Those who were astonished by the courage of Peter and John when they preached the gospel were not ordinary men, but rulers, elders and teachers of the Law. By contrast, Acts 4:13 (NIV) says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John, and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Can the same be said of us who are redeemed by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ? If not, it is good to examine ourselves in the light of these words. Are our lives and actions like those who had been with Jesus? If not, then others might see us as the enemies of God or as those under Satan. Let’s not forget that “friendship with the world is hatred toward God” (Jas. 4:4).
Today there is a great temptation to love the world and the things of the world. It is obvious that many Christians have a superficial brotherly love. Have we not become selfish, boasters, self-willed, not displaying unity of heart and mind? Satan takes advantage of such tendencies. The main reason for our failure is that we have forgotten that “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). If we kept this thought in mind, we would be more alert in our lives, and Satan would have less success.
We must remember that the devil wants to create havoc in the lives of born-again Christians who desire to serve the Lord. He is on the lookout for our weak areas. Many of God’s servants have fallen for Satan’s tactics and have ruined their testimony. Their failure should be a warning to us. If we seriously consider this and take care, we will be better able to “stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph. 6:11), the one who even tried to deceive our Lord (Mt. 4:1-11).
If we live lives that are pleasing to the Lord, others will notice and testify that these men and women were with Jesus. As we see increasing evidence for the soon-coming of our Lord, may we live lives which are pleasing to Him.
By Philip Verghese Ariel
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org