Someone once posed a great question, which I will ask here:
If you were tried in a court of law for being a Christian,
would there be enough evidence to convict you?
Court is now in session...
Acts 6:15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.
Stephen was a deacon of the church of Jerusalem. He was a man full of faith and wisdom (see Acts 6:3 and 8). He was also a man full of the Holy Ghost. The word “full” means “controlled by; influenced by”. Stephen was a man who was led by the Holy Spirit. He was a Christian who had spent some time with the Lord Jesus Christ and let that time transform his life and daily walk. When he was faced with a false trial to persecute him, and confronted with the very real possibility of his own martyrdom, his faith shone forth. It was obvious to others that he had been with Jesus! His face was beaming with a spiritual glow, the glow of a soul on fire for the Lord.
Acts 7:55-60 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
While he was being falsely accused and while being stoned to death, he did not retaliate and hurl abuses and railings back at the crowd, but instead followed his Saviour’s example and prayed for his enemies. It was obvious that he had been with Jesus.
Is it obvious to others that you have spent time with Jesus?
Can those around you see that the Word of God is daily guiding your life? Can they tell by your testimony that you are still walking with your First Love (Jesus Christ)? (See Revelation 2:4) Is it obvious to others that you have spent time in fervent prayer, pleading with the Lord for your daily needs, and for the needs and concerns of those around you? Is it apparent by your concern and compassion for the souls of the lost you encounter throughout each day that you have walked closely by Jesus’ side?
In Exodus 34, we read the account of Moses seeing the Lord’s glory on Mount Sinai. Verses 29-35 state And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him. And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them. And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai. And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face. But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with Him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded. And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with Him.
It is interesting to note that before this account we read of others, like Joshua, who spent time with the Lord. Exodus 33:7, 11 And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp. And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
As the believers in the time of Moses had to go outside the camp to spend time with the Lord, so too, we need to leave the hustle and bustle of our busy lives and spend time with the Lord in heartfelt prayer (talking with the Lord) and Bible reading (letting Him talk to us). Are you spending time each day seeking the Lord? Is it obvious to others that your faith in Jesus is vibrant, real, and life-changing? Will others desire to know the Saviour by seeing the difference Christ makes in your life; by seeing the joy, peace, contentment, and serenity that are yours as you keep your eyes on Him and confidently commit all into His hands? Does your countenance (face) glow? Maybe it doesn’t physically, but is there a spiritual glow about you that others can see? Can they tell that you have been with Jesus?
One verse that has always impacted me whenever I have read it is Acts 4:13, in reference to the apostles. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. Others around them, including their own enemies, could tell that they had spent time with Jesus, had walked in His presence, had clung closely to Him. How about you?
Psalm 34:5 They looked unto Him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. In this verse the word “lightened” is Strong’s #5102, meaning “to sparkle, i.e. (figuratively) be cheerful; hence (from the sheen of a running stream) to flow.” As you go through trials and hard times, do you look continually to the Lord and does your face sparkle? Does your countenance glow from within because of your excitement and fervour from walking with Jesus day by day?
Early in my Christian walk I came across this poem,
When the child of God
Looks into the Word of God
And sees the Son of God
He is changed by the Spirit of God
Into the image of God
For the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
The glass mentioned here is the Word of God. (See James 1:23-25 and 1 Corinthians 13:10-12) As we spend time with the Lord Jesus Christ in Bible study and prayer, we are transformed into His image and made more like Him.
This change will be evident to others around us.
Three sayings that I came across years ago and wrote in the margin of my Bible that relate to this theme of looking unto Jesus and spending time with Him are quoted below (unfortunately, I do not know who penned two of them):
“There is no beauty to be discovered anywhere comparable to fixing your eyes on Jesus. There is no life-changing power available anywhere comparable to that gaze.”
“It is the look that saves, but it is the gaze that sanctifies.”
"Spiritual Growth/Development: The process through which those who love and trust Jesus Christ effectively take on His character." - Dallas Willard.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
Is it evident to others that you have been with Jesus?
Study written August 24th, 2002
By Jerry Bouey
Eagle's Wings Ministries