My good friend Chris who also runs next generation disciples wrote the post below. It is based around our reading from today I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did…
Has anybody ever told you that you remind them of somebody? It might be just a visual resemblance or it could be a matter of your actions and characteristics, but there is something about you that reminds them of a certain someone. As believers we are called to resemble Christ this should be one of our primary goals in the process of sanctification and can only be achieved by spending time with Christ, we see this in Acts 3 and 4.
In Acts 3 we see Peter heal a lame beggar and as the onlookers see this they rush to him, as the rush to the apostles Peter begins to preach to them Jesus and the resurrection; he reminds them of what they did and he began to preach repentance to them. As this was going on the Sanhedrin priests seized Peter and John and as they were questioned Peter gave all glory and credit to Jesus saying, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead— by this name this man stands here before you in good health.” What happens next is what we should all pray for, “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.” The Sanhedrin saw Jesus in Peter and John and what a testimony that is to their witness.
So I ask again, who do you resemble? If you call yourself a disciple of Christ you should proclaim him boldly, you should proclaim God boldly. This is the duty of anybody who claims to be a believer, the apostles knew this and preached it. They knew the struggle and prayed for one another, they coveted the prayer of others because they knew speaking boldly for the gospel would never be easy, we see this in Paul’s letter to the church of Ephesus when he asked them to, “and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Ephesians 6:19-20 NASB) The part that stands out in all of this is Paul’s final few words, “that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Paul knew it was not an option of anybody who called themselves a follower of Christ, who claimed to be his disciple, it is what we ought to do.
We are the light of the world, if they do not see Christ in us, there is a chance they will not ever see Christ. I ask again, who do you resemble? Charles Surgeon wrote, “Be like Jesus, very valiant for your God. Imitate him in your loving spirit; think kindly, speak kindly, and do kindly, that men may say of you, ‘He has been with Jesus.’”