Acts 9:26 When (Saul) had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 So he went in and out among them in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He spoke and argued with the Hellenists; but they were attempting to kill him. 30 When the believers learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. 31 Meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was built up. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
In this passage Saul (who would become known as the apostle Paul) is introduced to the Christians in Jerusalem. They remember Saul as a persecutor of Christians so they don’t accept him right away, but Barnabas vouches for him. I’d probably be suspicious as well If I were in their shoes. The part that gets my attention this morning is the second part of v.27 in which Barnabas says of Saul that he “had spoken boldly in the name of the Lord”.
There was a time in my ministry when I spoke much more boldly about Jesus. Somewhere along the way I lost that, but I sense the Lord encouraging me to circle back to it. There is something powerful that happens when we speak a word in Jesus’ name. When we trust that the Lord can work through us. I don’t really know how else to describe it right now. I need to pray about it some more.
I wonder how the Lord might be calling you and me to speak boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus. To share a word with someone. To pray for them. To encourage them to embrace Jesus as Lord.
Lord show us how. Amen.