Pastor Jonathan's Monday reflection:
"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 (ESV)
This morning as I caught up on global news I needed to have a bit of spiritual reminder of my justification in Christ. First, in Austria, a 31-year-old was elected to lead the nation. Then I read a story of a potential Director of the CIA who at 40 has two degrees from Harvard, had a successful law career, served in the military and now has served one term in Congress. As I approach 40 in a couple of months, I started to recount my resume and wondered why I haven't accomplished all these lads had.
I spent a lot of my life achieving and strategically getting ahead so that I could boast of success and the accolades that come along with it. But how can you compete? There is always someone further, faster, and a bit smarter (or a lot smarter in my case!)
Being with Jesus sets this way of living and striving on its head. He calls who he does because he loves, not because we have a sweet CV or the most interesting experiences. Common men and women filled with the Spirit can still astonish those watching today because they have been with Jesus.
After the Spirit shook me out of my brief wallow, I was reminded that my value is in Jesus. His work for me, his life in me. Nothing changes that. And now I live from him, fully alive and headed to even more fully final life when he returns to reign forever.
If you have faith in Christ, this is for you too. And this is the basis for the boldness we ask the Spirit to give us to make Jesus known.
As we launch into the week, let's keep praying for this bold life of proclaiming the word of God, the truth of the real Jesus to a world sinking fast. May people notice we have been with Jesus.
It is he that lives, who is glorified in our boldness and we benefit by being with Jesus.
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20 (ESV)