2022_01_14 Insight Post- Marcy Fleurima
This week's reading- Acts 3-4
After Peter and John walked up to the Temple on what would have been a normal day, they came across a lame man who was begging for money. They gave him not what he wanted, but what he needed—Jesus’ power through the Holy Spirit and was healed! The people were amazed at this sight as they’ve come used to seeing this man each and every day—normally lame and this day he was walking, leaping, and praising God. As the crowd grew, Peter saw the opportunity to share the Gospel with the new boldness and confidence bubbling inside of him.
Peter emphasizes to the crowd the importance of repenting and turning to God. He even calls repentance a blessing when he says in 3:26, “When God raised up his servant, Jesus, he sent him first to you people of Israel, to bless you by turning each of you back from your sinful ways.” Repentance is an interesting word for us. Sometimes we think that is something we do once during our prayer of salvation and we are good to go. However, it is a blessing to repent! We all fall short of the glory of God and need Him to forgive us of all our sins. Every single day. Not just one time! Yes, we are saved and that’s such a gift of grace in and of itself, however, we still continue to fall short and we can quickly move on and grow in our walk if we repent and turn to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to gently nudge you when something is “off” and when you realize your sin, simply repent of it. Ask God to forgive you, repent of it, and turn to Him. He brings refreshment and rejuvenation when we turn towards him and away from what distracts us from him.
As Peter was preaching, more and more people were following the message of Jesus and the leaders began to feel threatened by Peter and John. They were arrested and while they were questioned, Peter was “filled with the Holy Spirit (4:8)” and he knew exactly what to say. What do you think Peter was thinking? Do you think he knew what he was going to say? Was he afraid or nervous? I can’t help but wonder if he trusted God enough to know he just had to open his mouth and the words would come. You know the same is for you and me today? In an act of obedience when we know we need to say something but don’t know what to say, just open your mouth and the Holy Spirit will meet you with the rest. It’s an act of faith and a way to practice trusting our Father In Heaven.
While Peter was speaking, he made sure we all knew Salvation is in no one else or nothing else but only through God alone (4:12). The members of the counsel were amazed at the boldness of Peter and John as they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They recognized them as men who had been with Jesus (4:13). I love that Luke included this part in his writing. It fills me with hope to know ordinary people could have the boldness, faith, and power by the Holy Spirit to do great works and to understand Scripture. We don’t need to be formal scholars of the Word of God. Some people are and they help us and guide us in our faith walk. However, we can also be in the Word on our own and get revelation, wisdom, and knowledge. I also love how it says they recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. They likely did see Peter and John physically with Jesus but for us today, what an honor and high goal to be someone who looks like we’ve been with Jesus. Our life should be significantly marked by our relationship with the Lord. We should look different, act different, bring boldness, hope, wisdom, knowledge, service, and have fruit in our lives that reflect we’ve been with Jesus.
Take time today and each day to be with Jesus. Open your Bible each day, even if it’s just a few verses, you’ll find they are exactly what you or someone around you will need that day. Pray. Spend time talking to him and asking him to fill your mouth with the words to say or to filter the words not to say. Repent for anything that comes in between you and him and move into a time of refreshment. He won’t disappoint.