Focus 40 Day 28: Extreme Living—Growing in Christ as God Sequences Us
Prayer Focus: Pray to possess the Fruit of the Spirit – Gal. 5:22-23
Extreme Living—Growing in Christ as God Sequences Us
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
—Acts 4:13 (NIV)
THERE’S JUST SOMETHING ATTRACTIVE, captivating, and fascinating about a true Christ follower. Peter and John were recognized as Christ followers because people around them “took note that these men had been with Jesus” in more than a just a casual way. With means to be “in close association with a person; to participate in what he is and does—to transfer or sequence that person’s qualities to other people.” The fact that Peter and John had been with Jesus made them so confident that there was no question that they were related to him; his character was sequenced into their lives. That’s extreme living!
My wife and I have an Alesis Sequencer, which is a digital recorder that you can play a midi keyboard into, and it records (sequences) whatever my wife plays. When you play it back, there’s no doubt that it’s her recording. True followers are to live so closely to Jesus that his thoughts, attitudes, motives, desires, and actions are sequenced through us to those we love and lead. A person who, like those apostles, has been with Jesus in this close, intimate relationship has been sequenced into a Christ follower—someone who thinks like Christ thinks and acts like Christ would act.
When Jesus was ready to select his apostles, he “went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve, that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons” (Mark 3:13–15 NIV1984). There’s that word with again! They were with him so they could participate in his plans. He could sequence into them his God-breathed Word, his unconditional love, his goals of evangelism and disciple-making, his life-transforming power, and his unending resources to fulfill his plans. Against that breathtaking backdrop Luke could say about Peter and John that when the people “saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13 NIV). When people meet us, are they astonished; and do they take note that we have been with Jesus? Do they see us as sequencers, channels of his God-breathed Word, unconditional love, goals of evangelism and disciple-making, life-transforming power, and unending resources to fulfill his plans?
Sequence me, Lord, with the character of Christ! May people take note that I have been with you. I desire to be a true Christ follower—genuinely holy person, a person infused with God—to transfer your God-breathed Word, unconditional love, and disciple-making, life-transforming power, and unending resources to all you bring across my path to love and lead. Thanks. Amen.
Dr. Sam Bruce
Pastor, MACU Professor, and Transformation Team Member