Summary: Godly living; Godly praying; Godly giving. We benefit from others who did not live for themselves, but thrived for God. Now it’s our turn at bat.
(Second in the series, What’s Next? The Adventures of Growing in Christ)
Illustration: “I’m the greatest batter in the world!” Such was the cry of a self-confident little boy swinging his bat in the back yard. Once, twice, and three times he could not connect with the ball. Dejectedly, he set his bat down. But then his eyes brightened. Victoriously, he ran around the yard shouting, “I’m the greatest pitcher in the world!”
We need to be thankful for those who stepped up to the plate and set Godly examples.
1. People who live courageously (Acts 3:1-4:22)
Peter & John, entering the temple for their 3 pm prayers, encountered a crippled beggar.
The Beautiful Gate is thought to be the eastern gate of the temple.
Peter & John gave this man what he needed: restoration in the name of Jesus Christ.
Because of the miracle, a crowd gathered, and Peter used the opportunity to Preach Christ and invite people to come to Him.
They were taken into custody by the temple guard.
Imprisoned and plied with questions, their boldness was connected with the fact that they had been with Jesus (4:13).
--Being with Jesus changes everything!
2. People who pray (Acts 4:23-31)
With one voice, they prayed.
They were strengthened by their knowledge of the Scripture
They did not ask to be saved from persecution or pain or death.
They did not ask anything for themselves personally.
Instead, they prayed for boldness and that God would use them effectively.
3. People who give (Acts 4:32-37)
One heart, one soul: they were perfectly united.
The language does not describe the distribution of goods. It describes a truly benevolent community!
--Not a common fund, but a common heart
--They used all as if it belonged to all
--No one had a need
--It was a time of selfless giving. The need was there and the church was up to that need!
Although the selflessness of Barnabus is highlighted here, consider the selfless example of Hannah giving her only son to the work of God (1 Samuel 1:10-11). It parallels the Heavenly Father’s selfless example of giving His only son up for us (John3:16-17).
We benefit from others who did not live for themselves, but thrived for God.
Now it’s our turn at bat.
Let’s live our lives in such a way that others will come to know the love, forgiveness, and victory in Jesus Christ.
This week please read chapters 5 and 6 in the Book of Acts. Note the following three themes: The results of selfishness; the testimony of the faithful; and the ministry of service.