Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish friar sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II, for protecting Jews. In July of 1941, another prisoner managed to escape from the camp. One of the camp commanders decided to punish the entire block and chose ten random prisoners to die by starvation. When one of them cried “My mother and children,” Kolbe volunteered to take his place among those who would die. The guards accepted the change and Kolbe died two weeks later along with the other nine.
An Act of Bold Obedience
I heard Maximilian’s story when I visited Auschwitz two years ago. Flowers lay at the place where he gave his life to save a fellow prisoner, a beautiful act of Christian sacrificial love that deserves to be celebrated. It was an act of bold obedience to Jesus’ commandment to love one another as He loved us.
Called to be Bold
Most of us don’t get the opportunity for such a dramatic act of love, but the truth of the Gospel calls us daily to be just as bold. In essence, to be a Christian is to believe that the man Jesus of Nazareth is God incarnate, and that His birth, life, death, and resurrection are true. That belief calls us to be bold and passionate about giving others, near and far, the opportunity to decide for themselves whether they want to take the bold step of trusting Jesus Christ with their eternal destiny.
Called to be Obedient
Jesus was clear when he stated:
“Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. (John 14:23)
True followers of Jesus share God’s passion for those who are without Christ. Christ came to seek and save that which was lost. God desires that every person be reached with the Gospel.
To Be Bold and Obedient
The word bold means courageous, brave, fearless. To be obedient means submitting to an authority. Here is what being bold and obedient looks like.
Bold people are willing to take risks. Bold and obedient followers of Jesus are willing to put their lives on the line to see the Gospel advanced.
Obedient servants know their master. Bold and obedient Jesus-followers are intimate with God and know the heart of Jesus, their master.
Bold people are willing to go into unchartered territory. Remember the Sci-fi TV show and movie franchise, “to boldly go where no one has ever gone?” To be bold with God is to be like William Carey and “attempt great things for God.”
Obedient People love their master more than life itself. Through the ages, millions of Christians have been willing to give their lives rather than to deny their master. Even today, believers continue to be persecuted, arrested, tortured, and killed for their faith.
Bold Obedience is ILI’s global strategic campaign to train leaders and accelerate the spread of the Gospel in the next five years. It includes a very special event in Europe in June of 2019. Click here to watch a video about it.