Acts 3: 1-11

Written by kathleen on Jan 04, 2015 in - No Comments

 

Acts 3:1-11

The Valley of Decision

1 Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.                                                           

Peter and John were men of consistency. Like all devout Jews, according to the Jewish custom of the day, every day at 9:00 A.M., noon, and 3:00 P.M., they stopped what they were doing and headed to the temple, where they spent an hour in prayer. At which time consisted of fifteen minutes of silent meditation, thirty minutes of petition, and fifteen minutes of adoration—this a great pattern for prayer.

1st chapter:8-9 of Joshua God says This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

When you take time to meditate on the greatness and goodness of God found in the Bible it builds faith and confidence in bringing your requests to Him;

When you realize that even your biggest concerns are no problem for Him, your heart will automatically overflow in worship toward Him.

2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; 3 who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. 4 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us

#1 This man was born with this physical challenge therefore his lameness came not through any disease or fall, or any external hurt, which made this miracle even more extraordinary in bringing glory to God.

#2 it was not because he or his parents had sinned.

The Jewish historian Josephus describes a gate made of fine Corinthian brass at the temple, seventy-five feet high with huge double doors, so beautiful that it was said that it “greatly excelled those that were only covered over with silver and gold.”

No doubt Peter and John had glanced at the lame man many times, but this particular day something took place deep within their hearts; It was the Holy Spirit that drew them to him. It was a moment of the miraculous. It was a time for ministry.

The same is true for you and me. When you see someone who is asking for help, and you know it is not some kind of scam or guilt being pushed on you, but a spiritual dynamic taking place deep within you, you have a choice to make.

You can say, “Wait a minute. The Lord is doing something here.” Or you can look away and move on.  As the lame man called out to Peter and John, they found their eyes “fastened” on him. They must have thought we’ve passed this guy a hundred times before but at this moment something is different!

When they saw this man, they could have said, we’re too busy;  “We don’t have time for him. We have to start the temple prayer meeting in just a few minutes.” But at this special moment there was a lesson that we all must learn: Interruption is often a divine appointment

Although Jesus was accused of being a glutton, a drinker, and a friend of sinners, He was never accused of being too busy. He didn’t act according to the needs He saw. But He did act in obedience to what His Father said. So, too, when we do what He tells us to do, we won’t be weighed down or stressed out because His burden is easy and His load is light. He won’t overwhelm us with the needs we see; rather He’ll direct us specifically

There are times when it seems like life is one bother after another and when you start a day, saying, “Nobody better bother me,” What happens is you find yourself getting bothered at every turn. (special info) If you expect to be bothered and remain flexible then the Lord has room to work in areas of the miraculous

5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.  At this point the lame man finds himself in a place of making a conscience decision concerning his life and where it might go as he turns and looks to here what Peter & John have to say.

The lame man was correct in expecting to receive something from them, but he received much more than the monetary donation he would have been satisfied with! (That’s how God works in blessing)

In today’s church many people haven’t come to the place where we really expect something from God. This is faith, plain and simple, even if the man in this case was expecting the wrong thing. Better yet, we should expect the right things from God; but we are so often ready to settle for much less than God wants to give us therefore our low expectations often rob us of God’s full blessing!

6 Then 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.” When Peter and John said they had neither silver nor gold:   they were telling him his need is not for a coin or two, or ten, or twenty; his need was more profound; he needed to be healed.

For the church to say silver and gold I do not have concerning some social needs; many feel is not right. But how much worse it is if the church does not have the spiritual power to say, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk”?

There is a story about a humble monk walking with a Roman Catholic cardinal at a time in the Middle Ages when the Roman Catholic church was at its peak of power, prestige and wealth. The cardinal pointed to the opulent surroundings and said to the monk, “We no longer have to say, silver and gold I do not have.” The monk replied, “But neither can you say, In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.

You see throughout history, whenever the church has traded purity for prosperity it has lost power and authority.

Peter and John were men of authority. Having the power of the Spirit upon their lives, and here they were given the green light by the Holy Spirit to proceed in the arena of the miraculous.

Peter had said I don’t have any money but what I do have I give you! And he gave the lame man faith and power in the name of Jesus, but he could not give it unless he had it in his own life.

Many people want to be able to say rise up and walk without having received the power of Jesus in their own lives first; And it’s usually because they are lost in what is called the valley of decision.

That’s the arena where someone wants all the benefits of salvation, and a life blessed by God; but they are not willing to make a total commitment to purity in their life before the Lord, that’s because they do not commit their trust in what He says in His word by faith. So they remain in indecision about the promises given and continue to try to live out their life and circumstances in the flesh apart from God.

The decisions we find ourselves to make are our responsibility but also opportunity to exercise our faith, that’s why the Bible tells us to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Phil 2:12-13

With fear and trembling” means to give some real thought to what you’re doing (the reasons why for the choice to be made)

7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. This man’s ankles were permanently dislocated so it was one thing to say, “rise up and walk,” but it was another thing to boldly take the man’s hand and lift him to his feet. At this moment, Peter was receiving the gift of faith which is a supernatural ability to trust God in a particular situation.This wasn’t something Peter did on a whim or as a promotional event; he did it under the specific prompting of the Holy Spirit. God gave Peter the supernatural ability to trust Him for something completely out of the ordinary; and then to pass it on.  Just as He will for you when you step out of the valley of indecision and walk in faith. The lame guy jumped out of the valley by faith!                                                     

8 So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them–walking, leaping, and praising God.  9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God.  10 Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. 11 Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed.                                

Coming out of the valley of decisions becomes evident in your life; that’s when the Bible and what it has to say becomes important and relevant in your life

As soon as he was healed, the former lame man came out of that valley of decision about who Jesus was and is; then he did three good things.

First, he attached himself to the apostles as he entered the temple with them; he wanted to know more about Jesus so he headed to church and got around other believers!

Second, he immediately started to use what God had given him (walking, leaping). He knew this was a special gift from above and he began using it to bring glory to God!   We each have special gifts we know are God given, we just need to be willing to show them or use them for the glory of God! Rms.12, Eph.4, 1cor.12

Third, he began to praise and worship God. When a person makes that decision to commit their life to Jesus Christ and the life they have been chosen to and called for; it results in a constant recognition of how great  God is and the salvation they are experiencing! And their life becomes a testimony to all! This morning there are one of three places you will find yourself spiritually.

  1. You’re either in the valley of decision about Jesus and his eternal life for you!
  2. You’re know Jesus as Savior but you’re not all in!
  3. You’re experiencing a life of praise and worship of Jesus!