Focusing on God
Heavenly Father, thank You for the reminder that You are at work in our world. Be glorified in me today.
Read ACTS 3:11–26
11 While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.
17 “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.’
24 “Indeed, beginning with Samuel, all the prophets who have spoken have foretold these days. 25 And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’ 26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectDo you know anyone whose life leads you to think how great God is? Why is that?
Not surprisingly, the lame man’s healing caused a stir! It was a miracle, yes, but to people familiar with the Scriptures, it was a fulfillment of prophecy (Isa. 35:6). God had come; a new age had dawned. Unfortunately, the people focused on Peter and John (11) and not on God. That was the wrong direction as far as Peter was concerned (12). How can we draw attention away from ourselves (or our churches) and direct it to Jesus without it sounding like false modesty?
Peter’s solution here was similar to the one on the day of Pentecost: he told the people about their real guilt before God (13–15). But he took no pleasure in telling them that, recognizing that they had acted out of ignorance (17). After all, it wasn’t so long since he had disowned Jesus himself (Luke 22:54–62). So immediately he holds out the possibility of repentance and forgiveness (19). How can we who have been truly forgiven be hard towards others (see Luke 7:47; Matt. 18:21–35)? We are all totally and utterly in Jesus’ debt for his gift of grace and healing.
Reflect on what Jesus has done for you. Thank him for giving you faith!
God, use me to point others to You today.