In your daily conversations and interactions with the world around you (your family, your neighbors, your co-workers, and more), is it evident that you have been with Jesus? Can others see that you are a follower of Christ? That you long to Live on the EDGE for Him?
As promised, I am sharing another small portion of the Keynote Address I presented before the LWML National Convention, “Being with Jesus ~ Living on the EDGE”. I pray that God touches you with this message and moves you a bit closer to the EDGE.
In the earliest days of the church following Pentecost – as recorded in Acts chapters 3 & 4 - the apostles Peter and John healed a crippled man in the name and in the power of Jesus Christ. Crowds gathered in amazement and Peter began to teach them. As a result, he and John were seized and jailed overnight, then brought before the priests, rulers, & teachers of the law the next day for questioning.
Peter proclaims Christ before his accusers!
With great authority and boldness, Peter proclaimed salvation in Christ alone, and his accusers were astonished. They recognized Peter and John to be ordinary, unschooled men, and realized that these men had been with Jesus! Peter cried out against the Jewish leaders who now threatened to silence him and all the apostles by forbidding them to speak the name of Jesus. Filled with the power of the Spirit, Peter cried, “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20 NKJV) This is the same Peter who had crumbled in fear on much earlier occasions, sinking amidst the wind and waves as he attempted to walk on water; denying Christ when confronted during His trial. Being with Jesus, Peter was changed. With the power of Christ now at work in him, Peter could not be silent, but boldly proclaimed salvation in Jesus’ name. Peter was prepared to give an answer before his critics and accusers, because he had been with Jesus.
The Holy Spirit later inspired the same Peter to write these words: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV) The Lord gives us the desire to grow in His Word. He prepares us for every challenge and fills us with courage.Being with Jesus, we are changed, too! He fuels us with words, abilities, and energy that are clearly not of our own. An unbelieving and critical world around us can see that we have been with Jesus! We cannot keep Him to ourselves but shout His praises to the world! He is in our hearts and on our lips. Like Peter, we are prepared; like Peter, we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard!
Perhaps we will not be persecuted for proclaiming Jesus, as the apostles were, and as millions of Christians around the world are persecuted today. We may, however, be mocked or made fun of, insulted or accused, criticized or cast out. Jesus foretold that His followers would be hated and hurt…and yes, even persecuted. But when this harsh world sees you and me in our formerly timid tootsies, now boldly proclaiming the name of Christ Jesus, courageously LIVING ON THE EDGE because we, too, have been filled with the power of the Spirit, they will be astonished! Perhaps they will even exclaim like Peter’s accusers, “She has been with Jesus!”