On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem,6 with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
13 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 14:7-13
In Acts 4:13, it is said of the religious authorities that, “…they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” What an interesting concept – to have a relationship with Jesus that is so strong that it is even evident to others, especially your enemies. For years I have questioned just how many believers have more than a “ships that pass in the night” relationship to our Heavenly Father. My impression is that few spend much time with Him in either the Word or prayer, and that even those who have “devotions” do so in a rather sporadic, habitual, casual manner. These men had been with Jesus, and it had changed them in a way that was visible, and those visible changes made an impact even on members of the Sanhedran.
I have no problem with “Our Daily Bread” (nor with the good folks that produce it), but I don’t think a few minutes reading a devotion and even checking the Scripture on which it is based actually counts for a genuine relationship. Time with the booklet is better than no time with the Lord at all, but I really can’t think of anyone who has been dramatically changed by reading it. It seems to me that a Biblical relationship with the Lord is not something relegated to a five hasty five minute “good morning. Lord” approach. We are told to pray without ceasing, to always be conscious of the presence of the Holy Spirit within us, to resist the devil, to be sufficiently aware of sin that we don’t deliberately participate in it, and many other things.
To my thinking, a relationship with the Lord is an “all the time” matter in which we are constantly aware of His presence, continually talking with Him about even the most mundane matters and consciously aware of allowing Him and His Word to shape up into His image in such a way that ever the most doubting can see the difference.
– Chuck Wood
The Woodchuck’s Den