In February we looked at Acts 3:1-10, this week we go back to Acts 3 and continue looking at the crippled beggar that Peter and John heal. As they heal the beggar, people are astonished at this, it catches their attention, but they aren’t saved.
Peter wants them to know that he is just like them. They yelled ”crucify him”! and refused when when Pilate wanted to let him go. Instead, they insisted that a convicted murderer be released. And yes, Peter denied Christ 3 times. He’s just like them. None of us can co the things Christ did, but through Christ we can do great things when we stay focused on him.
The beggar holds his hand out expecting money, but Peter has none to give. Through the power of Jesus Christ he heals the man. But he sees Peter and John as his healers.
Do you ever do that? See the gift, but don’t acknowledge the one it really came from? Who are you holding onto?
For me it was usually a person in my life that was there to guide me through some life event. I looked to them for the wisdom I needed, when all the while God was the one providing through them even if they didn’t realize it. God placed them in my life to help me. I see that now.
It’s cool to share our testimonies, but what is more important is that we are saved eternally by repenting and accepting Jesus. When did the testimony that you share happen? Yesterday? Last year? 20 years ago? But, what’s happened since that time? Have you grown in your relationship with Christ or remained in that same place never cherishing the One who gave his life for you?
Peter takes hold of the opportunity to preach a bold sermon. Even in the aftermath of Jesus’ crucifixion, he preaches Jesus.
They just killed Jesus, the Savior that God then raised from the dead!
Jesus was killed because he didn’t want to save the world the way they expected him to. Not the way they wanted him to save it.
But, doesn’t God want me to be happy? Is happiness going to get you to heaven? No, God doesn’t care if you’re happy! He wants your righteousness, your holiness!
We build businesses or homes, hobbies even and then become slaves to them. I don’t see that related anywhere in the Bible.
Jesus was more than just a good teacher, as many thought of him at the time. He was the Word made flesh, Alpha and Omega. He was more than human. Fully man, fully God. When we think of him as less, we deny him.
We can’t put someone else in the place of Christ
It’s difficult to see things as they really are sometimes because we don’t want to admit how wrong we’ve been. We don’t want to give up control (actually we never had it, that’s an illusion we choose to hang onto.
The Elephant in the room:
- Our current lived out faith needs to be our primary concern. It’s useless if it doesn’t show Christ.
- Churches don’t resemble Jesus, leaders don’t resemble him either. Proclaim the Gospel by living it! (When Jesus comes back, sure he’s gong to recognize his church because it’s just the way he left it).
- We read scriptures to change someone else or justify our actions, but we’re too cowardly to let it change us. (Ouch, Jon! That one hurt because it’s too close to home.) Instead we need to let the Living Word transform us into who God wants us to be.
- Avoid trusting in other things. Trust in Jesus.
Here are some questions our pastor left us with:
- What are some ways that you deny Christ?
- Have you accepted your sinfulness as just ”you being you”?
- And in doing so have never fully received God’s grace through the forgiveness of those sins…and live just shy of an abundant life?
- Do you realize that Christ did all of this for you…while still a sinner
- And that you cannot earn or lose His love?
- God just loves you.
I know that you’ll probably get some hard answers to these questions. I know, I did, and it’s taken me a few days to come to terms with what I realize.
But, the greatest ”heroes of faith” have been flawed and broken, wrecked, weary, restless, and unfinished sinners…even when they were at their very best.
If there’s room in God’s story for these, there’s certainly room for you.
Sometimes sermons are hard to hear, but if preachers aren’t preaching those kinds of sermons are they telling us what we need to hear?
I’m truly feeling blessed…