The Book of Acts Chapter 3 Part 1
Introduction: A key idea in the book of Acts is that God's people should be witnesses for Him everywhere they go. Today, we hope to discuss the miracle of healing a lame man.
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Read Acts 3:1-10
C. The Healing of a Lame Man; 1. The Miracle. In this section of the book of Acts Peter and John were going to the Temple for the 3:00 p.m. prayer meeting. There was a crippled man who was placed at the entrance to beg for money.
Peter was used by God to heal the man. When the man went into the Temple – leaping and praising God – the people recognized him as the "used to be" cripple. The people were filled with wonder and amazement.
- Corporate prayer. Notice in vs. 1 of this section of the book of Acts the emphasis on corporate prayer. That is, notice that the people of God prayed together.
There are too many people who claim to be saved and love the Lord but they rarely come to prayer meeting.
Even when we take into account those who have to work or have other responsibilities, there are too many missing faces in prayer meeting.
Worst than this is the reality that many may not be praying at home either, as they should. Let's work on being regular in prayer meeting and then praying in the prayer meeting.
Too few come to prayer meeting and too little prayer is rendered in the prayer meeting. There is some merit to that saying that use to be popular in church: "much prayer, much power; little prayer, little power; and no power, no prayer!"
- Responding to beggars. Notice in vs. 2 of this section of the book of Acts that a beggar was placed at the entrance of the Temple.
It was thought that to give to the poor and needy was a way to be blessed by God. Therefore, we see the man at the entrance of the place of prayer.
People would give to the beggar as a way of become eligible for more blessings. There are still beggars who come to church looking for money or any kind of assistance they can receive.
In our church, these people should be referred to the Deacons. The Deacons may want to consider including the Deaconess in the ministry of benevolence.
For the most part, we give limited emergency monetary help to our members and referrals to those who are not our members.
However, as a church family we give money and volunteer hours to charitable organizations like the Drop Inn Center, Avondale Community Council, and others.
As for individual members giving money to beggars on Sunday morning, the Pastor doesn't encourage it. There are those who simply take advantage of church goers' kindness and use the money for alcohol or drugs.
There are those who could work, instead of beg. There are even some who may rob the giver. The Pastor has been known to give from his pocket from time to time, but it is not his norm and he suggests that we would be careful about doing so.
If we feel strongly that God is calling us to do so, the Pastor would say do so. Otherwise, give to the church, so the church can give to those in need, primarily through credible organizations who can help the people with more than a handout.
Let's work on responding to beggars in godly ways.
- Crippled from birth. Notice in vs. 2 that the man was crippled from birth. Situations like these make some wonder – why would God allow someone to be born crippled? The shortest answer is that "We don't know."
However, we do know that God has a plan that often includes some hills and valleys that we cannot explain. We simply have to trust that God knows what He is doing and that it is going to work out for the good of God's people.
Let's make sure we are God's people and are trusting God with the issues of life. We become God's people by accepting Jesus as our Savior by faith.
Whether we worry about the issues of life or not, God is going to have His way. Therefore, we should learn to simply trust, even when we don’t understand.
- Ministering to real needs. Notice in vss. 4-8 of this section of the book of Acts that Peter speaks for John and himself.
Essentially, Peter is used to heal the man, instead of simply giving him some money. First, there are people who beg for money, when they really have a deeper problem.
As disciples of Christ, we should let God use us to respond to the needs of people. For example, our children need living role models, mentors, and often tutors.
Our young adults need teaching, training, and support in both how to live godly single lives and how to be godly spouses.
Second, God is able to use us to do incredible things. The man in our text went from being crippled to leaping and walking without rehabilitation. God is simply amazing and awesome.
We ought not try to limit what God can do and at what pace He can do it. Let's work on letting God use us to minister to the needs of people.
- Enthusiastic praise. Notice in vs. 8 that the man went to the prayer meeting with enthusiastic praise of God. There are too many people who have been richly blessed but rarely come to prayer or worship with enthusiastic praise.
This is a sin of omission, because God often blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others. As we share what God has done, is doing, and is expected to do, we often inspire and encourage one another along our journeys.
But when we come with rebellious or lazy silence, we impede and stop so much of this kind of inspiration. Let's work on bringing enthusiastic praise to our prayer meetings and worship services.
- Glorifying God. Notice in vss. 9-10 of this section of the book of Acts that the former crippled man's praising of God led to the other people's paying attention to what God was doing.
Because he did not sit like a bump on a log, but went leaping into the Temple and praising God, people had to pay attention to what God was doing.
Even though most people don't praise God enough, there are others who appear to praise God for their own selfish reasons more than for God.
They want to be seen and be given attention, as opposed to being an instrument used to bring attention to God. Notice the absence of this man's name.
There are some who are more concerned with their name being called than with lifting the name of Jesus. Let's work having enthusiastic worship with the right aim in mind.
Conclusion: Let's work on being witnesses of God everywhere we go. God has much for those who obey His will.
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