This message was preached by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on March 12th, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here
Last week we stopped at Acts 2. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out on men. That day 3000 people get added to their number. In verse 41, we see that the church grew to 3120. They devoted themselves to teaching, fellowship, sharing, and prayer.
In Acts 3, we see one incident in the life of the church. So we will see what we can learn from there.” Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.[a] 2 And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. 3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms”
Haven’t we seen that sight in India? Here peter and John were going to pray. Prayer is important. In verse 4, Peter looked at him. “And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 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!” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.”
1. Great need- there is a great crisis happening, in country after country. 20 Mil people have been displaced right from Somalia, liBya, Syria... even individually people have great needs. People are suffering from different things. But as we meet people, they have difficult, impossible situations. We need to be like Peter and John, go into situations that have great need, and bring great hope. Let us look out for these needs. If you spend 10 mins talking to people you will discover their needs. The Kingdom has come, but let’s talk to people- let’s spread the kingdom out there. This means 5 words- Can I Pray for you? Most people are open to prayer. Sometimes, we say, we’ll pray for you, and forget about it. But make it a point to pray for them immediately. Let’s do it sensitively but immediately.
2. Great Miracle- when you pray for people and it gets answered, don’t they come back asking for the next thing? Expect a great miracle when we pray. The man was healed instantly. He went with them into the temple courts. He was walking and jumping and praising God. it was a miracle. He recognised Jesus did that. Peter and John at the back of that miracle started preaching the gospel.
From verse 12- 17, peter said to them, ““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? 13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant[b] Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. 14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16 And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus[c] has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.” In verse 19 he says, “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you,”.
So we share the gospel with them at the back of a miracle. In John 14:12- “”. He is saying, believe me on the basis of the miraculous works I am doing. Jesus did great things, but he says we will do greater things. For this, we need the power of the Holy Spirit. When He is upon you, you become bold.
3. Great opposition- The Sadducees seized Peter and John. The enemy does not want people to be saved. So wherever the gospel is preached, there will be opposition. Don’t be surprised by it. Later on, we see that they were flogged. Sharing the gospel is not a safe thing. In Acts 4:26- “” After being flogged and beaten, they are praying for boldness to proclaim the gospel and for miraculous signs and wonders to follow them. It is something else to go into a hostile world and tell people about Jesus.
4. Great harvest- the number of men grew to about 5000. There is a great harvest. If you want to see the kingdom come, Peter and John are no more. Now we have all of us.
Prayer is important. We need the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel. Then, talk to people. Let’s get off our phones. It can take up all our time. Let’s spend time having real conversations with people. take a step and say, can I pray for you. We are the agents of the Kingdom to take it forward. We need to go out of here thinking, we can do it.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.