Acts Series: Back to the Beginning When Church was Church #5
Why Are We Surprised - when God is God
Now last week Doc took you guys through this story of this crippled man sitting day after day by the Beautiful Gate, the Entrance to the Temple of God.
Year after year, begging, asking people to pray for him, hoping something might happen.
Then two preachers come by and in a moment his life has been changed and he can walk.
Then he's running all over the temple,
Everyone was filled with amazement and wonder, well of course they were
Now let's pick this story up Read - Acts 3:11-19
So I have a Question for you Today
Why are we Surprised - When God is God?
This guys is running around the Temple praising the Lord, but it seems like in verse 11 that perhaps he is literally dragging Peter and John around with him
Peter begins to answer their surprise and says "Men of Israel …"
Now remember where he is … The Temple and by saying "men of Israel" he is crying out to BELIEVERS to Church People to People who claim to KNOW God in a special and intimate way
He is calling those of us who SAY that we KNOW God to ACT like we KNOW God through experience in his ways and nature
Why does this Surprise You?
The assumption is that is should NOT
Peter was saying don't you KNOW GOD?
These people had walked past this man every day.
They had stepped over him
They had ignored his requests for prayer, requests for money
But God had forgiven his sins and restored his legs
They had either given up on him or given up on God
But are we any LESS guilty?
Who have we given up on?
Who have you stopped praying for?
Who have you stopped believing God could heal?
Who have you stopped believing and expecting God could save or change?
When someone comes to Christ that people have prayed for for years, are you excited or skeptical?
When you hear of a famous or infamous person coming to Christ we doubt it
When someone in prison comes to Christ we say that they are just trying to find a way out, even more so if they are on death row.
When we pray for someone who is sick we either pray for simple peace/grace or if we pray for healing, we are shocked if they are actually healed.
So how do we move away from living in surprise to living in expectation and gratitude.
4 R's I'm going to give you today so you can stay with me
The first is
Peter was standing in the area of the Temple called "Solomon's Porch" - tradition says it was called that because it was the only relic that remained from Solomon's Temple.
Standing on the only thing remaining from their past, Peter calls them to remember
A. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
1. know who your God is
2. men of Israel don't forget what he did your ancestors. This is the same God gave Abraham his own land, who protected him, who led him, who gave him a child in his old age, who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for its wickedness, the same God who spoke to Abraham like a man speaks to a friend
3. he is the God who rescued Isaac from sacrifice on the mountain with a Ram caught in the thicket
4. he is the God of Jacob, who gave him 12 sons and protected them through Joseph and deliverance into Egypt and them took them out of Egypt to the promised Land
5. he says, "why are you staring at us like WE did something" God did this!!!
6. Remember a guy named King David?
7. Remember Elisha the prophet healing Nahum
8. Remember Shadrach Meshach and Abednego?
9. Daniel and the Lions Den
10. Raining down fire on the prophets of Baal
11. Why did God do ANY of these? To Glorify Himself
and so here he was glorifying himself
B. What About Jesus?
1. born of a virgin
2. born in the place he was predicted to be born 700 years before his birth
3. healed sick
4. raised the dead
5. made the blind to see
9. seen by hundreds for 40 days
10. ascended to the right hand of the Father
C. Fill In The Blank
1. I've seen God move
2. I've seen God heal
3. I've seen demonic activity
4. If we would remember who God is and what he does
5. Heb 13:8 - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever - He is Constant -
Numbers 23:19 - God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill
If we remember who God is and what he has done, we will expect him to move
The second thing is that we must then …
2. Repent v19
So we know what God has done in the past and if we haven't believed it could be true for us
If we have failed to seek and see God move, then
Turn to God
Remember if we are only OFF of God's Line by a bit, then we need to Repent
Jesus said in Matthew 4 - "repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand"
Repent from YOUR way of thinking and come to God's way of thinking because he wants to move in and through us if we will just allow him, ask him, expect him.
Repent from What?
Repent from Failing to Believe
Mark 1:15 - 'The time has come' he said 'the Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!'
Repent from Failing to Expect
Psalm 5:3 in the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation
Repent from Failing to Ask
James 4:2 you want something but you don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures
So Repent and turn to God
Why do you turn to God … because you Expect something
That's our 3rd "R"
3. Reckon -
means to expect or to anticipate
When you repent and turn to God we become people that ACTUALLY expect God to be God on our behalf.
Does that mean that we always expect God to do whatever we want?
No we expect him to be GOD
That means he CAN do exactly what we ask
He is able to do more than we can ask or imagine according to Ephesians 3:20
We know that many things are impossible with man but all things are possible with God
So we expect him to move
But WE expect him to be God
And that means that he is
Sovereign which means and will do what he wants to do, when he wants to do it and how he wants to do it
If we expect him to be God then we expect him to be LOVING and that means that sometimes he will NOT give me what I want because though I don't understand it would NOT be for my good and so he chooses NOT to do it
If he is God he is Holy, Righteous, Just, Constant
So we should expect him to Be God
We should Reckon that he will be nothing less than God
So if we turn to him in our sin he will forgive
If we turn to him in our need he will meet us in our need and give grace and he is able to heal, he is able to restore
A great picture of this "reckoning" or expecting God to be God is
Hebrews 11:17-19 by faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death …
Each of those listed in Hebrews 11 reckoned, or expected God to be God and move on their behalf at that time or in the future and that God would complete his purposes and his ways and fulfill his promises.
Know the Promises and Ways of God
Repent from trusting your own understanding
Pro 3:5,6 "trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight
Expect God to Be God and
Then … our final "R" …
look again at verse 19
A. Our Sins are Wiped out - Blotted out -
1. means you can't even tell they were ever there in the record against you
2. that is what you need - forgiveness of sins -
3. Forgiveness of the sin of failing to trust
4. God can't move in our lives unless our sins are forgiven
B. Times of Refreshing may come from the Lord
1. "seasons" - a period of God's favor
2. refreshing comes because God's present with us
3. "refreshing" - MEANS -- relaxation from burdensome circumstance - state of cheer after a difficult time - it means to "cool by blowing" - like the drying out and healing of an open wound - "to relieve" "to strengthen"
The blowing of the wind or breath of the spirit on us relieving our burden, giving cheer after the difficulty and drying of our open wound to strengthen us
So we come back to our question
So, Why are you Surprised
When God is God
Will we live in disbelief and surprise or will be live in faith?
Will we walk by Faith or Walk by Sight?
Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not scene
When we don't really believe
We don't really expect
When we don't really expect we really don't act
And if we don't really believe, expect and ask, where is the SUBSTANCE of our Christianity?
Where is the Hope and the evidence for our Hope?
Then why should we expect anyone else to believe what we don't believe?
If you are contemplating giving your heart to Christ today but you don't think that God can change your life … I am here to tell you that he CAN and will
Watch the Sun go down today and Watch it come up tomorrow
Watch a Butterfly emerge from a cocoon and know that he is the same God
Do not be surprised when I say that God can be God in your life
Repent and Return and your sins will be blotted out, and seasons of refreshing will come
If you are praying for healing today then I would say "repent and return and seasons of refreshing will come
If you are praying for someone's salvation, or for your marriage that is struggling, or for the direction back to life
Remember who he is and what he has done
Repent from sin and failing to believe
Reckon that he can move in your life
Receive from him forgiveness and Refreshing
MAKE A LIST
Expect Him to Be God
Trust Him to Be God
Receive from him His Best