in victory, he walked in intimacy with the father. So that those things, that's that's being like Jesus. But also he was rejected and misunderstood. And if you're going to be like Jesus and God's gonna grow you to be more and more like his son, then you're going to experience rejection and it's a way for you to grow. Now your reaction to that rejection is what really determines whether or not you grow right. If you just complain and you just withdrawal, because that is the temptation when we're rejected on the sidewalk, you know, we could temptationism. I'm not going back out there. There's people don't want me out there. The people are obstinate, they're not listening, so I'm just not going back out there. Well, of God called you to there. He didn't change his mind. So you need to be faithful and take that rejection before the Lord, bring it before other believers that can be praying for you and and let God teach you to be more like Jesus through it. Yeah, now the the acts for believers had something that appears to have been maybe even different than than what we have now, but they seem to be very unified and I think that that is a key point in that community of believers being as strong as they can possibly be, in supporting individuals that are in ministry and supporting each other and in building and growing the church is being unified. And and saw read you the the passage, the couple of verses that that talk about that, and maybe we can talk about how why they were so unified and how that was useful and maybe how we as as the church, can work more towards unity. But in acts for thirty two to thirty three, it says, and the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and not one of them claimed that anything, anything belonging to him, was his own, but all things were common property to them. I do not think this is a treatise on communism, but I do think it. I do think it is talking about the prob make that good is there into communism and with great power the apostles. It comes after, by the way, talking about this unity, notice the next phrase. And with great power the...

...apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. So there was something very important about that und of the believers that they were of one heart and one soul and they recognize that everything they had basically didn't belong to them. Yeah, it belonged to the Lord. It was all from the Lord and it was all to be given back to the Lord. So that that unity when when we are one in Christ. You know, you've heard there's so many kind of slogans. United we stand, divided we fall. A house divided against itself will not stand. Those are also biblical verses. Yeah, but there's so many verses that talk about unity of the body. Yeah, that's where we find a community that is most going to be able to stand around us and give us boldness. Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. And you know, I know that we're speaking to people who are in cities, who are in cities where love life is and there is a group that's there with you, people that are served alongside you. Maybe a small group it, maybe a bigger group. But then also we're speaking to people who maybe just starting prolife ministry, who maybe not a part of love life or whatever reason, and they're just starting and maybe you're by yourself, and so it's hard to kind of imagine. We're talking about unity, we're talking about the body of Christ, this community of believers working together, and you're not seeing that as far as prolife ministry is concerned. And so I want to speak to that real quick and just encourage you that, yes, you may not have a team yet, they can share these burdens, but that's why you need to be a part of a local church, because you can still share your burdens. Even though there is a unique aspect to this ministry, it's not so unique that other people, other believers in Jesus, can't relate to it. You need to be in close fellowship with other believers and get encouragement from other believers. And you'd be surprised again, as you put these prayer requests out to people and you have people praying for you. You know, I knew, I think Trese, who's our missionary in Washington. She's got a small team there, but she also has a team of people praying for her. So, even though they're not on the sidewalk, she asked people within her church and with an in other congregations. Can you be praying while we're out there, and that is kind of helping build a unity in that camaraderie. Even though they can't be out there on the sidewalk, she's got people behind her that are praying that that unity is there and that's powerful. I actually did that myself as I was here in California. We're in kind of a little uncommon scenario for our family. We're not used to being out here on the left coast, you know, and there's some challenges and stuff and certainly anytime we step out and obey God there's challenges. And so I reached out to some brothers that I know, that I trust and that I know will be serious about praying for me and assembled myself a prayer team. These are brothers that are not necessarily involved in this type of ministries. Matter of fact, I don't think any of them are involved in this type of ministry, but they're involved in ministry in some capacity, and so I reached out, Hey, will you pray for me on Monday? Will you pray for me on Tuesday? Just five, ten minutes a day, just focused prayer, and so I simpled a prayer team for our ministry out here, for what God's called us to here in southern California. And I'm telling you, I have experienced since since that was in place, I have experienced some victories that I was not seeing before and just encouraged by what the Lord is doing. So that's a way get creative, in the ways that you get people connected kind of with you and encouraging you along, because you need that encouragement that comes from being unified with the body of Christ. Yeah, and and of course the danger for any group is that there will be bickering, backbiting, gossip and disunity. Yeah, even disagreement, which we do see in the book of acts. There are disagreements that occur at different times. They and sometimes they're handled well and sometimes they're not. I think we did a podcast on dealing with if there's disunity, how to do with that. Yeah, I mean you see it the next chapter, that six. Accept six is when basically the there was some confusion or disunity over the distribution of, apparently food for widows. So yes, right, the Helena is widows were being neglected, and so there's this this whole thing. This is right after this awesome unity and where the building is shaken because they all pray together, and just how they can call apart right, I mean, yes, right after this, what people say is communism kind of took place, which is not this. People...

...willfully giving up their goods. By the way, communism is not that. But after this awesome display of unity, nobody considered their stuff to be their own right, and then a couple of chapters later, here they are fighting over these widows getting neglected, and so, yeah, this unity can creep in. It's yeah, I mean it's a human propensity to kind of be selfish and think about ourselves and and not strive for unity. And so we do need to be intentional about striving for unity. But again, that all comes from us. We need to be in the word of God. God will confront us. Well, we're not walking in love toward our other brothers and sisters that either were serving with or maybe we're not serving with. God will confront us right, gotta Gott'll show us in his word and in our time with him that we're not doing what's right and he'll correct us. And we're unified around the truth of who God is that's found in his word. That's right and you can't control if others are going to cause division or be gossips or whatever, but you can control yourself and and save gotta you know you be. You be as much as you can. You be a source of unifying as opposed to divisiveness, and that goes a long way towards solving that problem of disunity. But another way, I think, to to be unified as the community is to keep your eyes on the goal. Keep your eyes on the goal, keep your focus where it where it needs to be, and in in acts, going back again at the beginning of acts. But it is because of all these other things that we have gone through. This is the result when we do all these things, when we are filled with the Holy Spirit in prayer, in community, unified, bold because we know the scriptural underpinnings that have commanded us us to be bold. And in that verse it said but many of those who had heard the message believed and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. I mean that's an enormous revival in in because of their boldness and that they had all of these things in place that we talked about. There were five thousand people brought to the Lord through through their bold message, through their proclamation. So, Um, you know, if we keep our eyes on what the goal is and and we remember all of these things that we've talked about in the in this podcast, it amazing miracles can happen. And we sometimes think the goal is saving babies lives, and that might be in a way, it's almost a byproduct, but the that's not the overarching goal. The true goal, the you know, the most important goal, yeah, which is supportant claim, is the glorified Jesus and, as you're about to say, proclaim his word. Yeah, and then he does the he does the baby saving. That's word doesn't return void and it goes forth and babies are saved, souls are saved, and you know that that is the goal. Glorified Jesus, that is and a great kind of closing verset. That that I found in Psalm when I did a weird study of bold was from Psalms one hundred and thirty eight, verse three. On the day I called, you answered me, you made me bold with strength in my soul. I can reiterating what we've said all along. It is it is God, ultimately, that that gives us the boldness that we need. We need it. You know he'll give us what we need. Amen. Amen. Yeah. Well, guys, we hope that this podcast was an encouragement to you. We hope that it encourages you to be bold, to be confident in the Lord, not in the flesh. And so, if this was a blessing to you, as we encouraged you at the very beginning, share this podcast episode with other folks. If you have questions or maybe other subjects you'd like for us to cover, we'd love to hear from you. You can reach out to me, Daniel at Love Life Dot Org, and reach her, Vicki a love life dot Org. We'd love to hear from you, and also consider leaving us a review. Maybe you're using apple podcast or some other podcast service. Leave us a good review, five stars, if you think we deserve it, and that would be a tremendous blessing to us. But until next time, God bless got that shall give me our love for love, give me...

...our love for gratitude. I know it will cost me my life. Nothing's too precious in some you.

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