Be a Walking Testimony Acts 3:1-10 *New Living Translation*
– The reoccurring theme in the Book of Acts is “God’s Holy Spirit power” working through people.
– In today’s verses in the Book of Acts, Peter heals a lame beggar in the power of Jesus’ name.
– “Jesus’ name” is Jesus, himself. His power to heal through Peter, is the same Holy Spirit power that lives inside of every believer.
– This man was completely healed! This miracle is undeniable and was visible to everyone BECAUSE they “… saw him walking and heard him praising God.”
– This man’s testimony is that the power of Jesus healed him, and this is evident to everyone around him because of what he says, and what he does! He is literally “walking out his testimony”!
– Jesus can heal you and change your life, but would people even notice by how you speak and act?
– Rev. 12:11 says the devil will be defeated, “… by the blood of the Lamb and by [our] testimony.”
– You should be a walking testimony of the power of Jesus to heal the broken!
(Read) Acts 3:1-10
- Peter and John were a walking testimony.
– The words used to describe these Apostles just one year before would have been: fearful, easily amazed, lacking strong faith, always questioning, and even deserters and deniers.
– Right here we see powerful men of God in words and deeds.
– They preach a hard and straight forward gospel, not fearing the guaranteed persecution.
– Acts 4:13, The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.
– They heal people and perform other miracles, doing “even greater things” than Jesus did.
– (read) Acts 5:12-16
– What changed?
– They saw Jesus killed and buried. Then saw Him alive again, and received the Holy Spirit.
– Their lives undoubtedly display the power of the Holy Spirit.
– Ben Franklin once said, “Well done is better than well said.”
– Better yet, “The truth you’re speaking should also be seen in the life you’re living.”
– In other words, “Do well, and say well.”
– Peter and John lived by the power of the blood of Jesus, and is showed in their testimony.
- The healed man was a walking testimony.
(read) Acts 3:9-10 …they were absolutely astounded!
– The healed man’s changed life became the reason that people were willing to listen to the gospel.
– Acts 4:4, But many of the people who heard the message believed it, so the number of believers now totaled about 5,000 men, not counting women and children.
– Acts 4:22, For everyone was praising God for this miraculous sign, the healing of a man who had been lame for more than 40 years.
– NEW LEGS! Literally a “walking testimony”. What if he had walked the other way though?
– What if he left the temple to fulfill some personal life’s dream? He wasn’t healed to bring him personal fulfillment. He was healed to bring God glory!
– What if he was afraid of the stigma and persecution he would receive from those who have always known him as “lame”? Would they accept him as a “new healed man”?
– Many people were saved from their sin and brokenness because the healed man DID NOT just keep it to himself or worry about the possible judgement of everyone else.
– Verses 4 and 5 say, Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money.
– We can waste a lot of time looking for money and the things of this world to make us whole. We make it our provider, our hope for the future. Money can never fix your brokenness.
– God has created many wonderful things in this world. He is the Creator of all things, and they are there for your benefit, but man and satan have perverted most of it.
– God created science, psychology, money, medicine, and your ability to reason. You can use those things to bring God glory, but never begin to seek the creation over the Creator.
– The lame man was begging for money, but he got a healing instead of a hand out.
– What if the lame man would not look up? Would he have been healed in the name of Jesus?
– Jesus has healing waiting for YOU, if you would only look up to Him and receive it!
ME – That what I finally did. I looked for healing from Jesus, and He healed me!
– I have struggled with fear and self-doubt for as long as I can remember. I tried many things to overcome it, like joining the Marines. “That will make me a man”, but it didn’t fix it.
– I’ve been a firefighter for 15 years, and about 6 years ago I had a couple of bad calls that I couldn’t shake off. They “stack up” actually, leading to a diagnosis of PTSD. Fear, self-doubt, and PTSD created a vicious under toe that left me clinging to the rocks, afraid to let go.
– I suffered in silence and brokenness for many years, wondering when something finally would “break” me forever. (Example: Cliff Jumping, every day, will it hurt this time?)
– I read books, took classes, attended workshops, saw psychiatrists and psychologists, and prayed and pleaded with God, but I would not truly let it go; I was afraid to loosen my grip.
– At the Men’s Advance this year I finally laid fear and self-doubt down for good. Healed!
– (Shelly always asked what I’m going to “get out of it”. This year I finally did.)
– I still have work to do, but I believe the hardest work has already been done.
– I had been “carried to the beautiful gate” for many years, but I didn’t receive my healing until I “looked up to Jesus” for it.
– I have seen in my life what Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”
This is what I’ve learned:
– If you aren’t trusting Jesus in EVERYTHING, you aren’t really trusting him in ANYTHING.
– You say, “I believe He can heal YOU, but I don’t think he will ever heal ME.” That really means that you don’t believe that Jesus is the healer that the Bible says He is.
– You say you believe that the Lord is your provider, but you are afraid of what will happen if you lose your job. Do you have trust in your Job, or in your Jesus?!
– Fear and self-doubt were just a twisted way of showing that I didn’t trust Jesus with my life. I was only giving Him 90% of my life when he requires 100%.
– Psalm 34:18, The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
– Psalm 90:10, Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.
– You have to believe it for yourself. These verses describe YOUR Lord and Savior! This is for you!
– You have to give Jesus every part of you, 100%!
– CS Lewis described it something like this: A good man does mind paying his taxes, it’s his duty and does it without complaint. But he is secretly hoping that there will be some left over for himself, to do the things that please him. Frustration and resentment grow every year.
– Imagine the freedom if you stop holding back from God that small piece you think you want for yourself. There is freedom in surrendering all to Him. You will be satisfied in Him.
Peter and John were confronted and arrested by the council for preaching about Jesus, but…
– Acts 4:14, But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right among them, there was nothing the council could say.
– A changed life changes lives!
– The healed man’s testimony made it possible for many others to receive healing in Jesus’ name too!
– Who knows who will come to trust in the Lord because of how Jesus has changed YOUR life?
- Your life IS a walking testimony, but what is it testifying about?
– Matt 5:14-16, Jesus says, “You are the light of the world, like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
– Example: Rachel Scott, the first victim killed in the Columbine School shooting in April 1999. She became an outspoken Christian before she was murdered. She was killed because she would not deny Christ. (From an article about the movie in The Hollywood Reported)
– Statements from the only surviving witness to Rachel’s last moments said, “They were yelling at her about God and do you believe in God. That was literally the last minute of her life.” Costaldo told a newspaper that not only did the killers ask Rachel about her faith but that he, too, was asked if he believed in God, and he answered truthfully that he did not, and his life was spared.
– Also, Val Schnur (Shh-ner), murdered in the library, “She was crying and begging for her life. They asked her four times if she believed in God, and finally she said yes, and that’s when I heard gunshots.”
– Their testimonies are now widely known, and an inspiration many young Christians everywhere to stand up for Jesus, and not be ashamed.
– I always thought this was a prideful reaction. “You don’t owe that crazy gunman anything. Just say the words and live to fight another day.” Isn’t this exactly what Peter had done?
– When faced with death, Peter denied Christ before many witnesses. Peter said he never would, but when the moment of testing came, his words did not match his deeds.
– Matthew 10:32-33, “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.”
– When you lack the courage to proclaim how Jesus has saved you and changed your life you are basically committing the same sin that Peter did.
– Peter ended up changing his testimony, so there is still hope for you!
– Rachel was bold about he faith even in the face of death.
– She was more like Stephen in Acts chapter 7: Murdered for boldly proclaiming his faith.
– These two biblical examples should make you examine if your words match your actions.
– The “lame man” was completely healed in the name of Jesus, and this was evident to everyone because of “what he had said, and what he had done.” He literally walked out his testimony!
– Your life and words should be testifying to how Christ has saved you and healed your life! WILL YOU DENY HIM BEFORE MEN, OR PRAISE HIM UNASHAMED?
– You should be a walking testimony of the power of Jesus to heal the broken! – PRAYER –