If there was a surefire way for you and your family to be blessed, would you be interested?
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Acts 3 (ESV)
1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.
2 And a man lame from birth was being carried,
whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate
to ask alms of those entering the temple.
3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms.
4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.”
he fixed his attention on them,
expecting to receive something from them.
6 But Peter said,
“I have no silver and gold,
but what I do have
I give to you.
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”
7 And he took him by the right hand
and raised him up,
and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.
8 And leaping up,
he stood and began to walk,
and entered the temple with them,
walking and leaping
and praising God.
9 And all the people
saw him walking and praising God,
10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms.
And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
11 While he clung to Peter and John, all the people,
ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s.
12 And when Peter saw it he addressed the people:
“Men of Israel,
why do you wonder at this,
or why do you stare at us,
by our own power or piety
we have made him walk?
God of Abraham,
the God of Isaac,
and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers,
glorified his servant Jesus,
and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.
14 But you
denied the Holy and Righteous One,
and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
15 and you killed
the Author of life,
whom God raised from the dead.
To this we are witnesses.
16 And his name—
by faith in his name—
has made this man strong whom you see and know,
and the faith
that is through Jesus
has given the man this perfect health
in the presence of you all.
17 “And now, brothers, I know
that you acted in ignorance,
as did also your rulers.
18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets,
that his Christ would suffer,
he thus fulfilled.
19 Repent therefore,
and turn back,
that your sins may be blotted out,
times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,
and that he may send
the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,
21 whom heaven must receive until the time
for restoring all the things
about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.
23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’
24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days.
25 You are the sons
of the prophets
and of the covenant
that God made
with your fathers,
saying to Abraham,
‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’
having raised up his servant,
sent him to you first,
to bless you
by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”
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Acts 3 Summary
Peter & John encounter a beggar, and since they've no money to give him, they heal him "in the name of Jesus Christ." In response, the man enters the temple with them "walking and leaping and praising God!"
Just like when Jesus was performing miracles, an instant crowd gathers and is "utterly astounded."
This might of been a good opportunity for Peter to pop off a few more quick miracles or address other immediate felt needs in order to build up a following. Instead, Peter pulls out the same powerful weapon we read about yesterday: he preaches.
His sermon has three points:
You people killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead (v15). It quickly becomes apparent that Peter wasn't blowing smoke just to get people to like him.
Jesus is the Messiah that had been predicted since the time of Moses, so listen to everything He tells you (v22).
Therefore repent so that your sins may be wiped out, so that you may experience times of refreshing (v19).
One of the most comforting doctrines of God is that He is immutable - He is unchanging. Read again how Peter describes Him:
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers (v13)
Even though mankind rejected His Son, the Author of life (v15), God's love for us, His people, never changes because God doesn't ever change.
No matter how far a person has wandered away from God's will, it's never too late to turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord (v19-20).
Be reminded today that our unchanging God raised up His Son so that you and your family would be blessed (v25-26).
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers (v13) & the Author of life (v15)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you would respond to God's miracle in your life like the healed beggar did: walking and leaping and praising God (v8).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: