In Acts 3, Peter and John are used by God to raise up a lame man at the Temple gates. This sermon delves into the story to pull out insight into what God was doing in him, and what God has for us–a new life, even for those who already know Him!
Acts 3:1-5, then 6-10
“One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer–at three in the afternoon. Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”
Lame man–couldn’t go into the Temple. Couldn’t walk anywhere he wanted. Earning any money on his own was out of the question. No family, no children.
He had very low expectations of his life. He felt and WAS limited by his situation. Other people to him were in two categories–those that would give to him, and those that didn’t.
Then these two guys came along. First they had to divert him away from his old expectations. So they said, Look at us! This was not something the man was probably used to hearing. God had life for this man!
Then Peter did something unexpected: he took him by the hand and raised him up. This was a miracle. Then he leaped up, stood on his own two feet for the first time in his life, and then went walking into the temple, leaping and praising God.
What would you do if all of a sudden your life changed in a day and you were able to do things you never could before! Think about it!
“Silver and gold I do not have”….Most of us stop there. But what’s really important is the next line: “But what I do have I give you.”
What do YOU have? Time, ability, a skill, a spiritual gift, a listening ear?
What about the lame man? What can we learn from his life? Well, he’s us!
We’re lame–in every sense of the word –before we connect with Christ. Unable to move spiritually, unable to connect with God, unable to connect with His people. Until we’re touched by God, that’s who we are.
This miracle is a picture of what God does with everyone who is willing to LOOK AT HIM–like Peter and John said to the lame man–and take His hand. He’ll lift you up and put strength into you, and you’ll be able to live like you never did before, connecting with God and His people.
But what about those of us who know Jesus already? What kind of a life do you have? Do you feel limited, like the lame man?
The lame man built his life around what he saw, with a biggest emphasis on what he couldn’t do. Have you built your life around what you consider your limitations? Do you say, I could never do that!
When God does a work, He puts out a call!
What was the call on the lame man? To rise up! He did! To use his new gift! He did–he walked and leaped. He was called to express his gratitude–He did. He was called to connect with God in a way He couldn’t before–he did! He was called to connect with God’s people to an extent he had never done before, or had ever been able to do before–and he did!
What’s God’s call to you? It’s LOOK AT ME, and let me raise you up, to do things you never thought you could do before. There are areas of our life–like this man’s feet and ankles–where God has prepared for us to receive strength, so we can be someone we never, ever thought we could be, and do things that seemed impossible before.
God wants to change your life. He wants to bring life to those areas that don’t work right–physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually. It seems as if that man was ready for the change, and we can see that in the way he responded. He went straight toward God, and connected with God’s people in the process.
Are you ready to be raised up, out of your comfort zone and into a new way of living? Are you willing to receive strength in places you consider your weak points? Are you willing to let God be the lifter of your head, as the Bible calls Him, and to LOOK AT HIM, and see how we can do all things He calls us to do through His strength?
Don’t be lame!