Weekly Wisdoms for the week of December 18, 2017
In Acts 4, Peter and John were brought to the rulers and elders of the people (v. 8) to be questioned by them. But when Peter and John came to those people, who were Jews, they were astonished [by Peter and John] and they took note that these men had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). In other words, the Jews could tell that Peter and John had spent time with Jesus simply by the way they lived.
Indeed, Jesus had so changed their lives that an "aroma" of God was coming from them. Having that "aroma" requires being like Christ, and the only way that we can become Christ-like is if we abide and dwell in God's presence--and doing that requires a conscious decision. You must decide to practice His presence!
Also, by being in God's presence, we will bear good spiritual fruit. In John 15:5, Jesus promises, "If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit." In other words, by spending time with God you will develop valuable spiritual fruit. Then, the world will see your fruit and recognize that you have been with Jesus.
In addition, when you spend time in God's presence, you will experience an increase in your joy, contentment, peace, and satisfaction. Specifically, David told the Lord, in Your presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11, AMP). Clearly, God will pour joy into your life when you spend time in His presence. Then, you can take that joy and show it to those around you.
There are great changes that can occur when you spend time with God. In God's presence is the only place where you can become more like Christ. Then, once God has changed you, the world will be astonished and see that you have been with Jesus.
Many times we try to talk people into accepting Jesus, but yet we fail to show them Jesus; we don't act any differently than the rest of the world, even though we claim to be saved. The world isn't looking for talk; it wants walk. Therefore, we, as Christians, must live differently: stop telling, and start showing.
Matthew 7:20 tells us how to recognize truly mature Christians: "by their fruit." Stop worrying about the outward show that you put on in front of your friends, and start developing the Fruit of the Spirit in your inner life (see Galatians 5:22-23). Then once you have learned to be kind, gentle, peaceful and joyful even during difficult circumstances, non-Christians will see you and say to themselves, "I want what you've got." Then, you will be able to share Jesus with them effectively.
We need to develop the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Interestingly, the first Fruit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 is "love." Furthermore, in John 13:35, Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." In other words, love ought to be the trademark of every believer.
It is by living a life of love that you make the world hungry and thirsty for the joy, kindness, patience, peace, and stability that you have. The world isn't reading the Bible; they're reading Christians like you. And if they don't like what they see in you, they're not going to want what you've got—Jesus.
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All scripture quotations are in italics. Some portions of scripture have been placed in bold by the author for emphasis.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION©. NIV©. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (AMP) are taken from the Amplified Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.