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The Essential Question (Part 2): The Church Begins to GrowSample

The Essential Question (Part 2): The Church Begins to Grow

DAY 1 OF 5

"Just Do It" Faith

Prepare: Spend some time thanking God for healings you're aware of and asking him for healings that are still needed.

Read: Acts 3:1-10

Reflect: I could have told Peter and John they were making a big mistake. Don't make eye contact with panhandlers. If you do, you'll go broke! But it's obvious that the apostles weren't worried about money: they didn't have any! What they cared about was making a difference in the life of this crippled man so that more people would learn about Jesus Christ (3:6). If you want to have an impact in the lives of those around you, maybe you'll need to become less concerned about the things of this world and more concerned about the things of God.

This passage also marks another small turning point in the book of Acts. Up until now, the first Christians had functioned like a private home group. But here the church began to enter the public square. Whether Peter and John realized it, God's vision of the church was not that it remained a little club of people who gathered to reminisce about the good old days with Jesus. Instead, it was going to become a global movement of people who were willing to let God use them to share the good news about Jesus with others.

Now think about the main point of this passage: the crippled man was healed, a fact that got everyone's attention (3:9-10). If it were me, I'd have had lots of questions. Are you sure we should be doing this? What if nothing happens? What will people think? But the text gives no hint that Peter had any second thoughts. Instead, it says, "Peter looked straight at him" (3:4) and grabbed him "by the right hand' (3:7). Those are the observations of an eyewitness. Sometimes it's better not to over-think our efforts to serve others. We'll probably get more done for God if we have a little more of Peter's "just do it" faith.

I love the reaction of the healed man, jumping for joy in the temple courts (3:8). Have you ever felt that sense of unrestrained delight in your church? For the healed man it was a natural reaction to having his long-term physical problem solved. But it was more than that; he was also praising God. In the healing he had experienced the God of the universe for himself. For the rest of his life, every step he took would remind him of that encounter.

Peter and John hadn't set out on a healing mission: they were just going to an afternoon prayer meeting. But they were willing to respond with action-oriented faith to the curbside opportunity God put in front of them. That's still a good way to make a difference for God.

Apply: Make a list of the things that remind you that God is real and active in your life, and then put it in a visible spot. Whenever you see it throughout the day take a moment to praise God.


Day 2

About this Plan

The Essential Question (Part 2): The Church Begins to Grow

In 50 carefully selected passages from the Bible, you will discover the essential question Paul asked the Lord while he was traveling to Damascus: "What shall I do, Lord?" Have you ever asked yourself, "What difference a...


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