Hang out with Jesus: Be Changed!


According to an article in the New York Times, scientific evidence has led people to believe that couples will eventually start to look like one another. Sounds crazy, right? Well, it might not actually be so far-fetched as you may think. When they first meet and get together- there doesn’t appear to be a strong resemblance, but after 25 years of marriage there does seem to be people growing more and more in resemblance to one another. The main cause is believed to be that due to being married for such a long time, they share many of the same emotions. Our wrinkles, laugh lines, and mannerisms often reflect each other and therefore we begin to ‘look a like.’

We become like the people we hang out with. Our friends, our family, our workplace- people affect who we are and who we become. Humans are social creatures and we’re all highly influenced by the people around us each day. There’s not much we can do to control it. Who you spend your time with will have an impact on the way you behave.

The psychological influence of the people you’re close to is strong. You only have to look closely around you to see the truth of this statement. If you want to be successful in business or in your faith or in your life, hang around those people that are successful in those areas!

This underlines the importance of being thoughtful about exactly what you expose yourself to for learning and who you spend time with and relate to. If proximity effect dictates that we’ll mirror the people around us, then we must carefully choose who those people are. It’s the one thing we can control. If hanging around people with bad habits will cause you to develop bad habits yourself, then the opposite is also true: spending time around people with good habits will cause you to develop good habits.

The same is true in faith. If you want a ‘rebellious faith’ one that can stand up under the stress and challenges of the world around, you- you need to be around someone that already has accomplished that. If you want to be more like Jesus- if you want to follow and live for Him- then He is the one you need to spend time with. When you “Hang out with Jesus- you will be changed!!!

Peter and the disciples spent 3 years with Jesus. They worked with him, shared boat rides, shared struggles, shared life with Him for 3 years! They saw Jesus tired, hungry, strong, angry, loving, compassionate, giving, healing, - they saw Jesus do life in almost every type of situation there was. They were there. They knew Jesus. They learned from and spent time- quality and quantity time with Jesus.

Jesus stood up to the Pharisees and the other religious leaders- he lived out His faith, by going against the status quo, and showing and living out a new way before all the people. The disciples lived it as well. In the beginning they were mostly curious, but as time went on- they practiced the principles they were learning. They were sent out 2 by 2 to share the good news and to depend on God- They were able to do miracles and face demons and the forces of evil prevalent in the world. When the time came for Jesus to leave this world- He knew that He had given these men and women all that they needed to lead the ‘church’ of Jesus Christ to the next level.

You can read in Acts 4:13-21 where Peter and John had healed a man- they took no credit for it- they told him that they would give him what they had- and they had JESUS! And in the name of Jesus the man was healed- 40 years a cripple- now he is jumping, and dancing and praising God!!! 3 years before Peter and John would have just passed by or waited for Jesus to heal this man- now they are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and are ready to live out the change that Jesus had made in their lives!

The council was amazed! They were amazed at hearing the strong testimony- the faith, the power of Jesus presence in these two men. They knew that these guys were just plain old fishermen 3 years before. Peter and John had never been to school, or toastmasters, or had coaching- their schooling was day to day life with their family and friends going into the sea and bringing in the catch of the day. They would not have been polished speakers- in fact, their language was probably rough and possibly colorful as well. And NOW, they are standing before this prestigious council able to defend their faith with power and truth. They weren’t shaking in their boots- they were going toe to toe with the people in charge without fear!

That’s the kind of faith I want. That’s the kind of faith available to each of us! A faith that isn’t afraid of the repercussions. Faith that doesn’t fear what other people think. Faith that stands true to what is right and holy. Faith that is able to speak with assurance that God is on my side, and I will continue on the path that God has given me- no looking back! Peter and John had that kind of faith- and the council saw that, and they recognized that these men had been with Jesus!

When you hang out with Jesus, you will be changed! We must take the steps to become like Jesus; to live for Him and to follow Him.

If there’s something you want to do or change about your faith and ultimately your life, choose to hang out with Jesus Christ.

 Hang out with Jesus! Take the next step in your faith; accept Jesus.

 Read the Bible.

 Go to church!

 Join a small group.

 Find a way to serve.

The more you are spending time with Jesus and His people, the more your life will reflect the life of Jesus Christ. People will know that you have been with Jesus, and you may hear them say- “They are just ordinary people, but we can see that they have been with Jesus!” That’s a powerful epitaph to our lives- they have been with Jesus. I want that said of me… I hope you do too.