Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Used By God?

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Acts 3:4-7 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 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!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.

The day is a typical day, there is really nothing out of the ordinary going on, the time is 3:00p.m. and Peter and John are headed to the Temple to pray. Their day is just as busy as ours, and they probably have a to-do a mile long on their ‘I-Scroll.’ It’s on this normal day, that the spectacular happens; and I believe that Peter and John made a few choices that allowed God to use them in tremendous ways.

They Chose To Be At The Right Place.

Peter and John were headed to the Temple to pray. I wonder if it could have been that Peter just did not really want to go to the temple on this particular day. Could have been that John had so many obligations in his life that it just didn’t seem necessary to make the journey just to pray? I wonder if Peter thought about calling John up to cancel their little outing for the afternoon. We may not know the answer to these questions, all we know is that at the ‘Time of Prayer,’ Peter and John were going to be found in the Temple. They were at the place that the Lord desired them to be. They were not too busy, or too important, or too obligated to follow the will of the Lord. It very well could be that the first step in us being used by God is to be at the right place. Stop calling all the shots in your life, and allow God to use you! Most people are so busy that they are running around like a chicken with their head cut off, and they leave no time for the Lord.

They Expected God to Use Them!


Peter and John are going to the Temple to pray, and they notice a man that is begging for money. This is nothing new, this man is always at the temple, and he is always begging for money. This man is really a nuisance to many of the ‘religious’ folks who are trying to go and pray. As this beggar always does, when he sees Peter and John he begins to beg for money; we have all had a situation like this happen to us before haven’t we? Most people just ignore the beggar and keep going, some will fish out a small amount to give to the beggar so they can feel better, but Peter and John do neither of these. The Bible says, 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!” Now that was unexpected, but do you know what it shows us? Peter was expecting God to do something great that day. Peter was at the right place at the right time, and he was looking for God to use him in a great way; and when the opportunity presented itself he did not waste it. What would have happened if Peter would have just walked by the beggar? I wonder how many opportunities we are wasting every day because we do not expect God to do anything in our lives.  I wonder how many ‘crippled beggars’ are still crippled and are still begging because we walk right by without a thought?



They Trusted God.

Image result for lame healedIt’s one thing to talk a good talk, and many ‘religious’ folks can do that well, but Peter put his money where his mouth was so to speak. And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. Peter reached down and grabbed the crippled man by the hand and pulled him up to his feet. This man was lame from birth, he had never walked before, and yet Peter is yanking him up to his feet. Peter, this could go bad! Peter you are going to look like a fool if this man falls back to the ground. Peter had confidence in his Lord and Savior that this man was healed. Peter wasn’t worried about how he might be perceived, Peter was not tip toeing around, he knew what the Lord wanted and he acted on it. It’s a bold move on Peter’s part, but the Lord blessed it greatly and the man stood on his feet for the first time in his life.And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 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.

What happens next? The man  went into the Temple and began to jump up and down praising God. When the people saw this they realized that this was the same man they had seen outside the Temple begging day after day, this is the same man that has never walked before, and they were amazed.  After this Peter and John began to preach to these religious folks, and over a thousand were saved.
Do you want to be used by God today? Maye it’s pretty simple, be at the right place, expect God to use you, and trust Him.  


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Insane?


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Albert Einstein said that the definition of Insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ Now I don’t imagine many of us would consider ourselves insane, albeit many of us are certainly a bit peculiar.  Yet, I can’t help but think that in a Spiritual sense Insanity might be a good way to categorize our Spiritual Lives.

Follow me through this thought if you would, most Christians see areas in their life that need to change. It could be that there’s an addiction to a particular sin, it could be that there is a prideful spirit; it could be that there is some sort of idolatry in your life. Or maybe the change that needs to happen revolves more around the things that you should be doing, but you aren’t. You aren’t practicing evangelism, you aren’t spending time in God’s word on a regular basis, your prayer life is shallow, there are very few ways your serving the Lord, etc. We could continue for the examples are many, but hopefully the point is made that every one of see ways in our lives to that we need to change to make us the people that God has called us to be.

My question is what are you going to do about it? 2017 brings many new opportunities, for you and for me and for this church, but if we are not careful 2017 will be just like 2016. If we aren’t careful we will live the same way in 2017 that we did in 2016, and therefore we will see no real growth in our lives. You may say we are caught in a rut, you may say we are being complacent, call it what you want; but until we get intentional about honoring God with our lives nothing is going to change.

I’m not talking about a new year’s resolution; I’m talking about a Spirit of fortitude and determination to make this year count. 365 days… you can waste them; or you can make the most out of them; the choice is yours!

Ephesians 4:22–24—“put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”