Time Well Spent

When I talk it does not take long for those listening to discern where I grew up. I frequently hear, “You must be from the South!” I proudly reply, “You are absolutely correct, and I’d have it no other way!”

My words are quick reveal where I have spent a lot of time. On more than one occasion after returning from an international mission trip, my family has told me that I don’t sound the same—that I am pronouncing some of my words differently and that I am speaking in short phrases. I suppose such is the result of working through translators and unintentionally assimilating their pronunciation of English words. Bottom line, I will start sounding like the people with whom I spend a considerable amount of time.

What about you? Would others be able to identify the region of the country in which you grew up by your speech and vocabulary? Could they discern with whom you spend most of your time just by listening to you?

The apostles Peter and John had just been arrested for preaching about Jesus and healing a lame man in Acts 4. As they faced the Sanhedrin, that is the top Jewish religious council, they continued to proclaim the good news of Jesus and that he is the exclusive way of salvation (Acts 4:5-12). As the Sanhedrin watched and listened to Peter and John, they came to some fascinating conclusions in verse 13:

· Peter and John were bold even though they were uneducated and untrained. · Peter and John had been with Jesus.

What led the Sanhedrin to discern Peter and John were uneducated? Could it have been their speech and vocabulary? Maybe. Yet, being “ordinary Joe’s” did not explain the boldness Peter and John displayed that also amazed the Sanhedrin. There had to be something more. In addition to the apostles being filled with the Holy Spirit, the Sanhedrin recognized their boldness was a direct result of spending time with Jesus!

A few days ago we were able to visit as a family with our infant grandson. What a joy and blessing he is. He even has a way of changing my vocabulary and tone so that I speak “baby talk.” The truth of the matter is that he has changed the life of every member of our family. The morning after his visit, my wife and I woke up talking about him still. Such is a natural consequence of spending time with those we love.

When you spend time with Jesus:

· He will change you. · You cannot help but to speak about him (4:20). · Others will recognize you have been with him.

When you spend time with Jesus, it is time well spent.

-ERIK WILKINS - Next Steps Pastor