Summary: This sermon demonstrates the importance of praising with passion!
Unlovely to Beautiful
February 10, 2002
A. [Not Ready for Aging]
In the cartoon For Better or Worse, a mother is looking into the mirror and carrying on a conversation with herself.
She says, "My face is changing. It’s not the same—definitely not the same—different. It’s older. Maybe if I parted my hair on the side. Maybe if I were to rub a little more moisturizer around each eye. A little different colored blush perhaps? Nope, this is it. I look older and there’s nothing I can do about it. I remember my mother’s face looking like this. I remember how the lines crept around her mouth and her eyes. Yes, it’s my turn now to take on that look of the mature, older, woman."
She gazes intently into the mirror, and then shouts for all to hear, "And I’m not ready!"
1. There’s something about beauty that draws our attention.
2. All of us would like to be beautiful, but most of us don’t feel that we are.
3. Of course all beauty is not physical and God is drawn to a different kind of beauty than we are.
4. Our text today in Acts chapter three speaks about beauty and there are some important things for us to learn there in this story.
B. Last week we read Acts 2:43 which says, "Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous sings were done by the apostles."
1. That verse sets us up for the picture that Luke paints for us in Acts 3.
2. Listen to how Luke begins to color the canvas in Acts 3:1, "One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon."
3. So the first thing we see in Luke’s painting is…
I. Lovely @ prayer
Acts 3:1, One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer--at three in the afternoon.
A. Peter and John went up to the temple to pray, daily.
1. In fact Peter and John probably went up to the temple to pray three times a day.
2. The text says that Peter and John went up to the temple at the time of prayer, about three o’clock in the evening.
3. Psalms 55:17 tells us that it was David’s practice to pray three times a day, Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.
a. And notice these aren’t "Sunday School" prayers that David is praying.
b. The Scripture says that David was CRYING OUT in DISTRESS.
c. There are strong emotion and feeling to David’s prayers that he is praying three times per day.
4. Then Daniel 6:10 tells us that it was Daniel’s custom to pray three times per day as well, Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
a. You see, King Nebuchadnezzar had issued a decree that said that anyone who prayed to any other God besides the King would be thrown into the lions’ den.
b. Did you know that was why Daniel was thrown in the lions’ den?
c. That’s the truth: Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den for praying to God three times per day.
d. Daniel didn’t care what the king’s edict said or what the punishment was for violating it.
e. Daniel was in the custom of praying to God three times a day and when he learned of this new decree he went right on getting down on his knees three times a day praying and giving thanks to God, just as he had before.
f. Most of us have a hard time praying one time a day.
g. But Daniel was determined to pray three times a day even at the risk of being eaten alive by lions!
5. Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer at three o’clock in the afternoon.
6. That would have been one of the three times of prayer each day; the others were probably 9 AM and noon.
7. They had a regular time and place for daily prayer.
B. That is something that is lovely to God.
1. People who are determined to have a relationship with God will have a regular time and place to pray.
2. People who want to get to know God will have a regular time and place to pray.
3. People who want to have an intimate relationship with God will have a regular time and place to pray.