July 3 I Sunday
“…The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” —Acts 11:26
Something happened after Jesus ascended into heaven, the disciples ceased to be followers of Jesus. The disciples were never called followers of Jesus after Pentecost because they were not Christ followers. To be a follower, Jesus had to be out there and we would try our best to keep up and do what He wants us to do—quite noble, but this is not the Christian life. We are in Christ and Christ is in us, which is different from being a follower. We are now brought into union with Christ. When we live in relationship with God, there are some things in our life that will be inexplicable apart from the fact that Christ is at work in us.
We find this in Peter and John’s encounter with the lame beggar as they went to the Temple after Pentecost. The beggar was asking for money and Peter told him, “Look at us!” The beggar gave them his full attention, expecting to get something from them. But instead, Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you.” There is an important principle behind what Peter was saying—we can only give what we have got. If we do not know what we have got, we have got nothing to give. Peter continued, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (Acts 3:3-6). What Peter had and got to offer was Jesus Christ.
Peter’s ability to heal the lame beggar was not because he was a miracle worker or an apostle; rather, it was an act of the risen Lord Jesus Christ who indwelt Peter. An ordinary man, who got to spend three years with Jesus, went on to do extraordinary things, not merely because of the influence of Jesus, but because of the very life of Jesus working in him.
When we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, He comes to live within us—even in our frail body, soul and spirit, with our old nature that fights against the Spirit of God. We will fight with it until the day we die but the wonderful thing about the Christian life is that we come to Him with all our weaknesses, frailties, failures, sins, temptations and battles that tire us and say, “Lord, would You please have Your way in me.” We do not need to come up with some to-do list to try harder, be better, adopt this method or this practice. What makes us a Christian is when we allow Christ to work in and through us.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank You that You are at work in and through me. May my life bring You praise, glory and honour in all that I do.