God, prepare my heart and open my ears to you as I seek you in your Word.
President Theodore Roosevelt coined the term “bully pulpit” to refer to the White House as an ideal platform from which to advocate an agenda and have people sit up and take notice. In Roosevelt’s time, the term “bully” did not have the negative connotation it has today, but rather, it was an adjective meaning “superb” or “excellent.” A ministry leader’s pulpit was designed to be used as a “bully pulpit” for the gospel’s agenda. On occasion, it is wrongfully used as a platform for political, economic, and other social agendas.
The apostle Paul, in Acts 25—26, is confronted with false accusations from misguided, disobedient, religious leaders, unjust, politically motivated government officials, and high-ranking rulers. Paul doesn’t use his platform to berate the Pharisees and Sadducees. He doesn’t use the limelight before Festus to speak about political injustice. He doesn’t use his 15 seconds of fame with King Agrippa II and Queen Bernice to point out their incestuous relationship. Instead, Paul tells them all about the risen Christ!
Every social circle provides ample temptation to vehemently argue current religious, moral, political, and economic issues. And, in many cases, a good debate can be healthy and constructive. However, these temptations are often the bait of the enemy to derail building God’s Church and sharing his message of new life in Christ. Consider the community you influence and the mandate given to the believers in the book of Acts. The current crises of our day were just as familiar to the first-century church. Yet, the solution remains the same—obey the command of Jesus: “Tell others what you have learned about me!” (v 16)
What platform has God given you from which to share his Word? Are you inclined to share with a stranger or new acquaintance the story of Jesus and his influence in your life; or do you feel much more comfortable talking about current affairs? Do you feel a tug on your heart to be more concerted in your efforts to share the message of new life in Christ? What do you think provokes these feelings?
Ask God to give you the courage and leading to share with others what God has done in your life.
Lord, thank you for what you have done in my life. Help me to use the “superb” platform that you have given me to share the good news with others.