“… 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…” Acts 3:7
Ours is a house of FAITH. We believe that God IS who He says He is, and that He’ll do what He says He’ll do… and we get to encourage each other in this belief. So, let me encourage you today!
Acts 3:1-10 delivers the familiar account of a crippled beggar, asking Peter and John for money. Peter and John directly engage the man, and Peter replies famously, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (Acts 3:6)
I picture Peter, fresh from the experience of Pentecost, filled with the power of the Spirit to share God’s salvation, the words “say unto this mountain” still ringing in his memory from Jesus’ own lips…and I then picture us, stirred in our faith by a conference session or a worship service, or a conversation with another believer, or the whisper from God’s heart to ours through prayer and His word.
Peter and John demonstrate such faith here, and the declarative boldness from Peter is specifically impressive. But what strikes me MOST is how Peter doesn’t stop after simply speaking. Without hesitation, he reaches down to help the man up. His faith elevated by encounter (Jesus’ words, miracles, Pentecost, etc), but it’s activated by decision (his choice to reach out, extend his hand, follow up his own prophetic command).
And here’s the crazy thing…“… Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and INSTANTLY the man’s feet and ankles became strong…” (Acts 3:7) The miracle came NOT at the moment of declaration, BUT at the moment of action. Peter’s INWARD faith was OUTWARDLY demonstrated, and God’s miraculous power was THEN realized.
Now, I’m certainly not suggesting that God’s miracle power is confined to any earthly order, or sequence that we would or should follow, but Acts 3 provokes these questions for me: What miracles are waiting for my action? What are the promises of God, seeded by His own Spirit, affirmed by my own words, yet waiting for my own step of faith? What does reaching down to help the beggar up look like in my life? Am I cultivating my faith with as much PHYSICAL COURAGE as VERBAL BOLDNESS?
I love our church…our people and our gatherings. I love seeing the FAITH of this family encouraged when we simply set our eyes on Jesus and allow Him to move in our hearts. I love the gathered momentum that occurs when we do this together…and I love the fact that we, the ordinary, simple, human and hurting, can fuel WITHIN each other the supernatural, extraordinary, holy, and beautiful things God made to experience and embody...… and let’s not just stop at the declarations of our faith, but let us be a church that follows through with the activation of our faith, and watch God do what He can do!