Good Life Journal - Acts 3
“And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”” (Acts 3:4-6 ESV) “And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk?” (Acts 3:12 ESV) “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out …” (Acts 3:17-19 ESV)
Pretty powerful; defining moment in ministry. Gosh, I wish I could be like that. Stray thought: Less than 6 months prior Peter, a commercial fisherman by trade, a disciple for 3 years, not exactly peaceful in stress situations (cut off a soldier’s ear in a sting operation) and was cowardly denying Jesus, punctuated by a crowing chicken? And now preaching from the Scriptures and developing salvation doctrine with authority? Goodness gracious: What am I thinking about that? What should I be thinking?
When I was younger in the Faith I would have zeroed in on the “…such as I have, I give to thee...” piece of scripture. As it is I am still drawn imaginatively to it. But now I am drawn to the powerful humbleness exhibited by Peter and John. It is not like they were emotionally pumped according to the account—(doesn’t indicate either way)--baptized/filled with the Holy Spirit just days/weeks before, they have gotten into a routine of making their way daily to the Temple to pray. A routine. A habit, a deliberate practice. What did it consist of? I should be able to extract a few things: 1) They have been in the Scriptures, not just reading, but expectant, deliberate reading; 2) They may have been doing it together (Peter and John “fixing their gaze” is remarkably coordinated isn’t it?); 3) While they may not have been looking for someone to heal that morning (“Hey, John—let’s go see if we can find a lame guy to lay hands on this morning before prayers…”), they were prepared for whatever the Holy Spirit made available. What does that mean to me? Here’s what I think: Am I sensitive to the moment in the Holy Spirit in the grocery store? Do I stop and ask a person on crutches or a wheelchair if I can spend 30 seconds in prayer, laying my hands on them (with permission of course)? Do I do something as simple as bringing a complaint to the store I am in when a questionable cover of a magazine isn’t covered (SI’s Swimsuit Edition comes to mind)…? Am I living my faith Biblically and out loud in my home? Facts are: not always and I want it to be different by deliberate habit.
Lord God: Persevering in the Faith implies deliberate, habitual, reflexive, practice. (Heb 6:11; Rev 2:26) I want to grow in the things I learn; the things I am exposed to from Your Word. Please give me that kind of determination that I may serve You through the End of my days and I can have said about me: He served the purposes of God in His Generation.