Sunday, May 28, 2017

you could tell they'd been with Jesus

The Word for today:
Acts 4:32-5:16
mark this: Acts 4:13
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.
If I could wish one thing for you and for me, it's that someday, somebody says of us what was said of Peter and John:
You can tell they've been with Jesus.
How would one attain such a mark of distinction? The answer is self-evident: Jesus will rub off on you to the extent that you live in his presence.
There's no shortcut, either. There's no course you can take or program you can follow which will mark you as a person who has absorbed the Spirit, person, heart, mind, and demeanor of Jesus Christ.
I walk into churches or other Christian gatherings and I can spot the ones who have been with Jesus. They come in many different shapes and sizes and colors and genders, but I know the ones who have been with him. They don't act like the others; they don't care to impress, they don't look for approval; and it's not me--or you--that they're aiming to please.
Their common denominator is the book that many of us carry. They've been shaped by their real interaction with the Word, just as Peter and John were shaped by their daily interaction with the Word made flesh.
They stand out like spots of flowing, growing green in an otherwise arid atmosphere of nominal Christianity, cultural Christianity, religiosity, and churchianity. The very first verses of the book of Psalms--the great relational book of the Bible--even say so; they tell us that those who regularly slake their spiritual thirst with the Word will stand out like greenery in the desert:
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. (Psalms 1:1-3)
Go and be one of them. Get wet. "Stand in the Rain" every day and stay wet. I'm going to walk into your church someday and I will not know you. But I will know whose company you've been keeping.
And I will pray that someday someone notices the same in me.

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