This classic Lockheed Sabre jet fighter appears to be poised for action, but in reality it is fastened firmly to a post on the ground. Are you ready for action or are you bound down?

Acts Part 7: Seeing Problems as Opportunities

This classic Lockheed Sabre jet fighter appears to be poised for action, but in reality it is fastened firmly to a post on the ground. Are you ready for action or are you bound down?1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. 2 And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. 4 But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” 5 And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!” 7 And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. 8 With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God; 10 and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him
(Acts 3:1-10 NASB)

Ok, six hours had passed since the manifestation of the Holy Spirit began, and during that time Peter had preached a sermon that began changing the whole world. How can I say that? I can say that because people from many of the nations of the known world at that time were present in Jerusalem on that day and witnessed what happened, and over 3000 people were saved in those few hours, and many continued to be saved from that time forward.

So, it’s around 3pm, a time that the Jews stopped to pray. But while on their way to the temple to pray they came across a man who had been lame from birth. We all know the story, as reflected in this well loved children’s song:

“Peter and John went to pray.
They met a lame man on the way
He asked for alms and held out his palms,
And this is what Peter did say
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.
He went walking and leaping and praising God,
Walking and leaping and praising God,
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.

Silver and gold have I nine,
But such as I have give I thee,
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.
He went walking and leaping and praising God,
Walking and leaping and praising God,
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk”

We see here again the state of readiness that Peter and his colleagues were in because of maintaining a vibrant relationship with God. Peter didn’t have to stop and hold a meeting to discuss what to do, he knew straight away what to do, because he could hear the Holy Spirit guide him.

The result was that the man was healed. The more significant result was that people all around noticed, and that no doubt brought them closer to receiving the good news of Jesus Christ their Saviour for themselves.

Problems always create incredible opportunities. Peter rose to the occasion every time a problem came, and God was glorified.