How difficult is it to tell others about Jesus? In Paul’s case, there were many who wanted to kill him, but he continued to speak up boldly about God! And then there was Barnabas, he did not waste time wondering what people would think when he defended Paul. He went directly to the Jerusalem Christians and affirmed that this formerly fierce enemy of Christ was now a faithful follower!
In our world today we face a lot of pressure: to fit in, to be popular, to do what is right, to dress a certain way. It is difficult for us to be bold enough and daring enough to speak up about God to our classmates, neighbors, and even family.
However, we see that in our passage today God is calling us to dare to speak up because the good news of Jesus Christ is more valuable than our reputation and is worth risking everything to tell someone about Jesus. Today you will discover that God has given you power, His power, to do what you cannot do in your own strength.
Paul delivered his first message about Jesus in Damascus, the same city as we learned yesterday that he originally intended to arrest people for believing in Jesus Christ. Acts 10:20 says, Paul began to share his faith immediately. And what he said astounded and confounded his listeners. Why would Paul’s message confuse and seem unbelievable to his listeners?
Paul did not wait to speak until he knew everything about following Jesus. He simply shared what he did know at that time. And as he shared, Paul became more capable. So capable that the Jews in Damascus planned to kill him, to stop his message because Paul was being so effective. A late-night “thrill ride” in a basket delivered him safely out of the city.
Paul found nothing but cold shoulders and hot tempers when he returned to Jerusalem. The believers there were leery of his intentions. A believer named Barnabas bravely spoke up for Paul and assured that Paul had experienced a life change. Accepted as a true believer, Paul tried to assist the Jerusalem believers with their ministry, and again, found out that now the Greek Jews wanted to kill him.
For safety, Paul’s friends shipped him back to his hometown Tarsus. Did Paul quit telling about his new life in Christ to protect himself, his reputation, and his life? What about you? Is the good news of Jesus Christ so valuable to you that you will risk everything in order to tell others about Him?
Our goal today is not to imply that following or speaking about Jesus is always easy. Sometimes it is not. The goal of today’s Bible study is to help us understand that the same power that gave Paul the courage to speak is available to believers who pray and obey You, too, can speak boldly about Jesus. And that is our goal today is to Dare to Speak Up about Jesus Christ.