Summary: There is no stopping the church when God begins to move
When God Moves
1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer--at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3:1-10
At the time of the events of Acts 3:1-10, the church is still in its earliest days and the resurrected Christ was working some amazing miracles to prove His presence with the church. There are three important lessons to learn here about the way Christ works.
With Jesus there is no such thing as an ordinary day
Peter and John were doing their normal routine of an ordinary day. Each day Peter and John made their way to the Temple for prayer. I am not saying that our prayer life or any other part of our spiritual life should be just a routine. Instead, we should see it as a daily discipline in drawing closer to God. When we make the time to spend with God, he can do amazing things in and through our lives. As the events of this ordinary day unfold Peter and John head for the Temple to spend some quality time in prayer.
As Peter and John are headed for the Temple another routine was playing out as well. It was the ordinary routine of a lam0065 beggar and each new day was a new struggle. Being lame meant that this man was paralyzed. It also meant that he had no way to work or make an income to support himself. This meant that the man was forced to beg. So each day someone would help him to the area of the Temple and set him up to beg for money. This was the daily existence of a common beggar.
The beggar sees Peter and John and believes that they may be able to give him something, so he asks. Peter gives the man a favorable response; he stopped and looked at the man. If people were not going to give, they would keep on walking. At this point the man is expecting some money from Peter and John bit something far better was working in this situation. On the ordinary day when these two routines connected, something extraordinary happened.
God has a way of working surprises in things that seem ordinary or routine. He seems to do His best work through ordinary things and ordinary people. God can use anyone, anytime and anywhere to accomplish His divine plan and purpose. When the power of Christ is combined with our human effort, impossibilities vanish and the amazing begins to happen. This is good news, because God can make use of even the most ordinary situation or person for His glory.
Here are just a few examples of some of the ordinary things that God has made use of to show His divine power and grace. God used a simple staff to prove to Moses that he was indeed God. It was not by accident that it was that same staff that Moses held when the waters of the Red Sea parted. When God works, smooth stones can kill giants. Roman instruments of execution can become symbols of hope and the grave itself can be overcome.
Peter not only stops to look at the man but he begins to speak with him. Again, this would have been a good sing to the man that he was about to receive some money. However, Peter speaks and dispels the thought of money immediately. He plainly tells the man that they don’t have any money but Peter gives the man far more than he expects. Before the man can even be disappointed that he did not get any money, Peter moves into action.