As I was reading through Acts, chapter three, for my online Bible study, Peter’s words and actions really spoke to me. Yes, this was the same Peter who was always kind of running off at the mouth. Yes, this was the same Peter who was a simple fisherman. He had certainly never been to seminary. Yes, this was the same man who denied even knowing Jesus, not once, but three times.
At first glance, he doesn’t seem to have that much going for him, does he? But, when you put Jesus in the mix, everything changes. While Peter had many shortcomings, Jesus knew he would one day be a force to be reckoned with, so much so that He renamed him from Simon to Peter. The Greek of Peter is Petra and it means, “the Rock.”
While Peter’s faith in Jesus may have wavered, Jesus’ faith in Peter did not.
Let that sink in for a moment. How does that make us feel about our own faith that sometimes sputters?
In the chapter I read yesterday, Peter and John were on the way to the temple for prayer. These men had been present for the first Pentecost; and had seen the Holy Spirit physically at work, yet they were going to the temple for prayer.
When I read that, I thought about how we react when we see a miracle of some kind. When something works out that shouldn’t have or when circumstances seem to magically fall into place, we feel grateful and in awe for a little while. But, do we feel called to go and pray and worship with other believers? What does that tell us about the power of praying together?
On the way to the temple, they encounter a crippled beggar. He wants money. I wonder if it even occurred to him to ask for more. He just wanted enough to get by. How often do we just think about the misery of our current circumstances and desperately hope and pray for a quick surface fix, but not for true healing?
Peter was able to give the beggar much more. Peter told him he didn’t have any silver or gold, but that he would give him what he did have and what he had, was way more precious.
He told him, “in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, walk.” Acts 3:6b
Then he reached for his hand and helped him up and the man was healed.
There’s power in the name of Jesus. The Bible tells us that throughout the New Testament and I sometimes wonder if modern-day Christians have forgotten that.
Like Peter, every single Christian has the power to give words of hope and life to the world around us. Like the beggar, we all have the ability to seek more than momentary fixes. We have the ability through prayer, to seek true healing for what cripples us and holds us hostage.
And then, when great things happen, like Peter, we can give all of the glory to God because we know that’s where the power comes from and then He will continue to use us and the Kingdom will continue to grow.
What do you know? We can change the world. Sometimes I need reminding. Perhaps you did too.
Have an awesome day!