Recognized

fire

“The council was caught by surprise by the confidence with which Peter and John spoke. After all, they understood that these apostles were uneducated and inexperienced. They also recognized that they had been followers of Jesus.”

 – Acts 4:13, CEB –

Something about Jesus takes the uneducated and inexperienced and transforms them.

The way He always works–choosing the weakest, the poorest, the most shattered–to proclaim Him.

In the last few days, I’ve been at a College Plus student event in Texas.

Eighty or so of us, all gathered to learn and fellowship and go away refreshed.

Some call us smart or extraordinary or “weird homeschoolers.”

Here, they say we are drastically different from the rest of college students.

But I’m not so sure it’s the fact that we test out of classes or know how to do college in our pajamas or that we have a better hiring rate than other graduates that makes us so drastically different.

Maybe, instead, these things are outflows of the overarching difference–we have been followers of Jesus.

Whatever level of education, whatever amount of experience–these things mean nothing without the Christ that puts a new song in our mouths and gives us a reason to keep on living.

Without Him, College Plus needn’t bother. Their passion for preparing students for life would not be worth anything. Only with Him, through Him, does anything matter.

This, then, is the only thing that can fill us and flow in us and make us stand separate in this world: that the joy and peace of Jesus flows in our spirits.

His Spirit, in us, is the only power that will breathe life into our days.

The results–better education, more experience, skill, and wisdom–are just tools or expressions of the change that’s been made in our hearts.

You know what I want this sin-filled, crazy world to say of us?

I want them to be caught off guard by just how much confidence we have because of our Savior. I want them to stand speechless because the foolish, the weak, the broken are proclaiming freedom to the sin-captive and strength to those lamed by unforgiveness and healing to those whose hearts have been bruised with ache.

They may call us uneducated. They may call us inexperienced, socially inept, out of sync with the culture.

But after their laughter dies away and we still stand strong in grace before them, what will this world say then?

Whether we stand there before them facing persecution or triumph, may one fact be without question:

“Those people,” they’ll say. “We know what it is. We know what’s different. Even though they’re uneducated and inexperienced.”

“They are followers of Jesus.”

“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.”

 – Ferdinand Foch –

Thanks to Robert Kraft and Public Domain Pictures for today’s photo.

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