Bible Reading Day 170
After the excitement of the Day of Pentecost, and the revolutionary nature of the early church, it would be tempting for the apostles to take it easy for a bit and focus on caring for the new believers. However, today’s reading shows us how focused they are on those outside their group. When the Holy Spirit fills our hearts, our focus shifts from ourselves to others, in line with God’s love for those who are currently out of relationship with Him.
The next event Luke records is how Peter and John are going to the Temple one day (it seems they continued to worship God in the way that was familiar to them, yet with fresh vigor and meaning). Outside the Temple sat a well-known beggar; lame from birth, he was located in a prime begging location, close to the route taken by those going to worship God. (Side note: Jesus clearly didn’t heal everyone during His earthly ministry. His calling was to fully obey God, which He did, not to meet every earthly need).
Peter and John intentionally engage the man, when he asks them for money, and give him something far more valuable than money to support him in his current state: the freedom to work, earn, and choose his own destiny. This is a hallmark of God at work – to release unfulfilled potential in each human life.
Of course this miracle draws another crowd, creating another opportunity to explain the good news of Jesus and challenge the crowd to respond. Several things stand out to me from Peter’s sermon on this occasion: firstly the way he brings history and scripture together with current events to show God’s plan unfolding. Secondly, he is not shy about speaking the truth, yet he is also clearly compassionate; wanting them to respond positively, not just accusing and condemning them. And thirdly, Peter clearly encourages them to accept what God promises them: salvation from their sins, refreshing from God, inclusion in God’s covenant, and the return of the promised Messiah (Jesus).
How does God want you to look outward today, as you go about your daily routine? And what would it look like for God to show up and draw people to Himself through you?
Have a great day!