Friday, March 18, 2016

March 18 - Acts 3

Today's reading in our daily plan is Acts 3. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Peter and John miraculously heal a crippled beggar, in the name of Jesus, that had been sitting at the temple gate his entire life. He is so grateful that he enters the temple with them praising God.
  • People from all over town knew who this beggar was, creating quite a stir. So, a crowd formed around Peter, who reminded them that this man was healed through the power of Jesus and not on their own strength.  He then preaches to them a very bold message explaining that they were responsible for disowning and killing the author of life. However, Peter assures them that God raised him from the dead.
  • He implores the people to turn away from their sin and turn toward God so that their sins may be wiped out.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  •  It is easy to look at Peter and John and think that they were superhuman Christians.  They were not. But, they were followers who understood they could do nothing on their own strength. They understood at a deep level that Jesus was their only source. They relied on the power of the Holy Spirit to do great things in the lives of others, through them. This is why the beggar at the gate was healed both physically and spiritually.
  • Everyone found out about Peter and John's act of compassion toward the beggar. Love is contagious. That's why, at Verve, we talk about being "guerrilla lovers." We want to ambush people with God's love, knowing it can spark a revolution.
  • Peter was always a very loud and abrasive personality that seemed to get into trouble. But, after the resurrection of Jesus and the day of Pentecost, we see a different man. We see a bold man, unafraid of what people think of him. This is unlike the man who cut off a soldiers ear and had denied Jesus 3 times before his crucifixion. This is the power of the cross. This is the power of the resurrection.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Are you in awe at the boldness of Peter and John? Do you wish you had the strength that they did? If you know Jesus, you do. You just might not have tapped into it yet. Spend some time in prayer and in God's Word so he can strengthen you to stand boldly for him.
  • What hurting person has God put in your path? We may come up with grand plans for changing the world, but often it's as simple as loving the person God puts in front of you today, as Peter and John did. Who can you ambush with love today?
  • Do you have any character/personality traits that got you into trouble in the past? Is there any way that those “flaws” could be used to serve God? How can you allow God to transform those traits in your life for his glory?