Summary: Obey Jesus: 1. By praying to the Lord (vs. 1). 2. By giving for the Lord (vs. 2-15). 3. By trusting in the Lord (vs. 16). 4. By telling people about the Lord (vs. 12-15;17-26).

Great Ways to Obey our God

Acts 3:1-26 (Initial reading vs. 1-9)

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - July 7, 2013

*No true Christian can be happy living in disobedience. I heard something in a church in Warner Robins, Georgia 35 years ago, and I hope I never forget it: "The most miserable people in this world are not the lost people. The most miserable people in the world are the Christians living like lost people."

*We have every good reason to live in obedience to God, and in this chapter we see 4 great ways to obey our God.

1. First: Obey Jesus by praying to the Lord.

*We should be like the Apostles in vs. 1. There "Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour." Devout Jews had three special hours set aside for prayer each day. In these verses, Peter and John went to pray at 3 in the afternoon.

*Peter and John went to pray in vs. 1, because they wanted to be obedient to the Lord, because they wanted to draw close to God, and because they knew the power of prayer. They knew what prayer could do both in their hearts and in their world!

*Peter and John went to pray, and a man born with a serious birth defect was miraculously healed. Peter and John went to pray, and chapter 4 will tell us that 5,000 people got saved! All of these great things happened, because Peter and John were obeying God's command to pray.

*There is no question that God commands us to pray. For example, in Matthew 5:44 Jesus said, "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you."

*In Matthew 6:6, Jesus said, "when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."

*And in Matthew 9:37-38, Jesus told His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."

*On the night before the cross, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane and prayed in agony to the Father. In Matthew 26:40-41, Jesus came back to the disciples and found them asleep. Then Jesus:

40. . . said to Peter, "What, could you not watch with Me one hour?

41. Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.''

*One of the best ways the Lord showed His love for children was by praying for them. We see this happen in Matthew 19:13-15:

13. Then little children were brought to Him (i.e. Jesus) that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them.

14. But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.''

15. And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.

*Those parents knew what prayer could do in the lives of their children. And God wants us to know more and more the incredible value of prayer. It can change our lives. And it can change our world!

2. So we should obey Jesus by praying to the Lord. -- But also by giving for the Lord.

*We can see this truth starting in vs. 2-3:

2. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple;

3. who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms.

*That man in vs. 2 was lame from the day he was born. He was never able to run as a child, never able to take a step, never able to take care of himself. He was reduced to begging outside the Temple, and he tried to beg for money from Peter and John. But in vs. 4-8, God used Peter to give that man more than he ever dreamed possible.

4. Fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, "Look at us.''

5. So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.

6. Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.''

7. And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

8. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them walking, leaping, and praising God.

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