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Saturday, November 12, 2016

When Cripples Are Healed (Acts 3:7-8)

"And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them--walking, leaping, and praising God."

Change is a wonderful thing. Once a caterpillar becomes a butterfly it will never be the same. It will never again crawl around on a bunch of legs, but will fly; nor eat leaves but puddle (drink through a straw-like mouth).

Can't you see the headlines of The Jerusalem Post: Crippled man of forty years healed. Everyone knew Beggar Bo (short for Boaz). Unable to work the crippled man spent his days laying outside the gate of the temple courts begging. The day that Peter and John enter the temple courts to pray changes Beggar Bo's life forever. Expecting a few coins the beggar receives a gift beyond his wildest imagination when he is healed. Consider the changes healing brings to him:
  • He could never beg again
  • He would have to learn a trade and find a job
  • His family wouldn't carry him around anymore and would expect him to become a productive contributor to the family
Walking, jumping, and praising God the beggar enters the temple courts, the place off limits to those whose physical bodies were crippled. Never mind all those who enter with whole bodies but crippled souls. For the first time in his life he can freely enter the temple courts. When a person repents of his sins and turns to Jesus Christ he too will never be the same:
  • He won't be able to continue living a life of sin.
  • Others will hold him accountable for his attitudes and service.
  • How he relates to all others will change.
  • He'll have new struggles (those which accompany being able to walk and work).
  • He will become a contributor to the kingdom of God instead of a drain.
Just as changes take place when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly so changes accompany the healing power entering the beggar's physical body. Just as healing power enters the body of the beggar and changes his life so certain changes accompany the entry of the Spirit of God into a repenting believer's life. Changes in relationships, activities, and attitudes. And that's a good thing.


Commenting on this change within a person Oswald Chambers states in his November 12th My Utmost For His Highest reading:
"The experience of salvation means that in your actual life things are really altered, you no longer look at things as you used to; your desires are new, old things have lost their power. . . Has God altered the thing that matters? . . . If you are born again, the Spirit of God makes the alteration manifest in your actual life and reasoning."

When cripples are healed there is no going back to the lifestyle of a cripple.


Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Acts 3:1-5:16
  • How does Peter utilize the healing event?
  • How does Peter describe his ability to heal?
  • What response does Peter's message demand from the people?
  • What does Peter's message teach about God?
  • Why do the rulers, elders and teachers of the law arrest Peter and John?
  • What do the rulers, elders, and teachers recognize about Peter and John?
  • What are some of the changes which have taken place in Peter's life since his betrayal of Jesus Christ?
  • How do the believers respond to Peter and John's release?
  • What do they recognize about Scripture?
  • How do the disciples pray about their opposition?
  • How are we to pray for our adversaries today?
  • How does the Christian community respond to all that God is doing in their midst?
  • What is Ananias and Sapphira's view of God?
  • How does their death affect the community and teach the people about God?
Turning truth into prayer:
What kind of changes is the Holy Spirit making in your life? Ask the Lord to open your eyes to His activity in your life.