“Mommy, can I take my Bible to school today?” Nine words that brought both delight and concern to my heart. Delight that my then-10-year-old darling would love Jesus enough to take Him to school with her in leather-bound form. Concern because I knew that love would breed persecution, which I wasn’t sure she was yet ready to fully understand.
So I did what any good parent would do. I said, “Of course you can take your Bible to school. Remember, Jesus’ words are in red.” Then I prayed for the prophetic youngster and sent her off to the public school system with a homemade lunch in one hand and the Word of God in the other. Knowing I wouldn’t be there to protect her—and not knowing what devil she might face when she opened the Good Book during the after-school care program—I committed her to the Lord’s covering and believed for the best.
Do you know what happened? (This is the cool part.) Within 15 minutes of the school bell ringing, she had assembled a small youth group that was quite intent on hearing her declare what Jesus had to say about attitudes, money and other issues they deal with on an everyday basis. One little boy, she later told me, was even taking notes. It was a bona fide Bible study—and then it happened. One of the teenaged counselors barged in on the peaceful gathering, shrieking, “Put that book away! You might offend somebody!”
Not fazed by the unwelcome interruption, my bold young daughter continued to read. Rebellious? No, the head of the program, also a Christian, had already given her express permission to read the Bible to her curious playmates. Indeed, it was the devil-inspired teenaged counselor who was rebelling against authority by insisting the Holy Ghost campus meeting come to an abrupt end. So my daughter continued reading…until she had to use the restroom. When she returned, the counselor had put her Bible away. So what did my little angel do? Of course, she pulled it back out and kept right on reading. Hallelujah!
My daughter didn’t truly understand what was happening, but the Spirit of God in her saw it for what it was and empowered her to speak the World boldly. That’s just what we should be doing in the face of opposition to our inclusion of Jesus in everyday public life. It seems to me that far too many people are concerned that Christians are offending co-workers, classmates and others with the gospel of the kingdom, while relatively few seem concerned about offending Christians with their secular humanism, New Age philosophies and potty mouths.
Christian living demands prayers for boldness and emboldened prayers. It demands speaking and acting boldly. Like Peter and John, people should be able to see our boldness and marvel, knowing that we have been with Jesus (Acts [4:13]). They should be able to recognize the Lion of the tribe of Judah in us. If you look up variants of “bold” in your handy-dandy concordance, you will quickly discover that the use of words like “bold,” “boldly” and “boldness” in the King James Version are almost always—yes, almost always—used in conjunction with on-fire believers.