Summary: As I read this passage I see two things that jump off the page at me here. Two notes of what we as Obedient Christians should be doing in our daily walk with God.
Helping a Needy World
The book of Acts tells us in simple terms how the Early Church functioned and affected its world. This morning we are going to take a look at an interesting experience in the life of the young church and see how we can apply to today. It Will Help Us Understand What Has Brought the Church to this Point.
The believers back in chapter one had been given a command and two promises: the command was to wait in Jerusalem (1:4), Promise #1: was that they would receive the Holy Spirit (v. 5) and Promise #2: was, “This same Jesus…will come back” (v. 11).
While they waited for the Second Coming, they were to live lives full of victory and joy. To do this they would have to be obedient to God’s guidance. In chapter 2, the believers were obedient and God flooded over them through His wonderful Spirit. And the church grew rapidly. Please note though, that when I talk about the Holy Spirit, I am not referring to an “it.” When the scripture refers to the Holy Spirit, it is talking about God in the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is God’s special way of being with His people wherever we go.
When we surrender our wills totally to Him, we enter into the life promised to us in Isaiah 1:19, to enjoy the best the land has to offer. Many Christians struggle in an attempt to be good and are even exhausted by their efforts because they have never truly surrendered their wills to His way. In too many lives the clay is trying to dictate to the Potter what it wants to be. If we truly want to be blessed and used by God, then we need to learn how to get out of the way of the Holy Spirit working in side of us and let God work.
Listen to the words of Acts 3:1-10 again with me.
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down everyday at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something form them. But Peter said, “I do not possess silver or gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene – walk!” And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God; and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
As I read this passage I see two things that jump off the page at me here. Two notes of what we as Obedient Christians should be doing in our daily walk with God.
I. The Obedient Believers are Praying
a. Twice we see the importance of prayer in the Early Church
i. In chapter 1, after the Lord Jesus Christ had been lifted up into Heaven, there were praying.
1. They were devoting themselves to prayer
2. Asking God for direction, guidance, and assistance with fulfilling the command of spreading the Gospel.
ii. Now here in chapter 3, they are on their way to a prayer meeting.
1. Prayer is absolutely essential to the Christian life.
2. It is our life line to God
3. When we don’t go to the Lord in prayer, we isolate ourselves from Him.
4. That is when we start to burn out and stumble.
5. But, if we stay plugged into God through our prayer lives, we stay charged up and ready for anything that may come our way.
b. The encounter mentioned here in verses 2-3 would have been very normal for the time.
i. Before his encounter with the people of God the beggar was totally helpless.
1. He couldn’t walk or much less do anything for himself.
2. The money that people would give him, might put some food in his stomach, but it wasn’t going to heal him.