Summary: God's power flows in some ministries and doesn't flow in other ministries. WHY? There IS an explanation. Using Peter's miracle at the beautiful gate, we can detect 4 key reasons when and where God's power will flow.
WHERE GOD’S POWER FLOWS
1. Five-year-old Becky answered the door when the census taker came by. She told the census taker that her daddy was a doctor and wasn't home, because he was performing an appendectomy.
2. "My," said the census taker, "that sure is a big word for such a little girl. You know what it means?"
3. "Sure! $1,500 bucks, and that doesn't even include the anesthesiologist!"
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
C. RESTATING THE STORY
1. It’s 3pm in the afternoon (the hour of prayer in the Temple), Peter and John head up to join the throng at the great House of God.
2. And on the way in, as they came to the Gate called Beautiful (a gate inlayed with gold and precious stones, situated as an entrance in the Eastern side of the Temple courts) - they came across this man who had been crippled since birth.
3. YOU SEE he wasn’t allowed inside the Temple to join in prayer, because he was a cripple. Because of their spiritual pride they felt that he was blemished - not fit for the house of God. And so he sat on the steps and begged. And people gave him their loose change (to ease their consciences as they went to prayer!)
4. But, as Peter and John approached this particular day he saw them, and so he asked them for alms. (Peter and John had just recently been filled with the Holy Spirit, and so they were just full of joy and life - so this lame man felt sure to get a good offering from these guys).
5. Peter said to him: "LOOK AT US!" - perhaps the man’s head was bowed down, he never looked into the eyes of those who came by for fear of offending them. So he looked up at them "expecting to receive something from them." Peter said: "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."
6. With that, Peter took hold of the man’s right hand and lifted him up, AND IN THAT MOMENT OF TIME "STRENGTH" came into that man’s feet and ankle bones for the very first time in his life. And he lept up! And he began to dance around - before all the hundreds of Jews coming in for prayer - and he praised God!
7. What a great miracle! Don’t you love to hear stories like that of the power of God. Don’t you long to see God’s power move like that in our midst?
8. THE QUESTION IS, THIS MORNING: In what kind of environment WILL God’s power flow?
9. The title of this message is “Where God’s Power Flows” and we’re going to look at four parameters for the power of God to flow. FIRSTLY:
I. GOD’S POWER FLOWS WHERE HE IS
Sounds simple / obvious doesn’t it? God’s power flows where God is.
A. GOD WASN’T AT THE TEMPLE
1. Look at this lame man’s predicament. He had been sat at the entrance of the Temple for YEARS (4:22 says he was "over 40 years of age"). The Temple was supposedly the very House of God - the "HOME" of God’s presence - and yet here he was all his life camped at it’s gates AND HE WAS STILL A CRIPPLE!
2. In all their religious fervor, there was NOTHING that these people could offer him! The best they could do was a few copper coins to ease their consciences as they passed by - an act of pity.