Tuesday, October 24

Don’t hold back!

Scripture: Job 15, Acts 19-20

Acts 20:20 You know that I did not hold back anything that would be of help to you as I preached and taught in public and in your homes.

Acts 20:26-27 So I solemnly declare to you this very day: if any of you should be lost, I am not responsible. 27For I have not held back from announcing to you the whole purpose of God.

Observation/application

Don’t hold back.  Be clear about the gospel.

Acts 20 records Paul’s final visit to Ephesus and his meeting with the elders.  He said many memorable and important things—his short speech is a primer for pastors.  Among those important things, twice he tells them that he didn’t hold back.

He didn’t hold back anything that would be of help to them.  V. 20.  If he thought it would help them, he taught it.  He wasn’t concerned whether people liked it or not; he wasn’t concerned about his popularity.  His concern was for them, not himself.  So he didn’t hold back.

He didn’t hold back anything from the whole purpose of God.  V. 27.  Everything that Paul understood about God, His will, the gospel, Jesus—he taught it all.  He didn’t flinch on the hard parts.  He didn’t gloss over what might be challenging or unpleasant or unpopular.  He never worried about being politically correct.  He wanted them to be saved, to know and follow Jesus.  So he didn’t hold back.

On Sunday I talked with a young man who was new to Jesus; he had lots of questions.  I was trying to be tender, careful, and consequently, I think I was not as clear as I could be.  I held back.  I feel like the Lord spoke to me and simply said, “Be clear.”  I’ve been praying for another chance to talk with this young man.

So this is why this passage jumped out at me today.  Be clear.  Don’t hold back.  Speak God’s truth in love.

Prayer: Lord, help me today to not hold back, but to be clear about the gospel and God’s word with everyone I meet.