Summary: God wants to use us to make a difference in the lives of others.
Acts 3: 1-16
Is our Christianity a failure? I am afraid that what many of us today call Christianity is failing because while addressing the proper way to behave, emphasizing Church attendance and tithing we have failed to offer people something that touches their heart. Something that stirs their soul and causes a rise in their sense of mortality. We need to have a Christianity that encourages people to see themselves for who they are and what they can become with the help of Jesus.
How do we go about touching the lives and hearts of other people? The people that God puts in our lives--The people whose lives are empty and in need of encouragement. People who, though they might not know it, need their heart stirred and touched. People who are lame spiritually and are grasping and groping for strength to stand in a hardened and unforgiving world. People who are searching for meaning and purpose but yet they cannot find it. How do we reach these people?
I. We have to see the need v. 1-3
a. Peter and John saw the need
i. Saw the need for Prayer
1. Why were they going to the temple to pray—Why did they need the temple—The veil was torn in to?
2. This was a transition stage for the early church. Most of the Christians, including Peter and John were Jews and it was part of their custom to go to the temple to pray around 3:00 PM
3. Peter and John did not see Christianity as a new religion from Judaism—They saw Jesus as a fulfilling of the law---Jesus himself said that He came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it.
4. Peter and John realized their need to pray and communicate with God.
5. I wish my prayer life was better than what it was
If we are going to have an impact on the lives of others then we better start praying earnestly
Peter and John saw the need for prayer
ii. Saw the need for Compassion
1. Here was a lame 40 year old man that had never walked.
a. There wasn’t any SSI or Disability payments in his day
2. All he could do was to set at the gate called Beautiful and beg for loose change
a. This gate call Beautiful was Corinthian Bronze overlaid in Gold, Silver and Precious Jewels.
b. What a paradox—what a contradiction
c. Things have not changed much—we still as churches have a tendency to spend more on our buildings than we do on missions and to help the needy.
d. Peter and John saw the need for compassion
3. There were thousands of people at the temple
iii. Why did they notice this lame man?
1. They took notice of the man because that is what the Spirit of Christ does for us when we get serious about Christ living though you
2. We do not see the same way as we use to
a. We will gain sympathy for people and the situation that they are struggling with
b. It will no longer be about us but about others
c. Do you see the need
d. When you look at the people in your community or the people you work with do you see the needs that they have
e. Or are you so consumed with your own world that helping others is the last thing on your mind.
We have to see the Need