Summary: The Account in Acts 3 and 4 deals with just a regular day, but God turned it for many people into an extraordinary day. There was a healing, preaching, two men arrested, and a major church growth, because of the working of God.
God Changes The Ordinary Into Extraordinary
Audio Link to hear this sermon: http://chirb.it/6xyE3J
1.) Have you ever got out of bed thinking this is going to be an ordinary run of the mill day, but by the end of the day, you found it was anything but?
2.) That is exactly the kind of picture we see in our text today.
3.) As we look at this account of Scripture it was just your regular boring, dull, normal, and average kind of day until 3:00 that afternoon.
4.) But the few remaining hours of that day were far from ordinary.
5.) There are a number of characters involved in this Scripture, and for each of them it turned out to be a day that was different than they had expected.
A.) We see a crippled man over forty years of age who thought this would be just another day of lying beside the gate of the temple begging for money.
aa.) For him, this ordinary day turned very unordinary as he experienced firsthand the miraculous healing power of God.
B.) Peter and John were going to an ordinary prayer meeting but this also became quite extraordonary, when God used them to heal this man.
C.) The healing miracle presented Peter the opportunity to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, which turned into a quite extraordonary experience and even some conflict.
ca.) In fact, in the middle of his sermon he was interrupted by the Jewish religious leaders.
caa.) This interruption ended the preaching and resulted in Peter and John being arrested and thrown into prison for the night.
D.) The people who witnessed this miracle were filled with awe and wonder and found it to be more than just an ordinary day as, the church grew to 5,000 men.
da.) Certainly for a day everyone thought would be ordinary, God made it extraordinary.
6.) Let us take a few minutes and examine four things that changed this day from the ordinary to the extraordinary:
I. A PRAYERFUL PEOPLE.
1.) It Was an hour of prayer.
A.) Jewish people recognized three hours a day for prayer.
aa.) At 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. many of the Jewish people would go to the temple for a time of prayer.
B.) After the establishment of the Church many of the early Jewish Christians continued with these three times of daily prayer.
ba.) Certainly it was an action from the people of God that moved the church closer to God, so that God could change the ordinary into extraordinary.
bb.) In the history of the church, prayer has many times moved the church closer to God.
bc.) When the church is actively seeking God, we should believe that God will choose to do something great and wonderful; something that is bigger than ourselves, and clearly by the power of God.
bca.) Prayer is the doorway that takes us from the workings of man, to the power and working of God.
bcb.) For many of the church, this was a time of seeking God and the great power that comes from His Almighty hand.
.01) But for this crippled beggar he was thinking of something quite different.
.011) This beggar may not have been so focused on the time of prayer as he was focused on getting enough money so he could have supper that night.
.02) For him:
2.) It was an hour of opportunity.
A.) The crippled man was placed at the Gate called beautiful.
aa.) This particular gate was called beautiful because it had been specially adorned, and had been a thing of great beauty.
ab.) This was the most popular entrance to the temple.
B.) It has been long known that many times the people of God are generous and given to acts of kindness.
ba.) Certainly this was even more the case as they went up for prayer at the temple.
bb.) Acts 3:1-2
C.) Each day this man would lie there, and beg those coming to the temple for some money.
ca.) This day started out no different than most other days.
caa.) This man did what he normally did, and the people going to the temple would have likely responded with either love and generosity, or indifference or even negativity as they would do each time they passed by this man.
D.) This particular day as Peter and John were passing by, this man asked them for some money as well.
da.) Acts 3:3
db.) We will see what transpires in this account as I come to my second point of:
II. A POWERFUL HEALING.
1.) Peter and John give heed to the man.
A.) Acts 3:4-5
B.) This man lifts his head and looks at Peter and John expecting to receive some money.