I found this last night. It’s a sermon I preached in 2013 and as I read it God was speaking to my heart the same way he did when He gave it to me.
Acts 4 verse 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus.
“They had been with Jesus.”
We “become” when we spend time with Jesus. We look at ourselves and what we see is influenced by the world. We see someone who is fat/thin, short/tall, fair/dark, sick/healthy and so on. Always in comparisons (to be compared with somebody or something that we or someone views as ideal).
The Sadducees saw these men as ignorant and unlearned (without knowledge). They valued knowledge, smartness.
But Jesus values “us”. When we spend time with Him we change from what we were. We begin to defy comparisons. We might be tall or short, thin or fat, happy or sad, any of these things. But we also become more.
“They took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”
When we spend time with Jesus, we change, we begin to defy categorization. We no longer fit “the box”.
Satan wants us to define ourselves, to create “a box”, a life where, if we’re not comfortable, we’re aware of what our limits and limitations are, where we don’t drive to be more than the comparison guide lines that we’ve been given (we’ve accepted.)
We hear the phrase “to break out of the box” and sometimes we don’t even see the box, the limitations we’ve accepted, the definitions for who we are, who we’re “supposed” to be.
Jesus’ disciples were fishermen, a tax collector, a student, a thief, a devout man (in whom there was no guile). Each of these men grew up in a world that told them who they were going to be, what role they were going to play. It set “laws” for who they were and who they could be/become. Fishermen fished, they didn’t study public speaking, they didn’t have an indepth knowledge of the scriptures.
We are in a world that wants to lock us into a pattern of being. “Once an addict, always an addict”, “once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.”
Every one of us has a once/always statement that we live with. Sometimes we have broken them but there always seems to be another one.
“Once a sinner, always a sinner.”
Jeremiah 16:12 And ye have done worse than your fathers; for behold, ye walk every one after the imaginations of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me.
John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to kill and to steal and to destroy. I am come that they may have life*, and that they may have it more abundantly°. *life (time) ° abundantly (super abundant (in quantity) or superior (in quality)
What use is “super abundant” life if we are limited in how we can use it?
John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Allow God to remove the walls of your box.
Whether it’s something you’ve been trying to change or it’s something you’re comfortable with, or even if it’s something that you can’t even imagine living without.
God wants us to be free, to live the life He imagined and planned for us.
The first thing we have to be, to be free, is to be “saved”. To have acknowledged Jesus is the Son of God, that he _did_ die on the cross and that he _did_ rise again after 3 days. To have asked his forgiveness for the things we have done that that keep us seperated from Him, and verbally “out loud” acknowledged Him as ruler of your life.
Then we simply tell God, “I’m sick being this way, ” ask him to make you different. (Sometimes it will happen overnight, sometimes you may never see the changes taking place, but as long as you honestly seek his face, study his word (the Bible), and listen door his voice, He WILL change you.)