Summary: : Becoming His Church: Don’t be surprised when God acts instead be committed to becoming His, expect Him to do great things, tell others what he has done and give him all the glory and praise.

I was raised Southern Baptist but in truth my mother raised me as a Methodist. I truly believe in the process of sanctification and perfection. As a preacher that means Sunday morning worship isn’t a one time event. I believe there is a connection and process to our worship time together. Therefore, I generally preach with an annual theme in mind. Even before I came here God gave me a passion for this year’s theme. The theme is “Becoming His.” I mentioned it last week. This theme will manifest itself during the year in several topics Becoming His Child, His Steward, His Gift, His Family and this is the second in the series on Becoming His Church. Now the interesting thing about Becoming His Church is that is not just about this building or this group of people. I am reminded of a song several years ago by a group called AVB – Accapella Vocal Band title “You can’t go to church because the church is you.” As we seek to become more and more His Church, we too as individual will become more and more like Him because we, you and I, are the church

Turn with me if you will to this morning’s text as found in Acts 3:1-13a.

Pentecost had happened. What a grand and glorious event. And I think it would have been tempting for Peter and the apostles to have decided they were done. I mean if I

They were committed to becoming His

They were on there way to becoming his – passing thru Beautiful to Holy

Physically – going to where God was

Mentally – focus on him not self

Spiritually – their own spiritual life not just the church

They were still seeking to grow as individuals

Sought a time of Prayer

Sought a time Learning

Sought a time of Worship

If Peter still needed it so do we

God used them – not when he was finished with them – during the process

Looked at people, heard, and saw the man

That sigh of a discouraged co-worker.

That person that lashes out at everyone (Hurting people hurt people.)

That one who is a little too quiet today.

That family member who is going through something not too many people know about. That person at church who makes a prayer request.

Saw His need – not just for a few coins

They wanted the lame man to see them-because they knew when they saw them he would see

Christ – Look at us

They expected God to do Great Things


in their calling

in God’s Power

in Jesus Word – anything in my name,

Weren’t fixated on what they didn’t have but on what they did have

Not money


Us – We think to small, we try to do too much and expect God to do little

Up to us ,caught up in the business of church without the mighty power of God work in the

church – illustration church clean up –

A church organised a big clean-up day. Several ladies showed up with vacuum cleaners to clean the sanctuary. After an hour of hard work one lady noticed that her machine wasn’t working. She flicked the switch and nothing happened. She turned to notice that the whole time she had been working so hard her vacuum cleaner was not plugged in but she hadn’t noticed because all the noise of the other machines!

when the power is turn on with in us we can be God’s vessel to do great things

God’s work surpasses human effort

Tell other’s what God is doing and give him all the glory and praise

Closing: Jesse, The Great

Communion – just take communion or expect to meet God and God to do something

They were where they needed to be physical, spiritually, mentally

On their way to prayer – after Pentecost didn’t they already do enough, perhaps drained, went to the temple, went to pray - Sometimes God works in extra-ordinary ways on extra-ordinary days. – their routine spent time with God. There are times when the Holy Spirit comes to us in dramatic ways, such as with flames of fire and the blowing of a great wind.

But God also works in just every day ordinary ways.

Saw the man at the gate beautiful – Josephus

Three thousand to personal

Saw his real need

Willing to get involved

Active in the Work of God

Looking for opportunity to glorify Himn

Offered a hand to the man – peter did his work, the man did his and God did his -- When Peter told the man to "walk, in the Name of Jesus"...evidently this man just sat there. He knew that he couldn’t walk. So Peter took him by the hand and helped him to his feet.

Expected God to do Something

Confident in God’s word and calling in his

Confident of Jesus power and authority in his life (we are weak and powerless compared to Him)

Expected something miraculous – something big

Weren’t fixed on what they didn’t have, used what they knew God had given them

Look at us – see us for who we are

Gave God all the Glory

Told other what God had done and Why/How

Others were surprised by what God had done but not Peter and John


A church organised a big clean-up day. Several ladies showed up with vacuum cleaners to clean the sanctuary. After an hour of hard work one lady noticed that her machine wasn’t working. She flicked the switch and nothing happened. She turned to notice that the whole time she had been working so hard her vacuum cleaner was not plugged in but she hadn’t noticed because all the noise of the other machines!

Even though there is a lot of noise around and hard work, it doesn’t mean a thing if YOU are not plugged into the power source!

Do you feel that way sometimes? After all the running around and the hard work, little was achieved?

You see something remarkable here - this man has been here, just outside the Temple, for many years. Acts 4:22 tell us he was over 40 years old. He was so near to the Temple of God, meeting the religious people every day, pious people going in and out to pray, yet he remained a crippled all these years! In all their religious fervour, there was NOTHING that these people could offer him! The best they could do was a few copper coins to ease their conscience. They knew nothing about the power of God.

God brings surprises in the response

1. God takes an ordinary request and responds in an extraordinary way

a.) We try to do too much and expect God to do too little

1.) We rely on own power to do too much of the work of the church

2.) We let God do only what we “want”

b.) God wants to pour out the blessings of heaven upon us

2. When God works people are amazed

a.) People cannot ignore God’s work

b.) When God works lives are impacted

c.) God’s work far surpasses human effort

God does His best when our ability is at its least

Believe God will make a difference

A. God will move in the places that He finds faith

B. If we don’t believe that god will make a difference – He won’t

A man so lame that he couldn’t even hobble along with the aid of a crutch, but had to be carried around. You can imagine how bad his condition was. Some good friends would carry him every day and lay him at this entrance to the Temple so that he could beg from the people going to pray.

Here was an ordinary man in an ordinary place and time, who did not expect God to do anything extraordinary.

Aren’t we all like that to some degree? We think too small when it comes to God.

We tend to think that God has already done all the wonderful things he is ever going to do in this life. We tend to think that there is no great thing he will ever do in our life.

To think that way about God is to think of Him as lazy. Ineffective.

I actually had a friend years ago who thought it was to his advantage for people to think of him as lazy and ineffective.

In his work place everyone took turns making coffee, buying coffee supplies, and so forth. He didn’t want to do this, however. So he put salt in the sugar dispenser, and they never again asked him to help.

He told me, “People don’t expect much of me, and I never disappoint them.”

I think we have reached the point where we don’t expect much of God.

A friend of mine once taught a confirmation class to a very small group. In fact, there were only three young girls in the class. In one session, the minister was teaching them about the festivals and seasons of the Christian year, and when they came to the discussion of Pentecost, the minister asked them if they knew what Pentecost was. Since none of the three knew, the minister began to explain.

“That’s when the church was sitting in a group and the Holy Spirit landed on them like tongues of fire on their heads. Then they spoke the Gospel in all the languages of the world.”

Two of the girls took this information in stride.

But the third one looked astonished. Her eyes grew as big as saucers. Finally she spoke up and said, “Gee Reverend Long, my family must have been absent that Sunday.”

In particular this text teaches us that God is at work in the ordinary times of our lives.

Luke writes, "One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer--at three in the afternoon" Acts 3:1 (NIV)

He doesn’t write, "One day, Peter and John went out so they could do some miracles."

He doesn’t say, "When Peter and John woke up that morning, they knew that this day would be different from any other."

Sometimes God works in extra-ordinary ways on extra-ordinary days.

There are times when the Holy Spirit comes to us in dramatic ways, such as with flames of fire and the blowing of a great wind.

But God also works in just every day ordinary ways.

Peter the church

Man wanted money but money isn’t everything

There was a survey done a couple of years ago.

33. Most people feel they are not making enough money

34. The survey asked how much more a year do they need in order to make them happier

35. The average amount was $10,000.

36. Here is the ironic thing, the people surveyed income was all over the board

37. You had a range of 20,000 to 200,000. Yet they all needed more

38. If we had a bigger building we would want a even bigger building

39. If we had a bigger budget we would want a even bigger budget

40. If we had more “resources” we would want even more “resources”

41. No matter what we have, we would want more

42. But all of that stuff is not important

43. We have all that we need

44. We have Jesus

God is not limited by anything other than the faith of the believer. The trouble is not with God! The trouble lies with [for lack of a better word] the believer who, with doubts, and second thoughts & guesses put the almighty God in handcuffs. The trouble is that we set our expectations too low and are satisfied with mediocrity. We go to God to patch our tires when in fact, God wants to give us a brand new tire. It’s not like he doesn’t have the power, he is just such a gentleman that he will wait for us to ask for what we want

Eph 3:20 Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.

Be open to God¡¯s direction as you go about your business. (V. 1)

Stay tuned to the needs that exist all around you. It¡¯s not hard to hear and see if you¡¯re tuned in.

¡õ That sigh of a discouraged co-worker.

¡õ That person that lashes out at everyone (Hurting people hurt people.)

¡õ That one who is a little too quiet today.

¡õ That family member who is going through something not too many people know about.

¡õ That person at church who makes a prayer request.

You can look around and see hurts and needs, if you¡¯ll stay tuned in.

Pay attention to what Peter could have said, ¡°I¡¯m sorry, I don¡¯t have any silver and gold. . . sorry man! Have a great day, God bless!¡±

Instead, Peter said, ¡°Silver and gold I do not have, But what I do have I give you.¡±

It¡¯s a great temptation to think that we don¡¯t have anything to offer. You know:

- When I have Bill Gates¡¯ money, I¡¯ll help someone.

- When I have President Bush¡¯s influence, I¡¯ll help people.

- When I have Pastor Darrell¡¯s training, I¡¯ll offer to listen to someone who¡¯s hurting.

- When I¡¯ve studied the Bible for a few more years, I¡¯ll start offering people it¡¯s answers.

- When I¡¯ve walked with God for a few more years, I¡¯ll tell people how he can change their lives.

- When I have all my personal life in order, I¡¯ll reach out to others.

God calls us to give WHAT WE HAVE. . .not what we will someday have. He has work for you to do RIGHT NOW!

When God by his word commands us to rise, and walk in the way of his commandments, if we mix faith with that word, and lay our souls under the power of it, he will give his Spirit to take us by the hand, and lift us up. If we set ourselves to do what we can, God has promised his grace to enable us to do what we cannot; and by that promise we partake of a new nature, and that grace shall not be in vain; it was not here: His feet and ankle-bones received strength, which they had not done if he had not attempted to rise, and been helped up; he does his part, and Peter does his, and yet it is Christ that does all: it is he that puts strength into him.—Matthew Henry Unabridged

This was the most beautiful gate every constructed

b) As Josephus said it “far exceeded in value those gates that were plated with silver and set in Gold”

4. So every day he would be there

And on the way in, as they came to the Gate called Beautiful (a gate inlayed with gold and precious stones, situated as an entrance in the Eastern side of the Temple courts) - they came across this man who had been crippled since birth. A man so lame that he couldn’t even hobble along with the aid of a crutch, but instead he had to be carried everywhere. And so he had some good friends who would carry him every day and lay him at this entrance to the Temple to beg from the people going up to pray.

YOU SEE he wasn’t allowed inside the Temple to join in prayer, because he was a cripple. Because of their spiritual pride they felt that he was blemished - not fit for the house of God. And so he sat on the steps and begged. And people gave him their loose change (to ease their consciences as they went to prayer!)

Peter and John stopped as he spoke to them (not like everyone else who tried to get past him without looking), and Peter said to him: "LOOK AT US!" - perhaps the man’s head was bowed down, he never looked into the eyes of those who came by for fear of offending them. He didn’t want to embarrass, so he kept his head low - but here is Peter saying "Look at us!"

Look at this lame man’s predicament with me for a moment. He had been sat at the entrance of the Temple for YEARS (4:22 says he was "over 40 years of age"). The Temple was supposedly the very House of God - the "HOME" of God’s presence - and yet here he was all his life camped at it’s gates AND HE WAS STILL A CRIPPLE!

Peter "fixed his eyes on" the man. No-one else would have anything to do with him.

"Many Christians estimate difficulties in the light of their own resources, and thus attempt little and often fail in the little they attempt. All God’s giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on His power and presence with them." (J.Hudson Taylor)

Perhaps you’ve never given it any thought before, but let me ask you - HOW DO YOU THINK GOD FEELS WHEN WE COME BEFORE HIM WITHOUT A SENSE OF EXPECTANCY? If He is the great God who made all of heaven and earth - how insulting it must be to Him when we come not expecting anything to happen!

We must come with expectant hearts to God. When we fully expect to see Him move, we will see his power.

The word "expectancy" here means: "TO WAIT FOR SOMETHING IN SUSPENSE". There was something about these two men who would bother to talk to him that made this lame man WAIT IN SUSPENSE, expecting something good. He may have only been thinking about silver and gold - BUT AT LEAST HE WAS EXPECTING SOMETHING.

How many know that God does "exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ever ask or think"?! The problem is that so often we come to God not expecting anything at all! We come to church ready for "just another Sunday service"; we’ll sing some choruses, pray, take communion, and providing that preacher does the right thing we’ll be out and home for lunch by 12.00pm.

It’s so important to come to church longing to hear God speak. Nothing is sadder than going to church when you aren’t expecting anything to happen - and worst still when you are positively sure that nothing is going to happen

the people were surprised because they came to church but weren’t expecting anything to happen. Be prepared when ever you come to chrch for god to do something miraculous.

We have every Reason to come to Him with expectancy, because God always answers His people.

You Can Expect God to Direct Your Life.

II. You Can Expect God to Save You out of Dire Circumstances.

III. You Can Expect God to Provide.

IV. You Can Expect God to Heal.

Hudson Taylor’s life motto was this: "Attempt great things for God, EXPECT GREAT THINGS FROM GOD!"

Peter and John, in obedience, created an atmosphere where God could move in this lame man’s life. First we see they were walking in obedience - "Now Peter and John went up together into the temple..." What would have occured if they, like many Christians today, laid out of church that day? Again, God’s power would not have been manifested, a man would not have been healed, and a testimony would not have been shared. But because Peter and John was obedient and went to the temple according as God had commanded, they were able to create the atmosphere where God could perform a miracle. Hebrews 10:25 states, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is..." It is extremely sad today that many Christians today neglect the simple pleasure of attending church regularly, and then are puzzled as to why God is not moving mightily in their lives.

Peter and John never doubted for a moment that this man would be healed. Four things quickly I notice here. First, their hearts were affixed on this man. Unlike our previous story where two men crossed the street so not to be involved, Peter fastened "his eyes upon him." He didn’t look away. He didn’t think that his problem was too great. He didn’t say that this was just another bum looking for a handout. No, Peter fixed his heart on this guy.

But this time, he saw that someone was interested in him. So the Bible states in verse five that, "...he gave heed unto them expecting to receive something of them.

Peter knew that the means were possessed to be a blessing. I truly believe that on many occassions God desires that we stop asking Him to "do" all of the blessing, and expects us to "be" the blessing. Note, Peter stated that he didn’t have money to give, but yet he "did" have something. And what he had, he gave. Notice he didn’t ask God to do it. He knew that God had given him the ability, through Jesus’ name, to perform the miracle. Ezekiel 34:26 states, "And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing..." Did He state that He was going to bless Israel? No. He stated that He was going to "make them...a blessing."

Fourthly, the results were assured. Peter never flinched. He never doubted. I don’t believe that He hesitated for a moment. He told the lame man to "rise up and walk." It would have been an absolute disaster to Peter and John’s reputations if that man remained lame. But Peter knew the results were assured

I John 3:22 states, "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight." See here the condition for being a blessing - "Because we keep..and do." The key is obedience.

Take notice of the condition of this certain man. He was born crippled. We were born into a world of challenges and we had our physical limitations but we made it. Now you may look at your condition and say how did you make when you’re still struggling; how have you made it and you’re still crippled over past relationship; you may wonder how have you made when you’re still crippled over the divorce; somebody is still cripple from the last date; still cripple from the money problems in your life; Pastor Ron how have I made it and I’m still going through the agony and pain over the loss of my loved one? I intend to show you that you have made it, but many of you are just stuck at gate and have not yet entered in.

I notice that the certain man was right there at the temple entrance. He was so close to deliverance that it’s a shame to know that for more than 40 years he was placed just outside of his deliverance only to settle for temporary satisfaction. He was begging for something temporary while placed right at the entrance to something permanent. And that’s just like us. We settle for temporary satisfaction and not total fulfillment. Don’t just come into the worship; you have to get into the worship!

It happened at prayer time

I want you to look at the condition of your life and discover that it’s prayer time. Look at your wounds and discover that it’s prayer time. If you’re wounded by a marriage, it’s prayer time; is it sickness, it’s prayer time; is it loneliness, it’s prayer time; is it debt, it’s prayer time; is it a relationship that has you wounded; it’s prayer time; you’ve got to go through a prayer time to get to your walking time! Peter and John were on the way UP to the temple for prayer but had to cross the path of this crippled man who was down on his carrying bed. Let me pause right here and say that on the way up, you pass people who are down. I wonder will we lend a helping hand. A baby can’t walk alone. The toddler has to be taught how to walk. The trick to walking is maintaining balance. Some people are good people who end up in bad situations and have to be carried because they’ve gotten out of balance. I want you to know that your troubles at home and in life are not a result of you being a bad person, maybe you made a bad choice; maybe you went the wrong way; maybe you’ve just gotten out of balance. Just stop in at the Holy Ghost filling station and get your wheels balanced; get your life balanced and back on track.

Peter and John came close to this man and found him begging for some spare change. Let me tell you something. Many of us are still asking for spare change. We want what’s left and not what’s complete. Imagine again this scene; a cripple is carried and laid just outside the entrance to fulfillment to beg and depend on others to give him spare change. I don’t know about you, but I want more than a spare change life. Stop wasting time away in a bitter relationship; that’s just a spare change life; stop neglecting the things God has given you in life for your total satisfaction; its spare change! God gave you a high dollar mate to live with and enjoy life, but you cheat with a loose change man or a spare change woman. Stop expecting what’s left of another woman’s man; stop settling for what’s left of another man’s woman; it’s all or nothing! I deserve more than a spare change life; I can live better than this; I’m tired of wasting time in this crippled and wounded condition; I’m tired of singing the same old song; I’m lonely; I can’t do nothing; I’ll never do any better; I’m sick of this marriage (every week you struggle with a decision); I’m tired of this job; if that situation has crippled you; get over it; get up and get moving; stop crying and complaining about it; stop stopping short of your deliverance; come to God with great expectations; for you its walking time! God is high Dollar God so stop settling for a spare change life!

Tell somebody right now “you can walk”. We have to tell people that they don’t have to stay cripple. When we encourage people they receive strength.

You still want to be carried. Somebody was carried here this morning. Somebody had to make you get up and come to church; somebody had to be forced to get some church clothes on; but the wonderful thing is that you may have been carried in here but you can walk out of here. God has plenty of mercy. God has plenty of grace. But sometimes even God has to stop carrying us so we can learn to walk on our own. Some of you come looking, but not expecting. In other words, don’t come looking for a quick handout to pay a few bills, come expecting God to make a permanent way. As long as you’re cripple, you’ll always be in need, but when you can walk, you can do for yourself. When you can walk that means you can step out of debt; you can walk out of loneliness; you can walk away from sickness; you can walk out of a bad relationship. (Jesus died and has power to give us power to get unstuck)

It’s walking time for the couple crippled by a struggling in marriage. It’s time to get moving. It walking for the lonely person crippled by loneliness; it’s time to get moving. It’s walking time for the person who is crippled by money and debt; it’s time to get moving; it’s walking time for the person who is crippled by a sickness; it’s time to get moving. This man was carried to the temple; this man was laid at the gate; this man was begging for spare change; but this day was a special day; this day he was carried in, but he walked out! He went into the temple leaping and praising God. Somebody said that’s the man who used to be crippled. They were amazed and they wondered how this man could now walk. I heard Peter say to the crowd don’t look at me; God did it. The same God who died, was buried, and rose with all power has allowed this man to walk.

You’ve been carried too long. You can walk. You can leap; you can praise

Swindoll quote "So, take heart my friend, God is in full control. Nothing is happening on earth that brings a surprise to heaven. . . ."

Contributed by: Michael Dugal

Mary Farwell of Green Castle Missouri, told of the time she was listening to her 5 year old son, Matthew, as he worked on his Speak and Spell™ computer. He was concentrating intensely, typing in words for the computer to say back to him.

Matthew punched in the word “God.” To his surprise, the computer said, “Word not found.” He tried again with the same reply. Staring at the computer in disgust he declared: “Jesus is not going to like this!”