Acts 3 & 4
Years ago I saw comic book ads selling lessons on muscling up. There’s a scrawny fellow on a sandy beach. A bully kicks sand in his face, and the scrawny guy can only sit there and do nothing but be afraid of the bully and be humiliated in front of his girl. But THEN — he takes the lessons, muscles up, and — OH! What glory follows!
Please give this song a listen, and come back to hear about God’s muscling-up program.
John 20 records the apostles’ frame of mind after the crucifixion: “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.”
It is easy to relate to them being afraid. And what peace the risen Jesus Christ must have brought them! Yet even after this meeting, Peter didn’t run right out and start the church. No, he went back to fishing.
It was as if the devil had kicked sand at them, and they were afraid and humiliated. They were certainly not out teaching and preaching and winning souls for the Lord!
Not yet, anyway.
But in a few days, something would happen that would change Peter from being behind closed doors for fear of the Jews to being in front of them teaching, preaching, confronting, and winning many for the the Lord.
Peter muscles up
Peter was hardly a skinny runt — but he was full of fear. What changed Peter?
Pentecost! Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. He was with many people for 40 days. Then he ascended into the clouds. Ten days later, on Pentecost, Peter and the others received holy spirit. The spirit of fear was replaced with power, love, and a sound mind. They had already witnessed Jesus Christ’s resurrection and ascension, and that was huge. But it all came together when they received the witness on the inside. They had Christ IN them, the hope of glory.
When we realize what happened to Peter, we begin to understand the records in the book of Acts. Power. Love. Sound mind. Christ in you, the hope of glory! Do the works Jesus did, and greater. WOW!!!
Acts 2 records that particular Pentecost when Peter received power from on high, holy spirit. The same is still available today. Romans 10 says, “iif you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” What Romans is talking about is the same thing Peter received on that Pentecost. He got saved, demonstrated it by speaking in tongues, and continued from that point on as a dynamic apostle for the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are not all called to be apostles, but we are all called, and there is plenty of work to do with the power of holy spirit that was first given on that day, about two thousand years ago, exactly fifty days after Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.
Peter and John went to pray
Today’s song, “As That Man Did” continues the story of Peter’s boldness, recorded in Acts 3 and 4. Peter and John heal a lame man at the temple, and find they need to defend the healing in front of the religious leaders who killed Jesus and want to silence his apostles. Peter boldly reaches out to all within earshot, and wins many for the Lord that day.
The record shows these religious leaders were working against Peter and against God. Remarkable!
Thank God He has invited us to work for Him, just as He invited Peter!
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, as that man did then, let us rise up and walk!!
God bless you lots!
LYRICS: As That Man Did
Song by Dale Reichel
Peter and John went to pray at the temple
A lame man asked alms at the beautiful gate
No silver, no gold but the lame man was healed
In the name of Jesus he didn’t have to wait.
Not fear, not darkness, not sickness, not sorrow
Need keep us from blessing or silence our talk
In the name of Jesus Christ of Naz’reth
As that man did then let us rise up and walk.
The lame man was leaping and Peter was preaching
And all the people watching were awed.
The rulers told Peter, “You’d better stop teaching!”
He said I listen to you or to God?!?”
We’re blessed, we’re forgiven, we’re more than conquerors,
Able minsters, children of light
Signs and miracles and wonders will follow
Let’s walk like Jesus with God’s love and might!
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