Sunday, November 8, 2009


"But Peter...replied,...'We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.'" Acts 4:20

My heart is overflowing with blessing this morning. I'll be honest. Some days I open my Bible and I miss God's Word to me. I don't know what I'll share here. Other days, like today, I don't know what to share here, but it's because I have so much I want to share. So I'll give some quick highlights then zoom in on one thing that totally thrilled me.

"...he asked them for some money." Acts 3:3 Sometimes we don't know what to ask. The lame man didn't ask for healing, but money. The Lord gave him, not what he asked for, but what he needed. Often we can't identify our deepest need. I'm so thankful that God knows and He will supply.

"...why stare at us..." Acts 3:12 It's not about us. Gaze at Jesus. It's not about our strategies, our faithfulness, our giftedness. It's about God glorifying Christ. Look past the saved sinner to the Savior.

"Now repent...turn...Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord." Acts 3:19-20. There is a prerequisite for refreshment. Now...then. One comes before the other. There is a reason we are dry.

"There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12 It's about an exclusive Savior and the power of an exclusive Name. Jesus is the only Way.

"...they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures." Acts 4:13. That just gives me such hope. I am an ordinary woman. I have no special training, but God can fill me with a holy boldness to speak, write and share His message.

"...the healing of a man who had been lame for more than forty years." Acts 4:22 Forty years. That's a long time. It was all the beggar's life. What has crippled me all my life? Jesus has the power to heal.

"When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God..." Acts 4:24 Just wondering. How quick am I to pray? When they heard, they prayed.

"...everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will." Acts 4:28 Lord, thank You for this assurance. All my days were ordained for me before one of them came to be.

"...'give us, your servants, great boldness.' After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness." Acts 4:29, 31 Lord, shake my life. Don't make it easier for us, but give us boldness.

"He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount...'you kept...the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren't lying to us but to God!' As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died." Acts 5:2-5 "You kept" seems to imply that some sort of promise had been made to God concerning these funds. Oswald Chambers writes, "If it is always discreet, always wise, always sensible, always calculating, never carried beyond itself, it is not love at all." Have I ever done something lavish? Something impulsive? Where or what do I hold back something that I promised to God? Am I at risk of disciplinary exposure? God will expose sin either now or later.

My Pastor shared a story just last week of a married couple, living in two separate countries. The wife is earning unbelievably good money and they could live easily on the wealth supplied. Why have they chosen to live apart? The husband runs a Bible school, and his wife's income supplies the complete tuition for all the students to attend free of charge. They are giving sacrificially and lavishly.

"'We must obey God rather than any human authority." "We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, who is given by God to those who obey him." Acts 5:29,32 Here I couldn't help but notice that obedience is connected with Spirit filling.

"If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. but if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God!" Acts 5:38-39 Don't oppose a movement of God, even if we think it has some flaw. Time will tell the motivation and motivator of the movement.

"The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus." Acts 5:41 Grab the joy despite what tries to grab your emotions, so that others believe it is worth it. God is worth it.

Now for what gripped my heart the deepest this morning. Reflect back on my key verse at the very top. "But Peter...replied,...'We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.'"

What happened to Peter? In my reading today, his name was prominent.

Peter went (Acts 3:1)
Peter said (Acts 3:4)
Peter took (Acts 3:7)
Peter saw (Acts 3:12)
Peter taught (Acts 4:2)
Peter filled (Acts 4:8)
Peter replied (Acts 4:19)
Peter returned (Acts 4:23)
Peter asked (Acts 5:8)
Peter's shadow (Acts 5:15)
But Peter (Acts 5:29)
Peter's boldness (Acts 4:13)

From cowering to courageous. The man who denied, now determined and deliberate. The dabbler turned disciple. From hiding in the shadow to people seeking to stand in his shadow (Acts 5:25). From impetuous to intentional. What happened?

Powerful experience. Personal encounter. Pardon enjoyed.

No longer could he contain what Christ had done. When God's power shows up His passion is released. How has His power changed you? Passionately share with someone today.

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1 comment:

Lutiemom said...

Wow, Joy. I've never seen Peter this way. I love how you pointed out the new Peter, the forgiven Peter.