Business As Usual?
Heavenly Father, may I stay close to You today and be drawn by Your Spirit into the center of Your will.
Read Acts 9:32-43
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
The God who reveals himself in the ordinary is still the extraordinary miracle-working God.
What do you do when there are no crises? Getting on with regular ministry would seem to be the answer from Acts. The church has a time of peace. Peter begins traveling around the churches that have been established. But this is much more than carrying out routine pastoral duties. The power of the Holy Spirit is seen in each part of the story. Someone is sick, and Jesus heals him through Peter. Someone has died, and she is raised in answer to prayer. His ministry to believers leads to new evangelism and growing churches. Peter is moved to Joppa ready for the next stage of his ministry, in response to the love of believers for one another.
Here for the first time we are introduced to normal believers: not leaders, nor the wealthy, nor the deceitful, but a paralytic man and good widows. The early church was composed of such people, as Paul would remind the Corinthians (1 Cor. 1:26-29). To the outsider, many of these were regarded as nonentities and certainly not those at the forefront of a spiritual revolution, but God was at work through a man who could not move from his bed and a woman who liked sewing. It was these two people who experienced wonderful miracles. Too often our ideas of “strategic opportunities” and “strategic people” are related to worldly standards rather than the pattern set out in the New Testament. What might have seemed to a strategist a waste of Peter’s time and energy not only results in a large number of people coming to faith, but also the blessing of many ordinary people.
How can you help your church to show the loving service of believers to one another and the sensitivity that Peter showed? Who are the “non-strategic” people you and your church can minister to?
Help me, Lord, to view Your people as You do and to serve them as Christ and the apostles did.
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