Friday, October 21, 2005

SEDUCTIVE FAITH – Its Lack Curbs God’s Use of Me!

In Acts 3:1-10 Peter and John were about to enter the temple; they were passing by a lame man begging alms from passersby. This is one of the most memorable Sunday School lessons of all time; it's on the same plain as David and Goliath! I don’t remember where or when I was taught the lesson, but I remember it clearly.

But Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none; but what I have, that give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, [fill in the blank]!”
Acts 3:6 ASV
The lesson always seemed to be about either healing the disabled or materialism. These, I believe, miss the practical application of the passage. Let me explain.

Context is important in any study of Scripture; the context of this passage is very simple:
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Acts 2:46, 47
Clearly Luke's segue into chapter three is out of church unity and church witness (or perhaps testimony), both a function of faith (or trust) in God. In Acts 3:1-10 we have a demonstration of God’s love and healing power manifested through the Apostle Peter’s great faith in God’s love and healing power! A miracle is in view here, and miracles were used by God to demonstrate His attributes, encourage the saints, and grow the Kingdom.
I’m reminded of the story of the fully loaded barge which sank in the East River near New York City's Riker’s Island. Nothing the salvagers tried would raise the valuable cargo; it was frozen in the mud of the river's bottom.

A young engineer said he could raise it, but no one listened to him. Having tried and failed in every effort, the site superintendent let him have a try. The young man had workers chain another barge over the sunken vessel, and for hours he had them cinch up the chains. Then he sat back and waited for the tide to come in!

The man had absolute faith in the power of the tide; he had seen it work before and he knew it would not fail him now. The tide is like the Lord Jesus Christ only it is finite and He is infinite. He chains Himself to our sunken lives, chinches up tight, waits for us to turn, then lifts us out of sins suction-like grip. All many need someone to come by and notice them.

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