Tuesday, June 11, 2013

They Had Been With Jesus

"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus"
- Acts 4:13

And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

I was struck by this as I was doing my reading today. Peter and John had just been arrested, spent the night in jail, and were being reprimanded and warned not to preach about Jesus. Peter and John would not relent. The leaders and elders were so struck, though, by their boldness they could not help but know that they had been changed by Jesus.

These were uneducated, unimpressive, lower-class men before they knew Jesus. They may not have been especially poor individuals, but it is clear they were not exceptional by any means. The leaders of the synagogue knew this, yet these men were different. Not because they went to seminary. Not because they completed a "best life now" training course. Not because they tried really hard. They were bold and different because they had been with Jesus. Jesus changed them and infused them with a mission, an identity, a purpose that is greater than all others. 

Friends, people know when we have been with Jesus. Lately I have been on this "spiritual discipline" kick, if you can call that a kick. It's not about Moralism or checking off the spiritual to-do list. It's about being with Jesus. If you don't spend time with Him, you see it and others see it. If you spend time with Him, you are changed and this change, this infusion of the Spirit spills out... people notice. People are affected.  

I am continuing to be encouraged by scripture and the Spirit to be with Jesus. He wants to change me and renew me. And, he wants others to be changed and renewed. How do we do this? We read his word, we pray (more than 3 minutes before bed), we practice silence, listening to Him. If we want boldness in our life people need to see us and be able to say, "they have been with Jesus."

Written: January 19, 2011

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