Scripture Reading:  Acts 4:13-14

“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)

It is most interesting to note the reaction that the religious leaders had to Peter and John. They were amazed at the boldness (the confidence, the courage) these two men had.  Peter and John were not the least bit intimidated by the members of the Sanhedrin.  In fact, they spoke to them in a respectful manner, but they spoke clearly and confidently.  They did so because they depended upon the Holy Spirit and they believed what they said.

The religious leaders knew that Peter and John were “uneducated, common men.”  They had no formal education.  They had not been to seminary or trained in the formal rabbinical schools.  Yet they spoke with confidence to some of the most learned men among the Jews.  The religious leaders were astonished when they heard Peter and John speak.

But what stood out the most to these religious leaders was the fact that these men had been with Jesus.  The great secret to spiritual growth and maturity is recognizing our need to be with Jesus.  Peter and John had been on the inner-circle of the disciples.  They spent hours listening to Jesus and observing how He dealt with people.  They cherished every word they heard Him speak.  Time with Jesus changed their lives.

While Jesus is not physically present with us now, we have His Spirit living in us.  We must learn how to practice His presence.  We must take time to listen to Him as we read the Scriptures and through them observe Jesus’ way of dealing with people.  We must talk with Him in prayer and rest in His presence.

Fanny Crosby understood the importance of communing with Jesus.  Read these words from one of her hymns:

I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice, and it told Thy love to me; But I long to rise in the arms of faith, and be closer drawn to Thee.

O. the pure delight of a single hour that before Thy throne I spend, when I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God, I commune as friend with friend.

Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, to the cross where Thou has died;  Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, to Thy precise, bleeding side.


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