[Willow Creek Association] 1999-06-02 - Being Bolder

Originally Published 1996-11-13

Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.

2 Timothy 1:8 8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.

Two weeks ago, my family and I went to Disney World for five days. Little did I know that a defining moment would happen in my own walk with our Lord. So, today is confession time for David. ; )

My wife and our three children ages 11, 8 and 4 arrived in Orlando on a Wednesday morning, checked into our motel, and immediately headed for the "Magic Kingdom". We all had a blast and practically covered the whole park in 7 hours. (Yeah, I may write a book "Disney in Seven Hours or Less"). The next day, it's "off to MGM Grand." The next day it's EPCOT. By the third day I am getting pretty tired, and quite honestly fed up with people in general. The kids were getting tired and just a tad cranky. I found myself snapping at some folks, mumbling stuff under my breath at impatient people, judging others by their appearance -- and the worst thing to me -- snapping at the kids.

On the fourth day an interesting thing happened. That morning I decided to wear a Ray Boltz shirt. It has a lambon the back and the words to the song "I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb." A funny thing happened to my attitude. Suddenly I was back to Mr. Christian, Mr. Friendly, Mr. Father of the Year Candidate (kidding), Mr. Nice To Everyone, Mr. How can I make this person have a better day? When we ordered lunch, the lady taking our ordered looked particularly frazzled. After we ordered and I talk to her for a bit, she looked up and said "You folks sure made my day by being so nice".

After lunch my wife and the kids went for ice cream while I stayed on a bench and prayed. "Lord, I am so shallow? Is my faith so weak I have to wear a Christian shirt to remind myself who I belong to? Lord have I fallen into that trap I so often teach about in Bible studies and write about in the devotionals -- the trap of being a part-time Christian, of being a hypocrite? Lord forgive me, and help me in the constant struggle to be a Fully-Devoted Follower of Christ. As I finished praying, I looked up and a lady was sitting across from me with a t-shirt that said "Prayer is the Key". I smiled at her and said "amen," and then looked up to God and said "thank You Lord, for that reminder".

So God used that moment to refine me just a little be more, to make me just a little bolder in proclaiming Him as my Lord and in living the Christian life 24 hours a day, seven days a week. My prayer for you is that this devotional will help refine you as well.

Dear Lord, refine us, make us bolder, forgive us for being ashamed of the Gospel. Lord once again, I thank You for being a patient, loving, graceful and just God. Mostly Lord, I thank You for your Son Jesus Christ, Who suffered and died for us, so that we may have eternal life in Your presence. In His name we pray, Amen.