Meerkat at the Sedgwick County Zoo - Wichita, KS


What does it mean to be bold? Earlier this year, I posted about today’s same verse in a devo about one of my trips to Guatemala and how the Mayans treated throne rooms. And in that post, as well as in today’s verse, we learn that we are able (and expected) to appraoch God with boldness. But what exactly is boldness?

Meerkat at the Sedgwick County Zoo - Wichita, KS

Meerkat at the Sedgwick County Zoo – Wichita, KS

Todays verse is Hebrews 4:16.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

One thing I have learned through studying Scripture is that you can easily take a verse out of context if you aren’t careful. And before you know it, you can be reinterpreting doctrine.

The best keyword you can look for at the beginning of a verse to indicate that something important to its understand came before it … because or since or so.

Yup. So. It usually indicates because or since.

So what comes before verse 16? Well, verses 14 and 15 of course! Here’s the whole thing:

So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Yes. This starts with another so … but that’s a so then, which is a little different.

Basically the entire passage’s context is saying that because Jesus understands our weaknesses, because He faced all the same temptations we did, because He is our High Priest — our intercessor between ourselves and God the Father, we can come to God with boldness.

But what is boldness?

Bold is one of those words that you usually only hear about in Italian restaurants and on Crayola marker boxes. It usually only deals with taste or sight. So how can you be a bold person? And aren’t bold people usually kind of obnoxious?

Just being honest.

According to the Amplified Version, the word bold is accompanied by other words like confidently and fearlessly. And the Message puts it very bluntly: “So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give.”

Well … what does it mean to have confidence in someone? It means that you trust them, right? It means that if they have made you a promise and you believe them that you don’t have to be afraid that they will keep their word.

What about fearlessness? It means that if you trust someone and know someone so deeply that you don’t have to be afraid that they’ll let you down or abandon you.

It means that you don’t have to beg and plead for them to give you something. They’re just standing the

Those three things can be construed as boldness, or at least that’s what I’m understanding. But boldness itself isn’t an attitude; it’s the result of series of convictions.

I believe that God will keep His word. I believe that I don’t have to be afraid because He’s got everything under control. And I believe He has good things waiting for me and all I have to do is pick them up and run with them. And because I believe all those things, I can be bold.

And the reverse is true. If I don’t believe those things, I can’t be bold. I’ll be timorous, like a little mouse. … Or like the little meerkat I snapped a photo of at the zoo some time ago. But even Meerkats can be bold. I’ve got another picture of one that came right up to my feet and wanted to be friends.

So since we are invited to approach God with boldness, I think that’s something I want to look into. That’s something I want more of in my life. Real boldness. But that kind of boldness isn’t going to come by itself; I’ve got to believe a few things first.

Trying to be bold without believing first just makes you come off as arrogant. And that doesn’t impress anyone, least of all God. So get the order right. Learn how to trust God and be confident in His Word. Learn how to listen to what He’s telling you. And don’t hesitate when God tries to give you something. Jump in with both feet first and run.

And you’ll be bold without even trying.