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==== ==== "It is doubtful if any man was ever more misunderstood by the people of his own time than Jesus of Nazareth. Certainly no man was ever more grossly misrepresented by succeeding generations, and especially by those who professed to be his friends and followers." ==== ====

THEY HAVE BEEN WITH JESUS I think one of the greatest compliments a Christian can receive is for someone to say they can tell you spend time with Jesus. If you spend time with God, it will be evident in your life. Acts 4:5-14 5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, 6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, 9 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; 10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 14 And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.

In the above passage, Peter and John were standing before all the religious leaders and were being questioned about the miracle of healing the man who had been lame for many years. The leaders asked in what name they healed this man. Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, boldly answered that they did it in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He also said that not only was the man healed in the name of Jesus, but he wanted the leaders to also know that there is no other name under Heaven whereby you can be saved. That is boldness with a capital B. Then in verse 13, it says that when all the leaders saw the boldness of Peter and John and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled and took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus. It was evident to them that Peter and John had spent much time with Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Have you ever noticed couples who have been married 20 years or more start to look like each other? They start to finish each other's sentences, and their expressions and gestures are often the same. Have you ever noticed that when someone is around a person for a long time, they eventually start saying and doing some of the same things? We can all think of a son who hangs around his father a lot who starts to demonstrate many of the same characteristics. Good and bad, so think about that for a moment. The same thing is true for mothers and daughters. What are your children getting from spending time with you? The Bible teaches us that we will become like the people we hang around. Proverbs 13:20 says, "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed." In other words, you are who you hang around. If you hang around wise people, you will become wise, and if you hang around foolish people, you will become foolish. If you hang around hard workers long enough, you will see the benefits of hard work, and become a hard worker. If you hang around kind people, you will become a kind person. If you choose to hang around lazy people, it will rub off on you, Christian. It is just another facet of the "reaping and sowing" principle. You will be influenced and affected by the people you spend the most time with. We have all heard the old saying, "Sleep with dogs, you will get fleas." A good team is good, because they spend a lot of time together. They are on the same page, going in the same direction, and working together as one. The pastors who work with me that I have been in ministry with for a long time, think like I think and make the same decisions I would make, because we have spent much time together. Jesus' disciples knew what He was all about, because they spent so much time together. We should be the same kind of disciples who really know what He is all about, because we spend so much time with Him. We should know what He stands for, what He believes, and what He represents. Philippians 2:5 says, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." The only way that can happen is for us to spend a lot of time with Jesus. In our commitment to "Fill the House" in 2011, it will require that we choose to spend much time with Jesus. In a recent sermon, I emphasized the importance of being filled with the presence and power of Christ if we are to ever "fill the house." In 1896 Charles M. Sheldon wrote a book entitled, "In His Steps." It is about a preacher in a fictional town who asked his people to make a commitment for one year to not make a decision - business or personal - without first asking themselves the question: "What would Jesus do?" In order to know what Jesus would do in our daily decisions, we have to spend time with Him to have the mind of Christ. When that happens,

the people we encounter in our daily walk will be able to say, "They have been with Jesus." Let's make that our prayer this year. People who hang out with Jesus act that Him. It is so obvious. You don't have to ask; you will just know, "They have been with Jesus." The world needs to see Christians are different. Can people look at your life and say "They have been with Jesus?" How will they know? You will speak like Jesus. People should be shocked and amazed at how we speak. Verse 13 says that the people perceived that Peter and John were unlearned men, so they marveled and were amazed. Unlearned means they were illiterate and ignorant. Yet when Peter spoke to the leaders of Jerusalem, he spoke like Jesus. He spoke the Word of God and prophecy, and the leaders were amazed. The leaders said he sounds just like that man Jesus. They knew Peter had been with Jesus. The more time we spend with Jesus, the more we will sound like Him when we speak. The opposite is true, too, Church. The reason you cuss, gossip, and say unkind words is simply because you are not spending time with Jesus. The Word tells us how much power is in our tongue, but that is another devotional. Just know that one day we are going to be accountable to God for the words we speak. You will do works like Jesus did. Verse 14 says, "And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it." Peter and John did the works of God. They changed someone's life in the name of Jesus. When you do work for God and are part of changing someone's life in the name of Jesus, people are going to know you have been spending time with Him. The only way a life can be truly changed is by God in the name of Jesus, and when we spend time with Him, we are privileged to be a co-laborer with Jesus. When people see The ROC, it is not the huge Jesus banner in the auditorium that makes people know what we are all about. No, it is the works they see us do in partnership with Jesus. The proof is in the fruit of our lives that people can see at work, at school, in our neighborhoods, and how we treat our husband, wife, and children. If we are living like Jesus and doing works like He did, then they can say, "They have been with Jesus." You will be bold like Jesus. Verse 13 says, "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John..." It wasn't when the leaders saw all the "Christian" things that Peter and John did; no, it was when they saw the boldness of these two men that they realized that they had been with Jesus. When God gave us the idea of naming our thrift stores the "Love of Jesus Thrift Stores," it took boldness to do it. However, I truly believe that God is blessing our thrift stores in amazing ways, because we were obedient and bold in that decision. People know before they come through the doors of our thrift stores or our Love of Jesus Health Clinic what we are all about. Hundreds of people have been witnessed to and many have accepted Christ as their Savior through our thrift stores and clinic. There are Christians who are so blessed by our boldness that they say, "I only shop at your thrift store, because of your boldness in declaring Jesus' name." Being bold means taking a stand for what you believe in and Who you believe in. Boldness is not

being ashamed of the gospel. Boldness is when you can talk about Jesus to the world and to the lost. Being bold takes guts and leaves people thinking, "They have been with Jesus." Living a life that reflects to the world that you have been with Jesus should be the desire of every believer. If the world is ever going to see Jesus, it has to be through the Body of Christ. If the lost are ever going to find Jesus, they are going to find Him in us. As we seek to "Fill the House" this year, it will happen when we first spend time in His Word, in His presence, and in prayer communing with Him. When we do our part, Jesus will impart to us His love for the lost, and we will find ourselves speaking like Jesus, doing the works of Jesus, and being bold in our witness. The result will be people saying: "They have been with Jesus."

Pastor G. Daniel 12:3

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==== ==== "It is doubtful if any man was ever more misunderstood by the people of his own time than Jesus of Nazareth. Certainly no man was ever more grossly misrepresented by succeeding generations, and especially by those who professed to be his friends and followers." ==== ====

Jesus The Man and His Work 2012