sprout_in_dirt_squareThis Week’s Sermon: “Be With Jesus”–Acts 4:1-22 (Matt Kearns)

This Week’s Scripture Memory: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”–Acts 4:12

Next Week’s Sermon: Acts 4:23-31 (Jay Todd)

Next Week’s Scripture Memory: “And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”–Acts 4:29-30

Devotional/Reflection: Perhaps you, like me, have been impacted by the ministry of prominent pastors like John Piper or Alistair Begg. A brief survey of the additional resources in this series will show how much I trust and appreciate their insight. It is a great blessing to have the ability to learn from men like these two, whether it is listening to sermons, reading devotionals, or reading books. But as much as these men have impacted me from afar, there are others who have impacted me far more though they are not as well known. One of these men is Jason Lee. Jason was my professor, mentor, and small group leader while I was in seminary. I was his Graduate Teaching Assistant. I learned a ton of theological information from this man’s teaching in the classroom. I learned a great deal more from conversations outside of class. I learned the most from his willingness to share his life and the life of his family with me and my family. He would invite us into his home for small group. He would go to lunch with me or let me stay and chat in his office after returning papers I had graded. I remember one moment when my wife and I sat in his living room talking with him and his wife about parenting. The wisdom and encouragement from that night have, with no exaggeration, continued to impact our ability to be godly parents today. Simply stated, as much as Jason Lee could teach me in the classroom (and that was a lot), I learned infinitely more from his willingness to be with me, to share life with me and my family. He was doing the very thing that Jesus himself had modeled in his own ministry. Mark 3:14 says that Jesus appointed the twelve apostles that they might be with him. Jesus’ ministry was founded upon a commitment to live life with his apostles. And this commitment to share life, more than any formal education, is what set the apostles apart. In Acts 4:13, notice what Luke writes: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” Despite being common, uneducated men, the people were astonished by Peter and John, and the simple fact that made them decidedly astonishing was that they had clearly been with Jesus. We can learn a great deal from this passage, but I want to highlight two points. First, we MUST be with Jesus. We must spend time in Scripture and in prayer knowing Jesus through being with him. Second, we ought to disciple others by following Jesus’ own model. As helpful as curriculum can be, Jesus did not write curriculum–he was the curriculum. Though it can be helpful to be intentional in teaching others we are discipling, this can never take the place of inviting them to share in our life and let them see how this is lived out, however imperfectly we may do it. Jason Lee understood that, and he taught me to understand that, and I hope someday that the commitment that my wife and I have to living life together with students with help them to understand it as well. 

Discussion Questions:

1.What are you doing in your life to be with Jesus?

2. What are you doing in your life to be with others, either with a mentor who is discipling you or with another person whom you are discipling?

3. Who has had an impact on your life by sharing their life with you?

Additional Resources: