Be Fearless

I think we have to come clean and admit that, sometimes at least, we are discouraged from

  • being the best we can be,
  • finding our true purpose in life,
  • and making a difference in our families and the world

because it just doesn’t jive with the politics, institutions, and culture that ‘call the shots’ in our lives.
I am reading Acts 4 and, as the pastor of a new church start, I am immediately inspired by verse 4 which says, “many of those who heard the word believed; and they numbered about five thousand”. That’s what I want!!! I want thousands of folks to be inspired enough by Barnegat Anew to believe in the possibility that God has something great in store for them.

But then… I am sobered, by the verses immediately before verse 4:

While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them, much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead. So they arrested them and put them in custody…

Back in the day… reaching out to people with the Christian message landed people in jail… or worse! Why? Well, the short answer is that encouraging people to trust in the power and destiny of God upset the status quo… it made people think twice about putting their trust in politics, institutions, and culture. And if we look around us today we see not much has changed: politics, institutions, and culture still command our allegiance over and against being the most faithful, truthful, and healthy people we can be.

That doesn’t mean ‘the church’ has all the answers… far from it! And it doesn’t mean the world we live in is all bad… no way! But, what it does mean is that, in both little and big ways, we may be sidetracked from becoming the best we can be because we fear to make others “much annoyed”. So, what do we do? We can get a clue by reading a little further in Acts 4… when confronted by the ‘officials’ Peter and John just pointed to the results that faith had in the lives of those they worked with… and we read… no one had anything to say in opposition.
Be fearless!