A bigger plan than yours – Acts 3
Everyone would love their church to grow. We’d love to see a crowd come running. We’d love miracles to be happening every week. But what would we say when they come?
“You’re welcome!” “Feel at home!” “Stay for morning tea.” “No rush to figure God stuff out we’re just glad you came.”
Today, in Acts 3, Peter has just been used by God to heal a paralysed man in the action immortalised in the kid’s song about Peter and John going to pray. A crowd gathers and Peter tells them..
A) It’s not about me. I’m nothing important.
B) Jesus is the innocent one glorified by God and killed by you. That’s grievous.
C) Faith in Jesus has brought about this healing. That’s vital.
D) Repent and turn to God. That’s essential – given your guilt.
It’s a truly stunning message. I’m not sure I would naturally have gone in this way. But even better is the turns of phrase that Peter uses.
“You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.” (Acts 3:15 NIV11)
From this we learn that our puny, rebellious, attempts to reject God’s plans exhaust themselves like ocean waves on the shoreline of the resurrection power of God! You killed him *BUT GOD* raised Him! What should we do then?
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” (Acts 3:19 NIV11)
Here we see the beautiful joy of the gospel message. Yes, it always contains the terrible news of our sin and God’s just punishment, but it also always contains the wonderful message of forgiveness. “Sins wiped out,” erased, deleted, eliminated, forgiven. “Times of refreshing may come,” what a beautiful image of God’s favour this is. A fresh start. A new beginning. A new life.
Yes, this is a miracle passage but above all that we see that we are never to stop at the miracle. The miracle is always a sign put there to open a beautiful gateway into the new life that God has on offer for all who repent and turn to Him.
The question is – will we give people enough information to turn from sin and turn to God?
“Dear Heavenly Father, help us to never settle for mere wonder when we could speak life saving words, where we could openly give the message of new life. Help us to not be ashamed of pointing out Your verdict that we are sinners who crucified Your Son. Let us never stop there but proclaim the wonderful hope of forgiveness and Your offer of new life. Help us to be bold and make the most of every opportunity. Amen.”
Grace and peace,
#newlifeisfoundhere #Acts #readingfornewlife