For my daily devotions this year, I’ve chosen to just read through the New Testament. I’m doing this for several reasons. First, it’s not an overwhelming amount of reading each day. Like you, my life is full and extra time just isn’t in my schedule. Secondly, I am using a program (Laridian PocketBible) on my iPad that allows me to have a screen showing three panels. I have it set up so that the Scripture is in the full left panel and then the two right panels (one on top of the other) are two commentaries. Thus, I’m not spending too much time each day because my reading is usually just one chapter PLUS I get to dig a little into each reading. Pretty cool!
Here’s something that I’ve discovered in reading in my readings in Matthew’s gospel. In the first 16 chapters, I’ve noticed twice that the people marveled at Jesus’ authority. (Matthew 7 and 9). What’s significant about this? Many of these people knew Jesus personally. After all, in His childhood, Jesus had played with their kids. He perhaps lived in a nearby town and they had bumped into each other from time-to-time. They knew that He was Joseph and Mary’s son. For some 30 years, there wasn’t anything significant about Him. He was just Jesus of Nazareth. Now, for some strange reason, this Jesus guy is different. There is a boldness and power about Him.
They same could be said about Peter and John in the Book of Acts. After the miracle found in Acts 3, we read that the Jewish leaders marveled at the power and authority demonstrated at the healing of the lame man. In Acts 4, the astonished leaders begin to discuss what they knew about Peter and John. They had known these men for years. As kids, they had dealings with each other. Peter’s mom knew their mothers. They used to skip school together. They knew for a fact that Peter and John weren’t the most brilliant guys around. But now, for some strange reason, Peter and John are different.
Here is the common denominator. The “change in life” occurred after the infilling of the Holy Ghost. It’s the truth! Read through the Gospels and you’ll notice that nothing of significance was recorded in Jesus’ first 30 years. But, after the infilling of the Holy Ghost, people began to take note of what He said and what He did. The same could be said about Peter and John. Up to the Day of Pentecost, their bio sheet wasn’t anything to brag about. Right? Failures and disappointments abounded. But, after being filled with the Holy Ghost, things were different. A new-found boldness and authority permeated from these men.
I’m writing this blog today to remind you that the same Holy Ghost who turned insignificant, unnoticeable individuals into men who changed the world now lives on the inside of you. That same boldness is abiding inside of you. That same authority resides in you. So, don’t sit back. Stand up. Speak up. Dare to believe God. History is waiting to tell your story!!!