Summary: It can be discouraging when we compare the raw faith and power of th first century church with what the church has become. Have we traded power for "silver and gold"?
Passage: Acts 3:1-10
Intro: We look at a passage like this and sigh..
1. great that Jesus healed people, great that the apostles did.
2. we’ve concluded the day of miracles is over, that God no longer works this way.
Il) a Pope once said as he showed a visitor the splendor of his palace, “We can no longer say, “Silver and gold have we none.” “Correct”, said the visitor (alleged to be Thomas Aquinas), “but neither can we say, ‘In the name of Jesus, walk!’”
3. Frankly, physical miracles of healing are not as powerful as the spiritual miracles of transformation.
4. the principles we can glean from this passage work whether God is doing something physical or spiritual.
5. we have seen in Acts that we are called into a partnership with God.
6. we are the witnesses of Jesus’ power to transform lives. Acts 1:8
7. and as those transformed lives are demonstrated and explained, God does wonderful things.
8. here’s an example of those lives being lived in everyday life and what God can do through them.
9. God is still in the miracle working business! Let’s learn our part and do it!
I. Practice Spontaneous Availability.
1. I know this will bug many of you, but there is no evidence of a human plan in these verses
2. “one day” Peter and John taking their normal stroll up to the temple to pray.
3. the Greek tense in v2 indicates that their walk was at the same time a man who had been crippled from birth was being dropped off by friends.
4. we might call it a coincidence or luck that Peter, John and this handicapped individual arrived at the gate to the temple at roughly the same time.
5. but our God orchestrates the details!
Il) Bernard Shaw, missionary to Africa, forbidden to preach in Capetown. Loaded the wagon and he and his wife went into the interior. 300 miles later, camped near a group of native Africans heading for Capetown to find a missionary. (Paul Lee Tan’s “Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations”)
6. someone has called these “divine appointments” Google that phrase!
7. certainly this passage reveals a divine appointment, because the plan of God was huge!!
8. Peter and John, filled with the Holy Spirit, were going about their normal business when God called.
Il) Phil Morgan points out in his sermon on this passage on Sermoncentral.com that the temple veil was torn in two not only to invite us into the temple, but “to signify that God’s presence is no longer veiled in secuusion, but now He has come out and lives in His new dwelling place…We are the vessels of God”
9. each of us, as we walk in our world and rub shoulders with people, are the very carriers of the Holy Spirit of God into the world. The light of the world!
10. He has taken up residence within us, and impacts the world through us.
Il) that’s why we are called “the body of Christ”
11. did the Holy Spirit plan and initiate this meeting? Absolutely!
12. could Peter and John have quenched the plan of the Spirit by ignoring His promptings or hurrying on because talking to this man was not part of their “plan”? Of course!
13. we need to prayerfully practice being available to the mysterious plan of God.