Do you ever look at just the headlines and get depressed? I mean you don’t even need to look at the full article to feel down. And the news can be a little bit scary too. News about terrorists and shootings can definitely be nerve-racking. But did you know that God has “Breaking News” too? God has all kinds of news. One of the news sources that God has is the Bible, and honestly it is completely reliable. Imagine if you found out that two men were arrested and in jail but that night an amazing thing happened. The two men were singing and praying to God all night after they were beaten. Then a big earthquake came and ALL the jail doors flew open! The prison guard thought that all the prisoners got out so he decided to kill himself. But just before the sword pierced him a voice called out saying, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!” The guard went where he had heard the voice and saw that all the prisoners were still there. Then and there the prison guard asked the two men how he could be saved. The men told him, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” And you found this all in today’s newspaper. (Acts 16:16-36) I call the book of Acts God’s headlines, but that is just one of his news sources. Now you could be thinking, this is cheesy and old fashion. But you can find some amazing stories from missionaries about the ways that God moves today. And call it cheesy but this is how I see the book of Acts.
So today I want to talk about one of my favorite “Headlines” God put in Acts. It is Acts 3:1-11 and I want you to read through it and think about the things that pop-out to you.
First our main characters are: Peter, John, and man that has been lame from birth. Now I want to point out that the lame man goes to the Beautiful Gate each day. (So this guy is persistent! 😊) Ask yourself if you think that many people passed him every day? I don’t think Peter and John were the first to pass him, so the lame man did not expect much. He was passed by every day even by the Church goers. When Peter and John were about to enter the lame man asked them for money, but Peter looked at him intently. (Sometimes we just need to give up some time and intently spend time and talk with others.) Then Peter said, “Look at us!” and the lame man looked at them and totally thought he was about to get some money but he didn’t. Peter told him, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene get up and walk!” Whoa!! The lame man thought he was just going get money but God had a bigger picture. When the lame man woke up that morning do you he was thinking, I am going to be healed today? Look at verse 7 where it says, Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the MAN’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened! Oh man this part is so good!! So look at the first half of the verse it says lame man…but right after the problem that had affected him all his life was gone he was now going by the name of man. At that one moment all his past was wiped away even from his name! Lame man to man!! Then it says that he jumped, stood, walked, and praised God. I think it’s just plain awesome that he did not get caught up in himself but just knew that God was definitely in all of it! So now you see this guy that all his past has been swept away by Jesus and he just walks in the Temple with Peter and John! When he gets in there all the people who walked by him every time they went to the Temple saw that he was up and walking. In verse 9 & 10 it says that it took the people a little bit to recognize him but when they did the people were absolutely astounded!
Now I hear you saying, “Um that’s a cool account from the Bible but I don’t see what I can do with it.” Well there is a big..I mean big part to this that I have missed every time I read it for a long time. This real account tells us that any sin or past that we think is too big to forget can be forever forgiven! The man was lame from birth and he was healed by the power of Jesus. And when he was healed his title that had stayed with him all of his life was washed away in a single moment. Lovely people, we have all sinned (Romans 3:23) but we have a Healer… Just as the lame man did. Really we have the same Healer as him, Jesus. Romans 3:24 explains it very well, “Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”
When the people at the Temple saw the man up and walking they knew that God’s hand was in it. So when you have been forgiven people will see God’s hand your life too. You are the Light!
Much Love, KM