Day 3 in Acts
Don’t you just love the way Acts pours out thoughts and ideas to us. These are some of the things I pondered today, as I read.
Verses 4-5 tells of Peter and John going into the temple and encountering the lame man. This man had obviously been coming to the temple gates for years, but do you notice what happened with Peter and John?
“Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.”
They NOTICED him. I wondered, as I read, how many people had walked by this man, throwing change at him, but never really took notice of him? And he had become so accustomed to this procedure that he didn’t notice the people, either. But when they paid attention to him, things began to happen. How many times do we walk by those around us and never really pay attention to them or their needs?
Peter and John did not give him the coins he expected, they gave him something much greater. Many times, when people ask us for something, if we don’t have what they ask for, we often just say, “no” and leave. But what do we posses that can be shared with them? Peter and John had been filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and they gave him healing.
Another point that stood out to me was the beggar’s reaction. He didn’t just say, “Oh, thank you!” He was jumping, and leaping, and praising God. Many times the miracles we are given don’t come in a huge event, like this one, but do we recognize that they are works from God? How many times do we pray for someone who is sick, even if it is just a cold, and never give praise to God for the healing? I pray we begin to notice those around us and pay attention to them, that we share the healing power of God with them, that we notice their needs. I also pray we give God praise when even the smallest miracles are performed.
Verse 12: “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this?” Men (and women) of the Church, of Fayette County or Lake County, Men (and women) of God, why are you amazed at this? If we KNOW what the awesome Power of the Holy Spirit can accomplish, why are we surprised when it happens? Peter encourages these men not to look to them, but to look to God for the glory of this healing.
Verse 16: “And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.”
We have to remember that everything that occurs, our healing, our forgiveness, our salvation, even our faith, comes from God. We can’t take credit for any of it. I pray we come to “expect” the miracles from God and not be shocked and amazed by them. I pray we will continue to grow and mature in giving ONLY God the Glory for our healing, our forgiveness, our salvation, our faith.
This last section of Acts 3 reminds us of the prophecies given in the Old Testament, about Christ. Even though these men of Israel had been “schooled” in those prophecies, they were ignorant in recognizing Him. They are admonished to “repent” so their sins can be wiped away. God planned, from before the beginning of time, for Christ to come. At the end of this chapter we see another promise, in the form of a warning,
“Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren; to Him you shall give heed to everything He says to you. And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’”
I pray that we will be bold to proclaim the prophecies of Christ, to see our ignorance, to repent and turn from our sins. I pray we will reach out to those who may still be living in complete ignorance and share the love of Christ with them.