Saturday, December 17, 2011


For Sunday December 18, 2011

(GOD uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things)
(Acts 3)

JESUS once took a rugged, untrained successful commercial fisherman, and commissioned him to be a Disciple and teacher of the Word of GOD. This man emerged as the leader of the group of twelve men that JESUS originally called to follow HIM. The Gospels consistently portray him as taking the lead among all the Disciples. This man’s name was Peter, and, along with James and John, they formed what has come to be known as the “inner circle” of JESUS’ original Disciples.
Peter was always the first to ask questions, or give unsolicited advice. He was the only Disciple with enough faith to jump out of their boat, and walk on the crashing waves with JESUS, when JESUS walked on water that day in far-off Palestine, in an effort to encourage HIS frightened group of comrades (Matthew 14:28-29).
Peter was also the first to express his conviction that JESUS is the CHRIST and the SON of the LIVING GOD (Matthew 16:15-16). He is said to be the one who drew his sword and cut off the ear of Malchus, the High Priest Caiaphas’ servant, when they came to arrest JESUS in the garden of Gethsemane on the eve of HIS Crucifixion (John 18:10).
Ironically, Peter is also the only Disciple that scripture tells us, ever publicly denied JESUS, and we are told that he did it three times. In Matthew 26:74, he denied JESUS for the third and final time. It was H.G. Wells who wrote, “A man can be a bad musician, and yet, be passionately in love with music”. And so, for whatever Peter had done, and however terrible his failures were, he was, undeniably, passionately devoted to JESUS. He may have been overconfident at times, as he was, when he swore that he will never deny JESUS (Matthew 26:33-35). However, sometimes when a man says, “That’s the one thing that I would never do”, then, that’s the very thing he needs to carefully guard against doing. Satan will often attack a person at a point where they are most sure of themselves, because he knows it is there, where they are most likely to be unprepared.
“Do you love me?” is what JESUS asked Peter three times in John 21, and I guess, the only way to prove our love for JESUS, is by loving others. Love is the greatest privilege in the world, however, it brings with it, the greatest responsibility. And for Peter, it brought a cross, and he did die for the LORD, because he too, died on a cross, where Jewish tradition has it, that, he requested to be nailed upside down, because he felt unworthy to die in the same manner as CHRIST. If there is one thing that we can see, by looking at Peter, it is that he was an ordinary man, who came to be able to do extraordinary things, through his strength in, and love for JESUS CHRIST.
In the opening chapters of the book of Acts, once again we see Peter taking the lead. In Acts chapter 1, we see him step up to speak to the 120 believers that were present as they moved to choose another Apostle to replace, the now infamous, Judas Iscariot, who had betrayed JESUS, and then committed suicide at “Akeldama” (Field of blood).
In Acts chapter 2, after the HOLY SPIRIT came down from Heaven, on Pentecost, we see Peter step forward and deliver the first sermon ever preached in a Christian church. And now, here in Acts chapter three, verses 1-8, we see Peter healing a man who had been crippled for forty years. The man had come to the temple every day, apparently, having low expectations of GOD, because he only sought after alms that would merely allow him to exist in his present condition for one more day.
Here we see Peter, along with John, in the name of JESUS, giving the man much more than he thought he could ever receive from GOD. Peter tells the man, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of JESUS CHRIST of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6) (KJV).
Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. As he did this, the man’s feet and anklebones were healed and strengthened. The man got up and began to walk. Then, he began leaping and praising GOD, and then, went into the Temple with Peter and John.
This miracle fulfilled the prophesy of Isaiah, as it is recorded in Isaiah 35:6, where it says, “Then shall the lame man leap as an hart” (KJV). It was an undeniable miracle, because everyone, including the leading priests and Pharisees, had seen this cripple man sit at the gate called “Beautiful” and beg for alms for many years.
Now, as the crowd swelled, Peter sees his opportunity to address them in the Temple who were all amazed by this miracle, probably because they too, came to the church daily, having low expectations concerning GOD. Peter asks them in verse 12, “Why marvel ye at this? Or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? He goes on to tell them that it is “The GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and, the GOD of our fathers, WHO hath glorified HIS SON JESUS”, by doing this (Vs. 12-16).
In other words, the name of JESUS had healed this man. It was nothing more than faith in JESUS’s name that had caused this man’s healing, right before their very eyes. We can all do a lot better in life if we will raise our expectations of what GOD can do for us in our lives, whenever we have faith, and trust in HIM.

(1). Reflect on some of the accomplishments you’ve made in your life that you had
       earlier thought you would never be able to accomplish.
(2). We are all ordinary people, who, use GOD’s extraordinary power to accomplish
      HIS will, and therefore, opposition and obstacles in life are nothing more than a
       cue to pray.
(3). When ordinary people refuse to act in faith, blessings are missed, and so, be
        bold in the LORD’s mighty power.


Pray to GOD and ask HIM to give you the confidence, or renew your confidence in HIS faithfulness, and to also use you to do that which is HIS will in your life, and to allow you to achieve extraordinary things for HIS purpose.

KEY VERSE: Acts 4:13

DEVOTIONAL PASSAGES: John 14:9-14, Acts 3:1-10, & Acts 19:11-20

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