Summary: A prelude message to Christmas 2018 challenging us all to look ahead willingly, expectantly, at what God might do this holiday season.

- In the coming weeks, Pastor Joey will be preaching about Christmas

-- So, this message is not specifically on Christmas – rather, it’s one of preparation

-- It is a message of expectation – prayerfully it’s one of faith in action

-- Big Idea (up front): As you sit here today … are you expecting God?

- Let’s be honest: For many, the holidays can be very stressful

-- There are always things to do: getting ready for visitors, cooking, shopping, etc.

-- Drive me crazy: Spend hours in a store wandering around … it’s over

- What often happens is we get so frantic we dread the season

-- We lose our desire to celebrate, and sadly stop even expecting God to show up

-- Prayerfully, today will help you focus a little more intently on the time ahead

Read Acts 3:1-11 / Pray

- Call something out: Disciples, going to church, middle of the afternoon (v1)

-- 9th hour is about 3pm (6am would be the beginning of the day)

-- Some today get impatient when the preacher goes past 12 – don’t we?

-- Re: They’ve just seen Jesus taken away, rcvd Holy Spirit, they’re expecting

Point 1 – We should expect God everywhere we go

- On this day, they encounter a man sitting outside the gate (v2)

-- Keep in mind: heavy crowds, lots of commotion, lots of folks going

-- This would have been the perfect place to beg (very high traffic)

- Sitting there, this man seems to see Peter and John as two who have something

-- Perhaps his flesh thought it was money; but I believe his spirit cried out for more

- As they pass him, Peter sees him and decides to respond to him (v4)

-- I always found this interesting … why does Peter call out to this man?

- Did the man have a sad story? Was he holding a cardboard sign?

-- Was he saying all the right things? Did he say something not recorded here?

-- All of these may be true statements … but more than that, I think it’s simpler

- Critical point for us to remember here: John and Peter were going to worship … they were expecting to meet with God, in His house, on this day!

- Peter saw an opportunity to do what Jesus said, because He expected Him

- Nothing more, nothing less – opp. to “practice what he learned from Jesus”

-- Matthew 25:45 (ESV), “Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

- Expecting God means that we are ready to spring into action when He leads

-- Re: Peter saw Jesus this do for 3 years; that’s what He knew to do as well

-- As a matter of faith, he did/said the only thing that he could

-- (v6) Silver and gold …

- Expound: Love this statement of faith– one of my fav verses of bible

-- He’s broke, he has nothing to offer, but he gives this man everything he needed

- For Peter, his expecting to have a God moment boiled over at this gate

-- FACT: He was willing, ready, and able to respond when God opened this door

- Are we? CHALLENGE: As we sit here, are we ready to respond to God?

-- Are we expecting an opportunity to share God with someone in need?

- DEEPER: See this: Peter never even blinked at the chance to share Jesus

-- This moment had nothing to do with his own desire, power, or even abilities

-- What Peter saw was the chance to glorify and share Jesus

- “I don’t have money. I don’t have prestige. I don’t have power.”

- “But what I do have – I freely give it to you – because it’s all I have to give”

-- And the reaction to receiving this free gift? Absolute JOY!

-- (v8) says this man “jumped to his feet … walking, jumping, praising”

- Had this been the end of the story, it would be pretty cool, don’t you agree?

-- In the tradition of the commercials we’ll see … “But wait, there’s more!”

Point 2 – (I believe) People still have a lack of expectation

- As the disciples are entering the temple the crowd sees this beggar (v10)

-- Take note of the reaction of the people here: Wonder and Astonishment!

- Isn’t it incredible the reaction these people had seeing the man? Why?

-- They didn’t expect God to do something … even in His own house!

-- However, Jesus teaches us that we should EXPECT great things … right?

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