A Church that Acts – Miracles Open Doors

 

Today we continue with our journey through the book of Acts. Remember, our objective here is to rediscover the origins, history, divine influences and governing principles which drove the first century church and followers of Jesus through the centuries to follow in order to discover some practical lessons which are relevant to our walk of faith today.

Central to what we hope to glean from the book of Acts is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit during Pentecost. Apart from this event the early followers of Jesus would have been committed but powerless. The arrival of the Holy Spirit is THE defining catalyst for the success of these early believers.

With that as the backdrop we, once again, pick up the narrative in Acts, chapter 3.

Acts 3:11-26
11 While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade.
12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus…

When we act in faith, God does miracles.

Bold declaration (know the truth)
Confident expectation (act in faith)
Miraculous results (experience God’s wonders)

Peter did not perform a miracle, God performed a miracle. Neither will we perform miracles, but our God still does miracles when we act in faith. Keeping that perspective will allow us to boldly do God’s work in this fallen world.

It’s not our power, it’s God’s power
It’s not our miracle, it’s God’s miracle

Peter continued,

13 You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go.
14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you.
15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.
16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.
17 “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders.
18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer.
19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
20 and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.

Here’s the key message that Peter is declaring and that we should also embrace: The miracle is not the main point, here. The miracle draws attention to the overarching message that God has the power to save. The miracle demonstrates God’s power in order to open the hearts of those who witness it. But the objective is to reveal God’s love for us and His power to deliver us from our sins.

We read on.

21 Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.
22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you.
23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.’
24 “Indeed, beginning with Samuel, all the prophets who have spoken have foretold these days.
25 And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’
26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”

Once again, notice the objective of Peter’s sermon. He does not dwell on the miracle. He does not leverage the miracle to his personal advantage. He does not allow the miracle to become the centerpiece. Instead, Peter leverages the miracle to point to God’s saving grace which was expressed in the person of Jesus Christ.

And this is the message we carry as well. Whenever God does miracles or otherwise demonstrates His power and presence in the world, He opens the door for us to declare the saving love of Jesus. The objective is never the miracle; it is never the event or the action, the kindness or the generosity. The objective is to always show God’s love.

It is crucial to remember that whatever we do which may appear extraordinary to those who do not enjoy a relationship with God, is the means to reveal God’s love for them. Good deeds and selfless acts are meant to draw attention to God, not to us.

As John the Baptist emphasized as he introduced Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah they had been anticipating, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30 KJV)

All that we do should draw attention to Jesus as we step aside for His glory to be known.

 

Speak Your Mind

*

...