Summary: You don’t need money, material possession, status or anything else more than you need Jesus. If you have Jesus, you have all you need.
ALL YOU NEED IS JESUS
God does his work on this earth with ordinary people in our ordinary-everyday situations. And he can take an ordinary situation, with ordinary people, kick it up a notch and do some extraordinary things. You can go about your regular, everyday routine, and then like Emeril Lagasse would say ”BAM”, something extraordinary happens. Emeril Lagasse, for those who do not know who he is, is a New Orleans chef that has a TV show and he shares some of his recipes on that show. He will be showing how he puts the dish together, working his recipe, then all of a sudden he goes “BAM”, lets kick it up a notch. What he is doing is adding one of his key spicy ingredients that will change that dish from being ordinary to something special. He “kicks that dish up a notch”.
God is like that. All of a sudden, in your regular routine, God will look at you and in his infinite Wisdom and Sovereignty decides BAM – It’s time to kick him up a notch – He decides to take your condition of existence to the next level. Your whole life can change in the twinkling of an eye. Out of ordinary, everyday, routine situations, God can work a miracle in your life. Can I get just one witness this morning?
This is exactly what happens in our text for today. In verse 1 we are told that Peter and John were doing what they do regularly. They were going up to the Temple at the hour of prayer to pray when they encountered a crippled man, doing what he does regularly. He was sitting at the Temple Gate called beautiful asking alms – begging from the people entering the Temple to pray. Begging was his everyday routine.
I need to park right here for a minute to talk about this regular routine. As I began working on this message the first verse was not where I had my focus. As a matter of fact I went straight for the miracle trying to find the meaning. However, early Saturday morning the Lord led me back to the first verse and kept me there for a while. He put in my spirit the importance of corporate prayer and how it is so overlooked in the church today.
In the early church, which is the background for this text, devout Jews and Gentiles would observe corporate prayer 3 times a day. They had a prayer service-not worship-not fellowship-not Bible study- they got together three times a day just to pray. You know we don’t do that today. We will be hard pressed to find a church that has prayer service once a day - everyday. And to be real up in here today, you will be hard pressed to find churches that gather just for prayer once a week. We pray – in conjunction with other matters. I know many churches that do not even have prayer services any longer and that is because folk in the church do not come.
Then I thought about this on an individual basis and I just want to pose a question. I am not trying to put anybody down or pick on anybody but I do want us to ponder this thought. Do you have a regular routine of prayer in your life? Is there a place where you go, a special time of day, everyday, where you spend time with the Lord? If the church fathers saw the importance of corporate prayer, where they incorporated it into their regular routine, three times a day – everyday; how about us? Come on now. Do we even believe in the power of prayer anymore?
I remember a story about a small town that had been historically "dry," but then a local businessman decided to build a tavern. A group of Christians from a local church were concerned and planned an all-night prayer meeting to ask God to intervene. Now it just so happened that shortly thereafter lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground. The owner of the bar sued the church, claiming that the prayers of the congregation were responsible. But the church hired a lawyer to argue in court that they were not responsible. The presiding judge, after his initial review of the case, stated that "no matter how this case comes out, one thing is clear. The tavern owner believes in prayer and the Christians don’t."
If your life has no power, try putting prayer in your life on a routine basis.
But let me get back to our text. Luke tells us, "One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer--at three in the afternoon". He doesn’t write, "One day, Peter and John went out so they could do some miracles". He doesn’t even say, "When Peter and John woke up that morning, they knew that this day would be different from any other". From all evidence, we see that this is just an ordinary day. But today we are going to see how God can work in an extra-ordinary way on an ordinary day with ordinary people. And as we take this walk together, I want us to see a few things that I believe the Lord wants me to lift up. The first one is NEVER GIVE UP HOPE.