Summary: Things change, things happen, and things are different when God shows up. The question is, have I experienced the things which take place when God shows up in life?
When God Shows Up
* If this afternoon you were sitting in your house, the doorbell rings, you answer the door, and when you open the door – you discover Jehovah God has come calling; what would you do? How would respond? What would change in your day &/or week? It is true that God is with you every day. He sees, He hears, and He knows. Also, nothing is hidden from Him. But what if He came, in bodily form, to visit with you today; what would be different?
* Put yourself in the shoes of Peter and John. They had witnessed Jesus’ rise from the earth to heaven. They followed His words by returning to the upper room and praying for 10 days in Jerusalem when the most amazing thing happened. God showed UP! It was unusual enough to gain the attention of thousands, was loud enough for the entire community to hear and come running, and was powerful enough that 3000 people were saved. And it didn’t stop there! Now, because of God showing up chapter 2:42 tells us that people were being saved DAILY!!
* Against this backdrop we pick up on the story today to discover the answer to this question, “What God show up, what follows?” (Let’s read the text)
* Have you ever gone to a party where things were not going particularly well? It was kind of boring, dull, and even lifeless until; “HE” shows up. When the guy with the charismatic gets there, things change. Now, things change.
* At the risk of being perceived wrongly, this is what happens when God shows up in a manifest way, things change. They change perceptions, prayers, purpose, and even people. Walk with me through this text & see these.
1. Perceptions are corrected – This is true because ‘perception is reality.’ When we perceive something is of ‘no concern’ to us then we ignore the issue. How much responsibility do I perceive that I have for the hurting, the lost, the down and out, or the needy? How about you? Most of us most of the time have a blinded perception that we are responsible only for mine, ours, and our own while missing the true intent of our Lord God. When He shows up, our perceptions are corrected. Consider 2 ways;
a. Seeing - Now return to Peter, John, and the Gate called ‘Beautiful’ where our cripple man is ‘placed.’ Interestingly, this was probably NOT the first time these men have passed the cripple. Scripture tells us that he was placed there ‘every day’ to beg from people going in to pray. We also know he was a regular at the gate because, after he was healed, people recognized him from the gate. So, why is it that Peter & John saw this man at this time? I submit that God, through His Holy Spirit, had shown up in their lives, touching & filling them to the place they now responded as HE WOULD HAVE. They saw the need as something for which, under God, “THEY” were responsible. Truth: Until we see needs, eternal & societal, as our responsibility, we won’t respond. When God shows up, we see & do.
b. Sharing – People tend to get ‘real’ nervous when the preacher begins to talk about ‘sharing with others.’ Most have visions (or nightmares) of the church being called to do like the church in Acts 2 did. Or worse yet, of being given the same instructions that Jesus gave to the rich young ruler. God may tell you that, but if He does, He will not send His message through a preacher, He’ll deliver that message personally. God expects us to share what we have (that is, what He’s given to us) with others. This is not complex. What is it that God has given you to share with someone else? For some, it will be what it wasn’t for Peter and John. I know people who possess the spiritual gift of giving and God has GIVEN them money to share. For others, it’s other things. But for every child of God we should be able to share the greatest thing which has ever happened to us. Jesus. If you do not consider Jesus to be the best thing that has ever happened to you, then perhaps you need to re-check if it has EVER happened to you. By the way, it is difficult to share what you don’t have. Think about it. When God shows up, you want to share it.
2. Prayers are consistent – We discover this duo going up to the temple to pray at the appointed time because they now understood the great power, intimacy, and even pleasure found in talking with the Father. During the time of Jesus’ ministry they had watched Him take time to pray, they had heard Him teach about prayer, and from the Pentecost experience had learned (first-hand) the results of faithful, consistent praying. So, they didn’t want to miss an opportunity to talk with the Father. Whatever was on their schedule now became secondary to the call to prayer. One sign of God showing up in our life is a renewed priority to praying. And it is in praying that we discern the 2 necessities in life;