I’ve been teaching God’s word for over 25 years now. (Actually typing that seems surreal!) Every so often over that span of time, I’ve had someone tell me that they see a lot of my grand-dad in me or that they can hear him talking when I teach. If you knew him, then you know that’s high praise. We sometimes use the expression, “They’re really rubbing off on you.”
One of the most powerful testimonies of transformation in all of scripture is found in Acts 4:13. It says, “When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus.” It’s profoundly simple and it’s simply profound—people could tell from the apostles’ words and actions that they had spent time with the Lord.
It doesn’t matter who you were before. It doesn’t matter what you did in the past. It doesn’t matter what your weaknesses and limitations are.
The presence of Jesus in your life changes everything!
He is Emmanuel. He is literally God With Us. Despite the fact that we don’t deserve it and could never be worthy. Regardless of our many faults and flaws. He still graces us with His perfect presence. And when He does, it makes us more than we ever could have been without Him.
The presence of Jesus in our lives overpowers every other power!
Peter and John’s courage was evident. Even though they had no financial, political, or religious standing to merit standing face to face with the influential men who were challenging them, they didn’t drop their gaze or lower their heads for one second. They spoke with determination—with defiance, even—while addressing the very people who had just orchestrated their Teacher’s execution. They were frightened when He was crucified, but when even death itself proved powerless to keep Him away from them, all the fear soon faded away.
The longer you walk with the Maker and the Master of men, the less mere men intimidate you. You know that they have no power over you except what the Highest Power allows them to have. You move in absolute assurance that the One who’s in you is greater than the one who’s in the world.
The presence of Jesus in our lives overcomes every personal weakness!
We all come up short in some area. We all lack something. For Peter and John, it was education. As fishermen, they were unfit by every human standard for the role they were stepping into. They had no degrees or credentials. No letters of rabbinic recommendation. Not even an equivalency exam to lend them credibility.
They had “only” been with Jesus—but that will always be more than enough! He reminds us that His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). God has always gotten His glory from using men and women who didn’t measure up.
A boy shepherd to fight an unbeatable giant.
A farmer with just 300 men to face an army.
A feared and distrusted ex-Pharisee to take the gospel to the world.
God always does His best work when our best work isn’t enough.
The presence of Jesus in our lives overrules every voice of opposition!
It doesn’t matter who says “no” when He says “YES!” It doesn’t matter who’s telling you to stop when He’s telling you to go. The more time you spend with Jesus, the more the other voices in your life fade into the background.
The voices that tell you what you can’t do.
The voices that remind you of your past failures.
Even the voices that threaten and insult you for doing what’s right.
His companionship inspires unshakable confidence in your purpose. He walks faithfully beside you and whispers…
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Be blessed and be a blessing!
Yes, spending time with Jesus through the Word is empowering and the relationship with Jesus has blessed my life richly.
Continue to spread the Word.
Amen!! Continue giving us reasons to dig deeper with Christ.
That is one of the hardest things to do! I am so glad the bible gives us the HOLY SPIRIT and examples of how to walk with Chirst!
Thank you for sharing the good news! I know the name of the Lord is a strong tower. and I have learned spending time with God has allowed me to no who he is. And enjoy a personal relationship with him.
Amen.. I’m so glad I have a relationship with our Father
I’m so thankful He is Emmanuel and is constantly with me. When I reflect on all the awesome blessings God has provided for me I must say thank you Father and give Him all the glory and praise. Thank you bro Dawson for another powerful lesson!