6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Learning how to be the church in today's world through learning from the book of Acts.

[2] You know, some people are more adventurous than others. For some people adventure means going mountain climbing or skydiving. For some people adventure means trying a new salad dressing. I’m somewhere in the middle. I like safe adventure.

[Giant water slide story.]

I firmly believe that living a life for Jesus Christ is the greatest adventure a person could ever be a part of. I mean, to have your life transformed by God. To really know what love is. To have your prayers answered by the invisible God. To see bonified miracles happen right in front of you. To have a 3,000 year old book speak to the very core of your life. To be able to be a part of what God is doing on this earth. To know that one day you’ll be in His presence. There’s just nothing that compares to a life lived for the Lord.

But sometimes we don’t seem to have much adventure in our Christian life. Sometimes we find ourselves a little bored or frustrated or even defeated. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The great adventure awaits us all because of Jesus Christ. We simply need to put into practice a few key principles that will enable us to experience all that God has for us.

In today’s passage we’ll be looking at an event that took place in Peter’s and John’s great adventure for the Lord. And I’ll bet that each of us here today will be able to relate to at least one of the characters in this story.

[Read Acts 3:1-10.]

Now that must have been one exciting adventure to be a part of. As we take a closer look at this event we’re going to see principles that’ll help us with our own great adventure.

[3] First of all, the great adventure is guided by purpose.

[Read Acts 3:1-3.]

Now there’s three different persons mentioned in this passage – “them” who carried the lame man to the Temple, the lame man himself and Peter and John. Each of these persons represent a different kind of life-purpose.

1. “Them” – going through the motions, self-centered purpose

Now basically we don’t know anything about these guys except the fact that they

carried this lame man, presumably from his home, every day to the Temple to beg for money where there were a lot of people. Now we don’t know how long they’d been doing it, but we do know that the man had been lame from birth and 4:22 tells us the man was 40 years old. So it’s safe to say that these men had done this for some time. This was their daily ritual. Maybe they did it as a favor? Maybe they did it out of duty? Maybe they did it for legalistic, religious reasons? But every day they went through the motions and took him to the Temple.

But I have some questions for these obviously able-bodied men. How come they didn’t help the poor man? I mean, instead of picking the guy up at his home, taking him to the Temple, picking him up after a few hours of begging and bringing him back home – why not just feed the poor guy a meal?

For one reason or another they were satisfied to go through the motions of life every day motivated by self.

2. Lame man – existing purpose

This man’s life purpose was to simply exist. He just wanted to stay alive. He wasn’t

thinking about a career, he wasn’t thinking about a family, and he probably wasn’t thinking about God and eternity. He just wanted to make it through the day alive.

3. Peter and John – God’s purpose

Peter and John on the other hand had a whole new reason for getting up and living

every day. They knew that the Lord had a purpose and plan for their lives and were eager to get out and live it. You see, they were on their way to the Temple to tell others of the living Savior Jesus Christ and adventure happened!

That’s how it is when your life’s purpose is to love God and to love others. Adventure just happens as you journey along. Knowing and understanding your purpose for being alive guides your life and enables you to experience the adventure God has just for you.

[Purpose Driven Life book promotion.]

The great adventure is guided by purpose. Also the great adventure is [4] lived in expectations. Expect a little – receive a little. Expect a lot – see what God can do!

[Read Acts 3:3-7.]

Did you notice the contrast in expectations there? The lame man just wanted some food to buy bread with. But Peter wanted to see God change a life!

The lame man had fallen into the trap that many people find themselves in – the trap of low expectations. He had settled for just getting some food in his belly. He had resigned the fact that life would always be bad and one day he would die.

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