“The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John . . . . They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.” – Acts 4:13
I want to live an amazing life. That doesn’t mean I want to be a superhero or win a championship ring or accumulate a shelf full of awards for writing. It means I want people to be amazed at all the things that happened through me because they recognize me as one “who had been with Jesus.” Wouldn’t that be amazing?
At the end of my life I want everyone, the people who like me and the people who wished I would just go away, to say “You can’t deny Jim loved Jesus.” The religious leaders looked at the life of Peter and John and could not deny that a miracle had taken place. Acts 4:16 says, “We can’t deny that they have performed a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it.” Try as they might, there was no way they could talk themselves out of seeing a miracle standing before them – a man who had been lame for more than forty years. That’s what I want. I want saints and sinners alike to be able to look at my life and say, “There’s no denying it – the way Jim lived was the way His Savior taught him to live, and everybody who knew him knew it was true. He wasn’t perfect, but you didn’t have to wonder about where his heart and mind was.”
I encourage you to live your life so that when the end comes, people cannot deny that you lived your life for the One who gave His life for you. There will always be people who won’t like you and a few who won’t respect you. I’m sure the Sadducees felt that way about Peter and John. But they couldn’t deny the results of their life. Because they’d spent time with Jesus they were able to give the healing power of Jesus to a lame man and the miracle was undeniable. It wasn’t popular with the rulers and elders, but they couldn’t dismiss it, either. The best they could do was command Peter and John not to speak or teach in Jesus name. Well, good luck with that.
You see, when you spend time with Jesus you have trouble denying Him. Peter denied Jesus before he fully understood what was taking place, but after the resurrection and the day of Pentecost, Peter was unstoppable in his testimony about his Savior. You couldn’t deny Peter did everything he could to point people to Jesus, and Peter would not allow himself to deny his Savior again. So to the idle threats of the Sanhedrin who warned them not to speak anymore about Jesus, Peter and John reply, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19).
There are Christians in other countries that are willing to face intense persecution for telling people about Jesus, while most Christians in America can’t gather up the courage to invite a friend to church. Peter and John get arrested and when they come out of the pokey they say, “Sorry guys. We’re going right back to the same street corner and continue our story before we were so rudely interrupted.” It was undeniable Who they were serving, and I want it to be undeniable in my life, too.