JUST BEING WITH JESUS Read again Acts 4:12-13 and Deuteronomy 28:14

Just being with Jesus, just being next to Him, sitting at His feet like His friend Mary did(Luke 10:39), just listening to Him.  Just that simple act of humility elevated the disciples and apostles from the ordinary to the extraordinary.  And it was so noticeable, even and especially to their enemies.  That’s what it says in Acts chapter 4–for what the religious leaders saw was not what kind of car they drove, or the size diamond on their fingers, or how much money they had to give if their names were recognized and attached to the gift, or anything else except their ‘courage’, the Bible says.  These ordinary people became fearless after being with Jesus especially after His resurrection from the dead.  They now knew personally that death was not the final word.  Could kill the body but no the soul.  Never.  Jesus had told them, He demonstrated it and came to each with His hands wide open for inspection.  Peter, who had denied Jesus 3 times, now was courageous and bold, and not ever to be denied his faith in the risen Christ.  Peter speaks up and is noticeably different from the cowering, weak-kneed denier that he was at Jesus’ trials just days and weeks before.  When we believe in Jesus and welcome Him into our hearts and lives, He gives us His Holy Spirit who begins a work of courageous change within each of us. All this just from being around Him, ‘these men had been with Jesus’.  Let me challenge you ( and myself) to spend time with Him, in His Word, the Bible.  Not like you have to,  or out of compulsion or fear or to make browney points, but because you want to spend time with your Lord.  For the past 25 years I’ve read the Bible through, from cover to cover, in each year.  Not for sermon material (as I used to early in my ministry) or just to say I did it, but to spend time with my Lord.  Listening to Him.  I’ve been a Christian now for 50 years, having accepted Him when I was 16 listening to a Christian radio program.  And I’ve read the Bible through 25 times.  But that means many years and not so precious ignoring the Bible or just maybe a hit- and- miss reading, a couple Psalms if they were short ones like Psalm 117 (see, I still remember!), but avoiding the tough books like Revelation or the long lists of Chronicles.  But a friend challenged me to read the Bible on a daily basis…so that by the end of the year I would read it in its entirety.   Gradually it grew out of being just a habit into a big part of my daily life as a Christian…spending time with my Lord in His Word.  And it  has been such a blessing!  Just like He promised.  John 15:7–‘If you remain in Me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish…’ Hey, stay in His Word, the Word in Us, and He’ll give us new dreams, dreams that come true.  May I be that friend to thank you for spending time with your Lord.  And to spend more…and more…for He has so much to give each of us.  ‘…ordinary men…they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

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