Summary: As the church develops some amazing things naturally start to happen. Look at some of the incredible things that are going on with this brave new church.
4. The Book of Acts
June 14th, 2009
A Brave new Church
The one thing that has always impressed me about beggars is that they know how to make money. I don’t mean that to be insulting I really don’t it is impressive. I remember a few years ago I was in my office working and this car pulled up. A couple came in and asked if we could help them out with some food and money. When I looked outside I noticed their car. It was a brand new fresh off the lot Lexus. It had tinted windows, leather seats, chrome hub caps, a sun roof, and every other feature you could imagine. This car was top of the line. So I just looked at these people thinking: you drive a car that is worth more than all the cars, and the yearly salaries of our entire staff put together and you are really asking for food? Do you know how much the average person with a will work for food sign makes? $75 an hour.
Beggars can be interesting to talk to. I worked in a homeless ministry for about four years in high school and met a lot of interesting people. There are some incredible people with some incredible stories who live on the streets. I met one guy I can’t remember his name I think it was Sammy. Sammy had a pretty severe limp in his left leg and a whole lot of attitude to go along with it. Of all the sermons I have heard in my life I have never met anyone who could tell a story like Sammy. Of course it was hard to understand him most of the time because he was drunk every time I saw him. The incredible thing was what happened when we talked with them. When I started out I hung out with the other volunteers and rarely talked with the homeless people because they were awkward and creped me out. I had this prejudice against them. One night I finally tried talking with one of these hurting people and they just gave me a hug. I learned something later that really broke my heart. In an entire week we were often the only human contact they had. Most people wouldn’t talk to them. They just passed by occasionally tossing money at them as they went. Not many people really cared enough to learn their names. I would watch as their entire demeanor would change when someone just talked to them.
It is amazing the effect that human contact can have on a person. What is perhaps even more amazing is what happens when the Spirit contacts someone. I wonder what happens when the Spirit of God gets a hold of you. If you look at Acts 3:1 we are going to meet our very own Biblical beggar. There is nothing exceptional about his life, nothing really worth noting. He was just a crippled beggar. He’d been that way since birth. For him this day was just like every other day. His brothers got him out of bed, dressed him, and carried him to the temple. The grass wasn’t any greener, the sky wasn’t any bluer, the air didn’t smell any sweeter. It just seemed like a regular day. So he sat shriveled legs extended in front of him unaware that his entire life was about to be changed. This seemingly ordinary day would change his life and be recorded and ready by millions of people for thousands of years.
Ac 3:1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Ac 3:2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. Ac 3:3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Ac 3:4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” Ac 3:5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Ac 3:6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Ac 3:7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. Ac 3:8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. Ac 3:9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, Ac 3:10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.